I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to puns. Nothing gives me more joy than getting to the PUNchline of an original joke.
My love for these “bon mots” began last year, and since then, my MOTivation to make them has only GROAN.
But while I’m bursting at the seams, others don’t SEAM to be impressed.
So what makes my creative quips PUNderappreciated? I asked my frequent victims: freshmen Anna Frankel, Emma Boersma and Héloïse Schep.
Anna said she originally enjoyed my puns.
“When you first started telling them, I always laughed and thought they were super clever,” she said.
“But it’s been almost two years, and now they are usually more annoying than enjoyable.”
“It’s like eating a PB&J sandwich every day for a year,” she complained.
However, people continually tell simple jokes, and no one comPLAINs. Anyone can make a regular joke, but crafting and understanding puns takes language skills.
Why should I turn my top-notch puns down a NOTCH?
I’ve sometimes gotten in DUTCH with Héloïse when I make puns in academic settings.
“I can occasionally get annoyed if you say puns during class, when I am trying to fully focus,” she said. “I love puns, but timing is important, and I think academic settings are not a good time.”
But in my defense, even half-bad puns can be hilarious and witty as well as acaDEMIcally beneficial.
Yes, you read that correctly (or correctLEE, for Spanish speakers); puns help me memorize Spanish vocabulary.
Here are a couple examples:
“Vaca” (cow) – think of the saying “holy cow.” A hole is VACAnt.
“Corazon” (heart) – the heart is the core zone.
Additionally, teachers, especially physics instructor Glenn Mangold, appreciate my punny funs. In fact, Mangold wrote my physics report card entirely in puns.
“(Y)ou don’t have to FORCE her to WORK,” the report card said. “She pays attention until there is a critical MASS of information in her head, and then she POWERS through every assignment, every TIME.”
So the next time I tell a pun, don’t groan or scream; appreciate the vocabulary skills, and know I could be telling worse jokes or be addicted to worse habits.
OK, now I’m OctaGONE.
—By Larkin Barnard-Bahn