How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
A pun is a play on words, usually done for deliberate humorous effect.
The pun is mightier than the word.
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York.
When does Ella faint? When she blows her trunket.
Puns often make use of ambiguity and similar sounding words. The idea is generally that the person sees two different possible meanings and suffers a moment of confusion before realizing which is the real one (if there is one to be chosen). Often one meaning is most obvious whilst the second meaning is hidden, which can lead to quite sly amusement as a pun is targeted at some people, over the heads of others who are simply confused (or may just miss it altogether).
Sometimes puns must be spoken to be understood and sometimes they have to be seen in the written form.
There are several types of pun, including:
Puns are the bread and butter for many comedians, especially those who avoid crass insults and seek loftier linguistic laughter. Much has been said about puns, including that it is the lowest form of wit, which rather flies in the face of the idea of the erudite user. Shakespeare literally used thousands.
Puns are also popular with advertisers, who use them to grab attention and raise a smile, such as 'Have a break. Have a Kit-Kat.' Journalists sometimes use truly groan-worthy puns in their headlines.
Classification: Humor, Hidden, Substitution