Saturday 7 August 2010

Excuse the pun!

High form of flattery

If you want to look like an amateur writer, sprinkle your prose with the words “excuse the pun!” Make sure to add it to everything that isn’t a pun.

I don’t know why people think they should apologise for puns. And I don’t know what these people think puns are – they seem to shove in an apology after every metaphor or cliché (I'd accept an apology for those as long as you go and sin no more).

Genuine puns

These are from Christmas crackers:
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

And these are more recent:
The malady lingers on.
One man's meat is another man's poisson.
We pine for wooden houses.
That was Zen, this is Tao.
Slow shore exit as Hurricane Isabel flies in” Guardian headline, September 18, 2003
If that's the call of the wild, I think I'm just going to let it ring. (Incredible Hulk)
Rare flower found on site is a plant, says developer (Guardian headline July 11, 2006)

And here are some atrocious “excuse the puns”

“Would we have Einstein rammed down our throats for an hour or would there be mention of time slips and Dr Who? Excuse the pun, but only time would tell.” FT, Gordon Rutter, Aug 03 (For an Einstein/Dr Who/time travel pun surely you’d have to bring in Sutton Hoo, wild thyme etc)

In Support of Suspenders (You Should Excuse The Pun) Now that suspenders are all the rage among women, I'd like to say a few things in support, excuse the pun, of suspenders for men. (feeble pun)

Wristies are taking the world by storm (excuse the pun) with people wearing Wristies for all sorts of reasons. Mostly people like them because they just help them keep warmer. (Inappropriate cliché, not a pun. It's hard to imagine an army of belligerent wrist-warmers storming the castle battlements.)

Does anyone know *for sure* what language Scriabin wrote his text for the Prefatory Act in? I think that Russian would probably be the more logical choice, since he would have been able to communicate more fluently in that language and express difficult concepts more comprehensively, not to mention poetically. But, knowing his fondness for the poetic quality of (his poor) French, he may have used that too. So, does anyone have some insight into this mystery (excuse the pun)? (It's a genuine mystery why the writer thinks this is a pun.)

The King of Comedy is a pun, because the King is about to lose his crown. Amazon review (I think the writer meant "misnomer".)

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