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(The Paris Review)   Doing verbal battle at the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships   (theparisreview.org) divider line 24
    More: Amusing, remorse, Kant  
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2733 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 May 2014 at 10:58 AM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-05-23 09:00:22 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-05-23 11:11:03 AM  

mere lame brained mumble: IQ's 1st one of this thread not altogether bad.  better'n I could do.

approve of article subby fetched, tho!

 
2014-05-23 11:18:02 AM  
What does O. Henry have to do with puns?
 
2014-05-23 11:18:17 AM  
Notlob?
 
2014-05-23 11:20:29 AM  
that was kind of an interesting article.  i love puns and word play but as the author suggested, i love it's off the cuff value in conversations.  Im like that shark just waiting for good context to spill some blood in the waters.  But to watch what is effectively a pun-battle absent of any context sounds awful.

I've seen some live emcee battles and some 'yo mama' joke battles that were really entertaining, even with the poor executions, but this 'contest' sounds like it needs some better rules or methods.  it also looks like the players are several shades of insufferable.
 
2014-05-23 11:26:32 AM  

The Flexecutioner: that was kind of an interesting article.  i love puns and word play but as the author suggested, i love it's off the cuff value in conversations.  Im like that shark just waiting for good context to spill some blood in the waters.  But to watch what is effectively a pun-battle absent of any context sounds awful.

I've seen some live emcee battles and some 'yo mama' joke battles that were really entertaining, even with the poor executions, but this 'contest' sounds like it needs some better rules or methods.  it also looks like the players are several shades of insufferable.


Getting context into the contest sounds key.  Maybe they could have a round where they bring up 2 audience members and give them a topic to have a normal conversation about, like, I don't know, "an experience you had in a foreign country."  And the contestants listen, and the first one to come up with a clever pun in context goes to the next round.  I'm one of the few people I know that loves a good pun, and I especially love making a really bad one that makes my wife roll her eyes and go "never say that again."
 
2014-05-23 11:29:40 AM  
A punning linguist!
 
2014-05-23 11:36:13 AM  

Cantankerous Gnome: The Flexecutioner: that was kind of an interesting article.  i love puns and word play but as the author suggested, i love it's off the cuff value in conversations.  Im like that shark just waiting for good context to spill some blood in the waters.  But to watch what is effectively a pun-battle absent of any context sounds awful.

I've seen some live emcee battles and some 'yo mama' joke battles that were really entertaining, even with the poor executions, but this 'contest' sounds like it needs some better rules or methods.  it also looks like the players are several shades of insufferable.

Getting context into the contest sounds key.  Maybe they could have a round where they bring up 2 audience members and give them a topic to have a normal conversation about, like, I don't know, "an experience you had in a foreign country."  And the contestants listen, and the first one to come up with a clever pun in context goes to the next round.  I'm one of the few people I know that loves a good pun, and I especially love making a really bad one that makes my wife roll her eyes and go "never say that again."


or like a MST3K kind of scenario.  they both watch a video or clip and make pun of it.  the quantity vs quality aspect is really what ruins the whole thing for me.
 
2014-05-23 11:36:17 AM  

The Flexecutioner: that was kind of an interesting article.  i love puns and word play but as the author suggested, i love it's off the cuff value in conversations.  Im like that shark just waiting for good context to spill some blood in the waters.  But to watch what is effectively a pun-battle absent of any context sounds awful.

I've seen some live emcee battles and some 'yo mama' joke battles that were really entertaining, even with the poor executions, but this 'contest' sounds like it needs some better rules or methods.  it also looks like the players are several shades of insufferable.


Well, I actually got into a pun-fight once (yes really),and we did very quickly (and without speaking) evolve unspoken rules:

The puns had to be confined to a particular topic(For instance: Ocean/sea-creature pun), BUT! If a pun was made that could fit into two categories (ocean/sea creature OR birds), then the next person could switch the topic. No one *stated* the topic change, mind-you sort of had to guess/figure out what they were going for (which was also fun)

We weren't keeping score or anything, just going back and forth for 15 minutes causing increasing pain to those surrounding us, but it was really, really fun.

