Thursday, 5 January 2012

Excuse the Pun - Again!

Lightning conductor

Amateur writers love inserting "excuse the pun!" - especially after non-puns.

Paronomasia: use of words, usually humorous, based on (a) the several meanings of one word, (b) a similarity of meaning between words that are pronounced the same, or (c) the difference in meanings between two words pronounced the same and spelled somewhat similarly, e.g., Thomas Hood's “They went and told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell.” Puns have also been used seriously, as in the Bible, Mat. 16.18: “Thou art Peter [Gr. Petros], and upon this rock [Gr. petra] I will build my church.” wikipedia

At least cracker puns are the real thing:
Why did the bullrush? Because he saw the cowslip.
Why did the lobster blush? Because it saw the Queen Mary’s bottom/the salad dressing.
What did Father Christmas say to his wife when he looked out of the window? Looks like reindeer.
Why does lightning shock people? It just doesn't know how to conduct itself.

But these aren't:
Here are the links I dug up (if you'll pardon the pun). FT message board from Dark Detective (talking about locating graves). That’s a too-appropriate metaphor.

I was going to call the essay Less than a Plum of an OZ Book, but dislike using puns. Letter to Fortean Times Aug 03 (Not a pun, unless it's a book about fruit.)

A lot of them run around like headless chickens (excuse the pun).

After the eclipse everyone was on cloud nine (excuse the pun). Suddenly everyone was best friends and no one could shut up. It was good to see such an electric atmosphere (excuse the pun). I am not a very experienced photographer and was stressing all the way home on the coach that the photos wouldn’t turn out. I was over the moon (excuse the pun) to see that they did turn out.

Do they, if you’ll overlook the beastly pun, give a monkey’s about a spot of engraving and some fancy ribbon? Guardian July 14, 2006 on Victoria Cross for animals

Our wholesale tea selection keeps growing (excuse the pun).

We were hard pressed (excuse the pun) to find hot cider.... The sun was dancing on the wheat fields. It sounds corny (excuse the pun again) but it really does take one's breath away.

It contains that heartbreaking pun, "my father's house was razed/in 1948" - Guardian blog January 2008 (what on earth...? Oh I see, raised as in built. Creaky, heavy-handed, leaden pun.)

So while few of us give a thought to what will happen to our bodies after we die, some people are starting – if you’ll pardon the pun – to think outside the box. New Scientists Aug 2011 (Tenuously appropriate metaphor.)

Food for thought (excuse the pun!) Blog entry follows about animal welfare – should the writer become vegetarian?

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