Ray Mosby, Guest Columnist 12/16/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ray Mosby, Guest Columnist

Pun intended! China pun ban plays into hands of columnist

“A pun is the lowest form of humor.”
—My mother.

ROLLING FORK—My mother, bless her heart, was wrong about other things, too.

It isn’t that writing columns is such a hard thing, provided you can write a lick, but coming up with a column  topic every week can sometimes prove a challenge.

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That’s why every columnist simply lives for those moments when like morsels of manna from above, there appears from out of nowhere—the layup, the gimme, the duck on the pond, the fish in the barrel, the hanging curve that practically screams, “hit me out of the park.”

Such a magic moment happened to me last week when I saw the following headline in “The Guardian” : “China Has Banned Puns in an Attempt to Stifle Government  Criticism.” My heart suddenly a’flutter, I then quickly read the story’s  lede, “In a move described as an effort to prevent ‘cultural and linguistic chaos,’ China’s State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has banned puns and other forms of ‘misleading’ wordplay.”

The Peoples’ Republic of China is banning puns.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you Peoples’ Republic of China.

Ye olde Webster’s defines a pun as, “The humorous use of a word, or of words, which are formed or sounded alike but have different meanings, in such as way as to play on two or more of the possible applications.”

In other words, puns are plays on words. Very clever plays on words.

And being a man who makes his living with words, I quite naturally am a fan of their being used in clever fashions, not the least of which is represented by puns, and I am hence, highly incensed that the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China would chose to deny the people it governs such simple pleasures as are represented by really good puns.

Of course, communist totalitarian governments are not exactly famous for their senses of humor.
Therefore, with the not inconsiderable aid of my fellow word lover, Dr. Nancy Coleman, it strikes me as a great opportunity to strike a blow for truth, justice and the American way in showing our Chinese brethren  just what they are about to be missing. Enjoy:

• I tried to catch some fog. I mist.

• Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

• I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.

• I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

• This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never  met herbivore.

• I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

• They told me I had Type A blood,  but it was a Type O.

• PMS jokes are not funny. Period.

• Why were the Indians the first ones to be in this country? They had reservations.

• We are going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.

• Headline: Energizer Bunny arrested; charged with battery.

• I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

• How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

• What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

• When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

• What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.

• Broken pencils are pointless.

And finally, my favorite: OK, see, this dyslexic man walks into a bra…

See there, and not one dirty one. That, of course, would be punography.