But yeah, without context like that, it would be painful.

/Also you couldn't repeat puns.
//And puns on the word pun were considered low-hanging-fruit.
 
2014-05-23 11:37:00 AM  

Cantankerous Gnome: I'm one of the few people I know that loves a good pun, and I especially love making a really bad one that makes my wife roll her eyes and go "never say that again."


"Puns are the lowest form of wit" - someone too dumb to think of good puns.

CSB: My mother and I were sometimes startled when my father, who (or so we thought) had been quietly reading a book, just straight out of the blue would tell us in some wonderful roundabout way some innocuous statement that would then lead to the ultimate pun payoff, and we could tell he'd been working on the exact wording for the past 20 minutes or so.
/end CSB (albeit leaving out the "btw, I worked for my parents for 20 years" part)
 
2014-05-23 11:47:17 AM  
A contest where quality doesn't matter and even the losers are weeners.
 
2014-05-23 11:50:43 AM  
I'm guessing most of these puns didn't make anyone laugh, probably one one pun in ten did.
 
2014-05-23 11:52:16 AM  
I'll bet women are at a distinct disadvantage if they have the Weeners. I'd think more often than not, they'd choke.
 
2014-05-23 11:53:03 AM  
Props to the author for mentioning Stephen Leacock, who wrote one of my favorite sentences in all of literature:

"Lord Ronald flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions."
 
2014-05-23 11:56:30 AM  
hmm... alternatively...

I'm guessing most of these puns didn't make anyone laugh, probably no pun in ten did.

/typed too fast first time, guess I need coffee.
 
2014-05-23 12:21:58 PM  
As a former weekend docent at the William Sidney Porter (O. Henry) museum, I can tell you first hand that the pun-off is very punny.
 
2014-05-23 12:37:11 PM  
I want to find out who is respunsible for getting this started.
 
2014-05-23 01:32:37 PM  
media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
 .. cause I got nothing ..
 
2014-05-23 02:09:53 PM  
I recommend Flann O'Brien's Keats and Chapman stories. Some are enough to make a groan man cry.
 
2014-05-23 02:21:18 PM  

yakmans_dad: I recommend Flann O'Brien's Keats and Chapman stories. Some are enough to make a groan man cry.


If you ever have the urge to drive a puncil through your ear, read the Xanth series.
 
2014-05-23 06:22:20 PM  

Slypork: yakmans_dad: I recommend Flann O'Brien's Keats and Chapman stories. Some are enough to make a groan man cry.

If you ever have the urge to drive a puncil through your ear, read the Xanth series.


Or the Callahan books.
 
2014-05-23 11:14:22 PM  

stevetherobot: What does O. Henry have to do with puns?


The competition is held in the back yard of the O. Henry Home and Museum in Austin, TX.  William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was also prone to turning a pun at times.

I was a charter member of the group that kept the event alive - Punsters United Nearly Yearly, or P.U.N.Y. - and contributed the suggestion for the name of the contest.  I figured it'd get more press that way, and the rest of the group agreed.

I also won three times - 1991 (Punslingers), and 1992 + 1995 (Punniest of Show).

If you haven't been, it's worth the trip to see it.
 
2014-05-24 12:14:00 AM  

stevetherobot: What does O. Henry have to do with puns?


He liked word play.  He could set a pun into a lively sentence to make it feel like a life sentence.
 
2014-05-24 09:21:31 AM  

Psychohazard: stevetherobot: What does O. Henry have to do with puns?

He liked word play.


OHio state pENitentiaRY

He got his pen(intentiary) name from his time in stir over a crime he probably ... possibly ... didn't commit.

He's known for his short stories with trick endings but he also wrote a  very entertaining novel ("Cabbages and Kings") that looks to be "inspired by" his own autobiography. And the title, of course, from Lewis Carroll who wasn't shy of a bit of word play.
 
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