Puns, according to people who prefer wit instead, are the worst form of humor. And, they add, people who pun should be PUN-nished. Wit, they claim, is sophisticated and scintillating, while the pun is considered too easy a play on words, exploiting all too easily their double meanings.
And yet a pun created by a sharp-witted person can be as humorous and equally funny as any witticism.
Puns have been recorded as far back as the 17th century, with such Biblical chuckles as "How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it." - and including use by the Bard of Avon, who punned in many of his plays. Consider "Romeo and Juliet," rich with puns that amidst great tragedy managed to keep the human factor alive. Example: When he has been pierced fatally by a sword, Mercutio says to Romeo, "Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man."
Puns continue to the present. Consider Kung Fu Panda's, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift; that's why it is called the present."
And there are hundreds of miscellaneous puns that tantalize even in a computer's web pages:
I don't enjoy computer jokes; not one bit.
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic; it's syncing now.
When chemists die, they barium.
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid; he says he can stop anytime.
If you want to make money as a comedian you have to have the cents of humor.
What do you call a marketplace that sells weird stuff? A bizarre bazaar!
A bicycle cannot stand on its own because it is two-tired.
What is purple and 5000 miles long? The Grape Wall of China.
How do celebrities stay cool? They have many fans.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side went dead? He's all right now.
When a dog gave birth to puppies near the road he was cited for littering.
When William joined the army, he feared the phrase "fire at will."
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
He who survives mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
The algebra teacher confiscated a rubber-band pistol because it was a weapon of math disruption.
Puns can now penetrate into any subject matter from just about any source possible:
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
We're going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope it won't be followed by a pop quiz.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
The cross-eyed teacher lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils.
When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.
Broken pencils are pointless.
I'm told a thesaurus is a dinosaur with a huge vocabulary.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
When all of the toilets in N.Y. have been stolen, the cops had nothing to go on.
I took a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
The baseball seemed to be getting bigger and bigger, and then it hit me.
And last but not least is this news item:
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
Note: Free Irish movies continue at the Portage Lake Public Library on Saturday the 26th at 6:30 p.m. with a remarkable Judy Dench historical drama, "Mrs. Brown."
Rotten Tomatoes averages: "The Dictator," C+; "Battleship," C-; "What to Expect", D.