Thursday, June 2, 2011


A good pun is its own reword.  ~Author Unknown


In 1995 John Pollack won the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships. Seriously, you can see him here (the one wearing the blue polka dot shirt). This past April, his book The Pun Also Rises, was released by Gotham Books. HerePollocka journalist, former presidential speech writer for Bill Clinton, and author of Cork Boatwrites a humorous and intriguing narrative on the etymology of the pun.

Having grown up in a household where wordplay was everyday, nightly spelling bees buzzed around the dinner table, and silly, punny, puns were always welcome, this is just the sort of word nerd book I can't resist.

And apparently, as you can see by my son's illustration below, the love of word bending runs in the family.

By Max

Citrusing, isn't it? Oh, come on. I dare you...  have some pun.


  1. That picture made me laugh out loud and I found it refreshing that in this computer age a simple drawing and some humble words can produce that reaction.
    Thank your son for brightening my night Jayne.

  2. I wish my son David was here right now. He's the punny guy in our family. I saw him the other night. I had to take him to the ER for a moshpit mishap. It was a truly "pit"iful situation that kept him in "stitches".
    (Sorry, I have no real pun talent. I'll go hang my head in shame now.)

  3. What a little smart ass. Reminds me of a younger me, but a better drawer.

  4. I have a peeling it just gets worse from here.

  5. Jayne, that pic is too cute. The fruit of the matter, though, is I suck at puns.

  6. Okay, everyone used my puns, I'm out of ideas :) Thanks for the laugh. Love that Max!

  7. The curtains were drawn, but the windows were real.

  8. One of my favorite puns in recent memory -- actually a sort of quasi-Chinglish -- was the one captured about a year ago on The Intern's eponymous blog.

    And one of my favorite bits of trivia about puns, again in recent memory, came from a commenter at my place at about the same time, regarding a short story by (she thought) Isaac Asimov:

    "In it, some scientists decide they're going to find out why humans love jokes, yet they hate puns. To make a long story short, they eventually discover that jokes are part of an alien experiment on the human race, while puns are homegrown. The aliens get pissed at being found out and leave, and suddenly nobody can think of anything funny to say -- except puns."

    Isn't that great?

    LOVE Max's drawing!

  9. Paul- I will! He's pretty good at brightening the day. ;)

    Nessa- Moshpit mishap? Oh now, there's an excellent opportunity for a pun in there--and you grabbed it! (No shame.)

    Christopher- Come on now, I know you what you can draw from the world. ;)

    Dale- I doubt it... that's good!

  10. Cheryl- Ha ha! Lemons are very tart-- careful.

    Lin Ann- You, out of idea! Impossible! ;)

  11. DB- Now we're cooking!

    Munk- Good one! I like it. :)

  12. JES- The Intern's pun is hysterical.
    And, I agree, your commenter's comment is great.
    Puns get such a bad rap. I don't think of them as low-brow at all. They're a very clever way to play with the English language. My mother is one of the best punsters around.
    Now, I want to know how you add that link in comments??

  13. To add a link in comments (supposing you're linking to, and you want the link text to read "Here's a link!" (w/out quotes):

    <a href="">Here's a link!</a>

    which when displayed in a comment looks like this: Here's a link!

    Did that help? (Feel free to experiment in a comment on my place if you're nervous about doing it here.)

  14. JES- Thank you! I'm still working my way around the learning curve with html (if that's what this is--looks like it anyway). Thanks, too, for offering your comment section for a test run. I'm going to give it a try later this evening when I can make some rounds. Much catching up to do. :)

  15. That's one punny lemon, I zest not.

    Clever Max - thanks, Jayne. Penelope will appreciate his drawing and humour, too. I will send her the link!

    'Tis good to connect up with you out here - I love your profile description, btw. "I'm a writer, damnit!' ; ) C

  16. Your son's lemon pun certainly has a-peel. Had he entered the Pun-Off, it would be a lemon entry (my dear Watson). ;)