Sunday, December 10, 2006


So I learned last night that neither Russian nor German distinguish between a "pun" and a "play on words." They use "play on words" for both of them. I don't know, in my head there is a pretty big difference between the two. A play on words has a double meaning but I would dare to say is usually smart, where a pun is a play on just one word and is dumb, so dumb, but can still be funny (okay "herring aids" not so much). Also, if you are told that someone makes a lot puns it is more of a warning not to stay around that person to long (You hear: Yeah uncle Larry makes a lot of puns, you understand: stay the fuck away from uncle Larry if you know what is good for you!), where if you say someone is very good at playing with words it makes the person sound intelligent (the person not only knows words but can play with them too! Eligible bachelor, eh, go talk to him).

Am I the only one that thinks there is a big difference?


ruth said...

i like puns!

but i guess that actually supports your theory...

Oliver said...

I am unclear about what exactly is the difference between a play on words and a pun. I thought they were interchangeable in use, but I guess that might be due to me translating it to "Wortspiel"