Tuesday, May 10, 2016

On puns

There is nothing wrong with puns. Shakespeare loved them and so do I. The reason great and famous writers like us (on average) so enjoy puns is because they are part of the process of playing with, thinking about, and juicing language. The irony is that people who groan at puns with real disdain, finding them to be simple, jokey and unserious, are particularly guilty of what they dislike, a lack of originality and inventiveness. Disliking puns is a far greater cliche than any use of a pun could ever dream of being.

Today one of my co-workers was doing the closing announcements for my library. The announcements we do are bespoke and tend to have a lot of character. This particular librarian likes to bring up historical facts and various trivia related to that specific day. Sometimes he even likes to tie the milestone of the day to the fact that the library is closing. Like: "On this day in 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes had the White House’s first telephone installed. But if you want to make a phone call you'll have to leave the library to do it, because the library is closing in three minutes."

Today he said something like this:

"Today is National Nurses Day, a day in which we celebrate the important role nurses play in our society. I hope you'll celebrate nurses, but soon you won't be able to do it here because the library will be closing in ten minutes." 

I was working on the automated check in machine at the time, and he was sitting with another colleague whose phone he used to make the announcement. I walked over to them and said "R-N you glad you told everyone about National Nurses Day?"

No groans, no commentary, they just laughed the small but real laugh that was warranted, and it was over.

That's all I'm asking. 

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