The unintended pun in everyday life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Burst Continues

There was another burst. This burst, however, was very different from the one I blogged about last time: In a period of about 20 hours, I heard an Unintended Pun, my wife heard one at her medical practice, and my daughter thought one. So this burst was just in the ether, and therefore probably has a different explanation. It couldn't be due to "heightened awareness"--instead, perhaps there is an Activation Web that connects familial nerve endings. Okay, I'm just kidding. But it was fun having the last two reported to me after having just heard the first one.

September 22, 2011
At a meeting of a number of pastors of my church's denomination, one of the pastors was describing that another of the pastors was doing a great job leading his region's churches in the missions work they are doing. The missions-oriented pastor's name is John Pickett. The first pastor said: "He is leading the charge in New Mexico."

September 23, 2011
Claire had made a comment about a strong odor in our house, which led to a fairly heated discussion. Later, she thought to herself: "I didn't think I was making that big of a stink."

September 23, 2011
My wife, Christine, is a physician. She recommended that a patient begin using a powder that is mixed with water. The patient expressed concern that it might not taste very good. When Christine suggested she could mix the powder, water, and some frozen fruit in a blender, the patient said: "I could give it a whirl."

Claire and I discussed an aspect of the Association Web/Unintended Web theory: using the "Pickett's Charge" pun as an example, if the pastor had said "He is leading the way," we of course would think nothing of it, and we would have just gone on our way (accidental pun). So of course, the vast majority of sentences are NOT Untintended Puns. I guess I would say this simply means that the really "perfect" puns, like Pickett's Charge, are so awesome and enjoyable, and accidental, that there must be something to them, and we should just be glad our brains work that way.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Unintended Puns Come in Droves?

Now I'm beginning to wonder if Unintended Puns come in bursts, or if maybe one has heightened awareness of them during certain stretches because of some reason or another.

Over the past two weeks, I've spoken four that I know of, read two in a magazine, and heard another one. I'll tell on myself, especially one that I have actually said before and didn't notice--giving rise to the "heightened awareness" theory.

September 5, 2011
My wife and I are terrible vacation packers. We always take more than we could ever need, resulting in extra luggage, making sure to be prepared for any kind of weather, etc. As we we were leaving from our Labor Day weekend getaway, I was tossing our laundry into a suitcase, not needing to fold anything. I said: "This method of packing suits us."

September 10, 2011
Claire and I were discussing Henry Ford (I think it started when I mentioned that he said you could have any color of Model-T you wanted as long as it was black.) Anyway, Claire remembered that he had the famous interview technique of watching the candidate over dinner. If the person added salt to everything without tasting it first, he wouldn't hire him. Claire thought that seemed a little unfair. I was defending the practice, saying that it didn't mean that Ford didn't like the candidate as a person, but rather thought that the person would make bad business decisions. I said: "He wasn't expressing a distaste for the person."

September 12, 2011
Claire and I were discussing physics, and the various properties of light. In particular, I wanted to point out that light has both wave and matter characteristics. I said: "Light is a different matter."

And now for the one that makes me lean toward the "heightened awareness" theory, because I had said this exact same thing a few weeks before, and not noticed it as an Unintended Pun.

September 6, 2011
A work colleague asked me how things were going. I told him I was beginning to feel more at home in my new role. My new role happens to be working on a team that writes software that will be downloaded into very small computers. In the technology world, we are building what is known as an "embedded system"--the software is embedded into the small computer. I said: "I'm pretty much embedded on the team."

So, in about 10 days, I uttered four Unintended Puns, one of which I had used before and not noticed. That makes me wonder if either the Puns themselves are cyclic, as are so many things in the world, or awareness of them, or I suppose, both. What do you think?