Puns

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A pun is a play on words which usually centers on a word with more than one meaning or the replacement of a homonym that changes the meaning of the sentence for humorous or rhetorical effect. It is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings. The ambiguities arise mostly in homophones and homonyms. Humorous effects created by puns depend upon the obscurities words involve. 

For instance, in a sentence “A happy life depends on a liver”, liver can refer to the organ liver or simply the person who lives. On the contrary, in a famous saying “Atheism is a non-prophet institution” the word “prophet” is used instead of “profit” to produce a humorous effect.

Other Examples:
    • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
    • No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
    • A backward poet writes inverse.
    • The batteries were given out free of charge.
    • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
    • When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
    • Why are they called "stands" when they are made for sitting?
    • Being struck by lightning is a shocking experience!
    • I used to be addicted to soap, but I'm clean now.
    • People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.
    • Police were called to a day care center where a two-year-old was resisting a rest.
    • I had amnesia once --- or twice.


What is a Pun in Poetry

A pun is a play on words created on the similarity between two words, usually in their sound or spelling. It is a joke that plays on the many meanings of a word, or on two words that sound the same. By playing with the words, the writers reveal their cleverness and the shrewdness of their characters. Novelists make use of pun to add humor, or sometimes, the author exploits the double meaning of words in order to add uncertainty or make a statement. 

Apart from being witty and humorous, puns add intense meanings to texts and shape the way in which the text is interpreted by the readers. Besides, puns in a literary works act as a source of comic relief or an intended effort on the part of the writer to show his/her creative ability in using language. Puns can be a fun and witty way to make a piece of literature more light-hearted. It helps to clarify a situation and make the reader think about it in a different way usually while providing a quick laugh. 

For example, here’s a well-known pun
“When a vulture flies he takes carryon luggage.” In this pun, the words “carrion” and “carry on” are homonyms; humans take “carry on” luggage when we fly on planes, while vultures eat “carrion” and may take it with them when they fly.

A pun is roughly defined as a play on the sound of words to achieve a certain effect.
In other words, a pun can:
    1. Make you think
    2. Make you laugh
    3. Increase clarity when we’re trying to determine the meaning of a text
    4. Introduce ambiguity

Examples of Puns in Poetry

In everyday life, pun examples are found intentionally or accidentally used in jokes and witty remarks. 

Such as:
  • Make like a tree and leave.
  • The life of a patient of hypertension is always at steak.
  • It's hard to beat scrambled eggs for breakfast!
  • Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
  • A horse is a very stable animal.
  • Why do we still have troops in Germany? To keep the Russians in Czech.
  • Curl Up and Dye
  • Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a-salted.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • Every calendar's days are numbered.
  • Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  • What did one plant say to another? What's stomata?
  • A boiled egg every morning is hard to beat.
  • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  • If you don't pay your exorcist, you will get repossessed.
  • A chicken crossing the road is truly poultry in motion.
  • She had a photographic memory but never developed it.
  • You were right, so I left.
  • Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
  • Put that down, it’s nacho cheese.
  • An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.
  • Geometry is so pointless. 
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • What is the difference between a conductor and a teacher? The conductor minds the train and a teacher trains the mind.