[ 2007-06-05 13:45 ]
What does "pun intended" mean?
A pun, if you look up a dictionary, is a play on words,
and usually for humorous effects. Example: "Seven days without water makes
one weak (week)" (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English).
You see, puns are a word or phrase that has two
meanings or of words with the same sound but different meanings. Some puns
are made deliberately. Example: "God, you've got a good Job. Don't blow
it" (Woody Allen).
Sometimes, a pun is sprung inadvertently. When discussing the
phenomenon of nepotism in State-owned businesses, for example, I once
remarked casually this is due to the fact that "some leaders are only
interested in fattening up themselves". There was no pun intended there
because we were not talking about anybody's protruding belly, double jaw
or immovable backside. But then I realized that this is literarily true
too, hence adding: "If you check the waistline of your bosses you'll know
what I mean, how much fat they've put on since they assumed their
leadership positions and began to really throw their weight around."
Everybody leaned back (everybody who was lean enough to do so, that is)
and laughed in agreement.
Authors sometimes point out whether it is "pun intended" or "no pun
intended" in case readers might miss the point. Here's a newspaper
After September 11 and the war against terror, the hidden hand and fist
have had their cover blown - and we have a clear view now of America's
other weapon - the free market - bearing down on the developing world,
with a clenched, unsmiling smile. The Task That Never Ends is America's
perfect war, the perfect vehicle for the endless expansion of American
imperialism. In Urdu, the word for profit is fayda. Al-qaida means the
word, the word of God, the law. So, in India, some of us call the War
Against Terror, Al-qaida vs Al-fayda - The Word vs The Profit (no pun
- Not Again, The Guardian, Friday, September 27, 2002.
The Profit, you see, sounds the same as The Prophet.
|About the author:
Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily
since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Write him at: email@example.com, or raise a question
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