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  1. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Pardon the Pun

    Hi,

    I kind of know what "pardon the pun" means.
    But I need some examples on its use.

    I found this online:

    It means that you cannot resist the urge to make some dryly humorous or mildly clever play on words or concepts that are already part of the conversation. For example, if we are discussing why your dog seems to often bite himself on the left rear haunch, in the context of giving you a fairly informative and sincere answer, I may make the following statements: "Pardon the pun, but you know it's a dog-eat-dog world."
    But I find the note on "dog-eat-dog world" really funny and savvy, and does not require any sort of pardon!

    I'd appreciate if you can give me more examples on when top use "pardon the pun".

    And is this expression colloquial, or I can use it in my written materials.
    Thanks. :)

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    It's part of the British tradition that we must always groan at puns and appear to be unimpressed - even if they are quite clever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat
    And is this expression colloquial, or I can use it in my written materials.
    I would not use it in the most formal of writing.

    Incidentally, I would not really call your example a 'pun'. It's word-play, but not a pun in the strictest sense of the word as as I understand it.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    Hi,

    I kind of know what "pardon the pun" means.
    But I need some examples on its use.

    I found this online:



    But I find the note on "dog-eat-dog world" really funny and savvy, and does not require any sort of pardon!

    I'd appreciate if you can give me more examples on when top use "pardon the pun".

    And is this expression colloquial, or I can use it in my written materials.
    Thanks. :)
    It doesn't need an apology. 'Pardon the pun' isn't really asking for pardon - it's just signalling the fact that there's a pun. The example you found is good. 'Pardon the pun' or ... - no pun intended - ...' is used whenever a metaphor has a misleading aptness - in that example, the dog is actually eating dog.

    As another example, maybe someone is particularly sensitive about his ears (dunno why that sprang to mind, though mine aren't notably inconspicuous ); and a friend says (after something good has happened) 'You must be a happy bunny... [then, realizing the possible misunderstanding] no pun intended'. [Not a very good example, as there is a possible offensive interpretation, and an apology is in order . But it would work in a sitcom - with 'no pun intended' as a signal to the audience that the person with big ears is self-conscious and has misinterpreted the metaphor {which is unlikely in real life}.]. ]

    b

    PS I agree with 5jj about the example no really being a pun. But this fit in with the 'not really an apology' point I made - not really an apology AND not really a pun. The 'pardon the pun' isn't apologizing - it's indicating that there's some possible word-play.
    Last edited by BobK; 02-Jun-2011 at 12:48. Reason: PS Added

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's part of the British tradition that we must always groan at puns and appear to be unimpressed - even if they are quite clever.

    I would not use it in the most formal of writing.

    Incidentally, I would not really call your example a 'pun'. It's word-play, but not a pun in the strictest sense of the word as as I understand it.
    Have you seen the Franco-British production Ridicule? An historically accurate portrait of the court.
    It's actually a French tradition -- at royal court -- to look down on the pun as an easy and unimpressive form of wit. The British merely emulate that French tradition.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Have you seen the Franco-British production Ridicule? An historically accurate portrait of the court.
    It's actually a French tradition -- at royal court -- to look down on the pun as an easy and unimpressive form of wit. The British merely emulate that French tradition.
    So we court it from the French then? That annoys me - but then, I suppose that irritation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  6. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's part of the British tradition that we must always groan at puns and appear to be unimpressed - even if they are quite clever.

    I would not use it in the most formal of writing.

    Incidentally, I would not really call your example a 'pun'. It's word-play, but not a pun in the strictest sense of the word as as I understand it.
    That's interesting, so it is a tradition not to laugh or smile when a clever pun is said?
    What would you think if I smile at a pun someone makes?
    I'm asking because it is good to know how I should behave in the presences of British people. :)

    You are right about the example, it is not a pun.

    Many thanks.

  7. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    It doesn't need an apology. 'Pardon the pun' isn't really asking for pardon - it's just signalling the fact that there's a pun. The example you found is good. 'Pardon the pun' or ... - no pun intended - ...' is used whenever a metaphor has a misleading aptness - in that example, the dog is actually eating dog.

    As another example, maybe someone is particularly sensitive about his ears (dunno why that sprang to mind, though mine aren't notably inconspicuous ); and a friend says (after something good has happened) 'You must be a happy bunny... [then, realizing the possible misunderstanding] no pun intended'. [Not a very good example, as there is a possible offensive interpretation, and an apology is in order . But it would work in a sitcom - with 'no pun intended' as a signal to the audience that the person with big ears is self-conscious and has misinterpreted the metaphor {which is unlikely in real life}.]. ]

    b

    PS I agree with 5jj about the example no really being a pun. But this fit in with the 'not really an apology' point I made - not really an apology AND not really a pun. The 'pardon the pun' isn't apologizing - it's indicating that there's some possible word-play.
    Oh, I see!
    So "pardon the pun" technically mean "notice the pun"?

    Since you mentioned the word "sprang" and bunnies, I though of a a related pun to that word Here it is:

    A: Why is that squirrel jumping like a spring.
    B: Well, it's spring you know. Pardon the pun!

    The first spring means the metal spring which jumps. And the second spring is the season.

  8. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Have you seen the Franco-British production Ridicule? An historically accurate portrait of the court.
    It's actually a French tradition -- at royal court -- to look down on the pun as an easy and unimpressive form of wit. The British merely emulate that French tradition.
    That's informative.
    So, those enlightened people (judges and lawyers) think it is vulgar to play with words. That sounds logical since they are used to serious stuff, and unequivocal statements.

    I'm happy with this thread, it added a lot to me.
    Thanks all.

  9. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    So we court it from the French then? That annoys me - but then, I suppose that irritation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    I know I'm drifting away from the thread.
    But you repalced "imitation" with "irritation" in a very nice way.
    Does this thing/style have a name/term in linguistics?
    Can we call it "reference" or does it have another name?


    Thanks.

  10. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Pardon the Pun

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    I know I'm drifting away from the thread.
    But you repalced "imitation" with "irritation" in a very nice way.
    Does this thing/style have a name/term in linguistics?
    Can we call it "reference" or does it have another name?
    That was my extremely pathetic attempt at a pun.

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