Very punny, without apology

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Energizer Bunny arrested – charged with battery.
A pessimist’s blood type is always b-negative.
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
If electricity comes from electrons… does that mean that morality comes from morons?
Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Banning the bra was a big flop.
Sea captains don’t like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

It has been said that the most typical response to a pun is a groan. They may be delivered in the short form illustrated above, often called “groaners”, or they be even more groanful when they appear as punchlines at the end of long, drawn-out tales known as a “shaggy dog stories.”

An apocryphal story has it that as a young boy George Bernard Shaw was an incessant punster. One day, his father was so irritated by all the punning that he put George into a closet and threatened to not let him out until he had made a very great pun. Whereupon, according to the story, young George immediately implored his father to, “O-pun the door!”

Where are you on the pun spectrum? Some people love this kind of word play; others hate it; still others are indifferent. Some just don’t get the jokes. Some people seem to be natural-born and even habitual punsters.  I love them and admire the well-constructed pun. I don’t typically think them up until someone or some thing gets me going, then I can usually bounce them back and forth fairly readily.

MY ADVICE: If you are a punster, don’t expect peals of laughter from your audiences. You would do well to learn to expect and be pleased with groans more so than laughter; and if you also get rolling of the eyes accompanying the groans, that is a bonus sign of appreciation for your well-delivered pun. Just say, “Thank you!” and take a bow.


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About the Author

Steve Wilson

Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor with a humanitarian mission. As Director of National Humor Month, he intertwines science and ancient wisdom with substance and humor to create practical methods to lead the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to be a rich resource and inspiration for improving productivity, health, and well being in business, healthcare and education. For more information and