Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Lately my sister and I have been enamoured of collecting non-puns: titles and slogans that are apparently supposed to be puns but do not in fact meet the standard definition of a pun.

To refresh:
the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.


Two recent examples of non-puns:

Sighted by me: A Mexican restaurant named The Hole Enchilada.
How it fails: An attempt to make a play on whole/hole is only a pun if the word "hole" makes sense in this context, which it does not in any way.
(Yes, there are ways this could be a real pun - if, for example, the restaurant served toroid enchiladas - but I doubt it.)

Sighted by Gillian: In a pizza parlor, a wall decorated with photos of famous dogs like Benji and Lassie and titled the "Dog of Fame."
How it fails: A pun on the wrong word, for starters. It's still a wall. It's a Wall of Fame for Dogs, or a Wall of Famous Dogs. Also, "wall" and "dog" don't sound alike anyway. This fails on a lot of levels.