By Kimberly Johnson
I’m always looking for a good laugh. I tried watching Last Comic Standing on NBC. I parked my remote on the Comedy Central with no results. I found my funny a couple of Sundays ago via Youtube. CBS Sunday Morning featured the 37th O. Henry Pun-Off Championships (It was a free event, 11a -3p). Reporter Lee Cowan traveled to
to interview entrants and the 2014 winner Alexandra Petri. (She made puns of
every Austin, Texas
president in chronological order). US
hotel reservations. I was so tired I had to Romania . BUCHAREST
I’ll admit it—I’m not well-versed on puns. So, I decided to go on a fact-finding mission:
Q: What is a pun?
A: Informal definition: A play on words and their meaning. Formal definition: A joke exploiting the possible meanings of a word.
Function: A pun shapes how the reader interprets the text.
The pigs were a squeal.
Q: Are there different types of puns?
A: Yes. Homophonic puns feature word pairs that sound alike but have different meanings. Homographic puns spotlight words that have the same spelling but have a different sound and connotation. Homonymic puns use words which are homophones and homographs. A compound pun uses two or more puns at a time.
Nothing makes me SYCAMORE than some guy using all those cheezy pickup lines like a DOGWOOD.
Q: Who uses a pun and why?
A: A writer can demonstrate a character’s quick wit. William Shakespeare is a famous punster.
“Winter of our discontent” was “made glorious summer by this Son [son] of
.” (Richard III) York
How to be a punster?
Listen closely when your friends are talking. Find a play on words that you can use to construct your pun. Keep it in the context of the conversation.
Want more information? Try the O. Henry Pun-Off website, http://punoff.com. It features cool stuff like Noose You Can Use and Punslingers.