I love puns. Some of my favorite websites make a point to use one in almost every excerpt (front-page teasers for the content in the article), which is entertaining. It makes me a loyal reader. That’s something that makes them unique, so I come back for more.
My boyfriend also cracks puns all the time, and it makes me laugh. Puns are kind of awesome.
John Pollack thinks so, too. He’s the author of The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics. He gave an “At Google” talk recently about how people dismiss puns as the lowest form of humor, but we know less about them than we think.
“For most of human history, the pun was a sign of intelligence, of wit, of insight, of wisdom,” said Pollack. “And it wasn’t always intended as humorous; it was just a way of encoding more meaning in fewer words. But in the last 400 years or so, it had this fall from grace.”
Now they’re making a comeback.
(Jump to 4:00 for the first mention of puns.)