By: Candy Ading
‘I wondered why the ball was getting bigger, then it hit me.’
You reacted in either three ways after reading that: you laughed, you rolled your eyes or you’ll get what’s going on in 3,2,…*audible gasps of realization*. The last group of people are my favorite. We all know them, the guys who call you in the middle of class laughing hysterically because they finally got the joke you made three weeks ago. These ones are the gems of this earth and they need to be loved and cared for. I digress. Whatever your reaction was, there’s no denying that you just witnessed the making of the greatest yet most abused form of art. Yes, puns are art. Fight me on this one. No, really. Tell me the time and place. Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. If you read that definition and didn’t think, ‘yeah, that sounds like a pun’, then you need to sit down for this one. Think of Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. Before Leornado Da Vinci even thought of creating the masterpiece, he had to learn the language of painting.
The colors were his words which he combined with his brush as sentences and displayed on his canvas as a story. Finding out what color sounds and feels like another and which ones contrast beautifully and can be used sensibly to tell a story is the difficult part. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the art of puns. You have to look into the English language to find the words that sound the same or could mean two different things and make them tell a story. Never mind that the story is pointless and sometimes just downright stupid. It is a story nonetheless. Just like art too, pun-artists can sell awful puns in the name of abstract art, or in pun world, ‘that pun is so bad it’s brilliant.’ Everyone who laughs at a bad pun is the snobbish art enthusiast who looks at a forgotten mop in an art museum (the pun equivalent being ‘Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off, he’s all right now’ ) and say, ‘ah…yes, I see what the artist is trying to say.’ We have all these tools to clean up the society and rid it off its wrongs yet we are too lazy to use them.’ Full disclosure; that is me, I am the snobbish art enthusiast. This brings me to the analysis of the phrase pun intended. Fact: a pun is intentional unless it is explicitly stated otherwise. That means the phrase ‘pun intended’ is a subtle ways of saying ‘Notice the genius that I am, bask in my intelligence. I am a wizard with a wand of words , bask in my intelligence.’ A fair request for recognition of sheer talent.
“May your puns be awful and your art intentional.”