The unintended pun in everyday life.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More Fun Puns

I know it's not just me. You all are saying and hearing, and more importantly, noticing, Unintended Puns all the time, or at least I hope so. Otherwise, just I and a few of my closest associates are having fun with these lovely little verbal gems, and the rest of humanity is missing out one of my life's great pleasures.

Today I'll share two private, and one very public pun, one that many of you would have heard if you watched the Republican debate in Tampa a few weeks ago. If you noticed the Unintended Pun that Mr. Santorum said, please post a comment at the Pun Forum so I'll know there are more of us paying attention.

First, the fun private ones.

Claire, my daughter and one of the close associates I alluded to above, had grown weary of her mother and father watching a Youtube video that altered the ending of the movie Titanic, making it happy.

January 17, 2012 As the music finished, with images of the people and ship being hit with rushing water, pouring in from the high seas, Claire said: "And on that note, probably a high-C..."

This second private one never made it out of my mind, and actually the word that completed the pun didn't even become fully formed, since I realized that it was about to make an Unintended Pun.

I'll have to give a little background. I read an article that claims that wheat is bad for humans to consume, which may or may not be true. The article went on to claim that when farming became common five or ten thousand years ago, the farmers somehow convinced the rest of humanity that eating wheat was better than eating what people had been eating, which was a very primal diet of meat and not much else. I don't think I'll comment on the article, except to say I always find it interesting/amusing when people claim to know what was going through someone's mind a long time ago.

So, this morning I was thinking about that article after I noticed a loaf of whole wheat bread on our kitchen counter.
February 11, 2012 I said to myself with regard to the author of the article: "I guess you have a beef with wh....."

The last pun for today was very public. It took place toward the end of the Tampa Republican debate, when Brian Williams, the moderator, asked the candidates to describe their role in furthering conservatism:

Brian Williams: "This has been called, in addition to this unprecedented primary contest the GOP is in the midst of, a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. Governor Romney, the question is, about that soul, what have you done to further the cause of conservativism as a Republican leader?"

After Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich gave their answers, it was Rick Santorum's turn. (See below for political commentary.)

February 11, 2012Part of Santorum's answer: "They didn`t stand tall for the conservative principles that they argued that they were for. And as a result, we ended up with this bailout that has injected government into business like it had never been done before.
They rejected conservativism when it was hard to stand. It`s going to be hard to stand whoever this president is going to be elected. It`s going to be tough. There is going to be a mountain of problems. It`s going to be easy to be able to bail out and compromise your principles."

Political commentary: I really don't care about major either political party, though I do care about the government getting smaller, much smaller. I watched the debate to see how Ron Paul would do compared to the other much more famous and polished candidates.

The answers to this particular question totally fascinated me, but didn't surprise me at all--I mean, these guys are politicians, and they want to stay politicians, so they have to persuade us to vote for them, which means saying what they think we want to hear. So their answer of what they have done "for" conservatism, Romney basically said what he had been doing was conservativism, because after all, they figured that's what Republicans want to hear, at least somewhat. Gingrich followed suit, then Santorum. Basically, none of them have done anything to further conservativism, except in the sense that they have done what they have done--furthering anything would be to actually have vision and take chances, and maybe actually lose an election because they took a stand, not just because their particular take on public opinion was wrong for a given election.

Finally, Ron Paul had his chance, and he did just what I thought he would do--he said,

PAUL: Well, I think the problem is, is nobody has defined what being conservative means.
WILLIAMS: Go ahead.
PAUL: And I think that is our problem. Conservative means we have a smaller government and more liberty. And yet, if you ask, what have we done? I think we have lost our way.

So, there you have it--a couple of fun private puns, which of course you didn't hear, and one very public one, which you may have heard. If you did, let us know here on the Pun Forum, and definitely share your private puns as well.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Depressing Subject; Still Some Puns

I just finished listening to a set of CDs from The Teaching Company called "Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century." It's part of The Great Courses/Modern History series, this particular one taught by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius of the University of Tennessee. He covers many of what I have thought of in the past as The Top Ten Bad Guys of the 20th Century--Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, others--suggesting that their attempt to remake their societies into something of a utopia led them to use terror and violence, and of course often turning the death and destruction inward, on the very people they had supposedly hoped to re-make into "the perfect people." As with all the Great Courses, it is excellent, and in this case, makes for sobering and at times very uncomfortable listening--how could sane people follow these obviously insane "leaders," to the point, in the case of China during the Cultural Revolution in the time of Mao, where an entire population dressed exactly alike for fear of offending somebody?

Despite this serious and difficult topic, Dr. Liulevicius was unable to avoid during his 24 lectures saying a few Unintended Puns. One of them barely counts, as explained below, one of them I misheard a mispronounced word into an Unintended Pun, and one of them is blatant.

This first one kind of doesn't count, because there may not be another way to say it. I include it as an interesting historic note.
January 15, 2012 Said the professor in explaining how one of the most unintelligible, but at the same time somehow powerful and motivating and destructive, pieces of writing was put to paper:" "Hitler dictated Mein Kampf."

This second one is a new case for the Pun Forum. The Professor pronounced the word "totalitarianism" two different ways. The first time he used it, at least when I noticed it, he said it such that the word "total" was pronounced as usual, followed by the rest of the word. Sort of like "total-it-arianism."

January 10, 2012 As I got to thinking about this word later, I thought he had said" 'total-Aryanism,' which fit perfectly with the subject at hand, which was Hitler's attempt to re-make the German people into 'total Aryans.' "

Okay, now back to our usual brand of Unintended Pun, though again quite sobering in its context and meaning. The Professor was explaining the practice of eugenics "good born," which sadly for Americans, had its roots in the United States. It was made use of by many of the utopian madmen examined in the lecture series, most widely by the Nazis.

January 12, 2012 In explaining the idea behind eugenics, and how it took hold in the scientific community as a way to "improve" on human nature by among other things the sterilization of certain "unfit" people, the Professor said" "Eugenics was seen as the cutting edge of science."

The 20th Century saw some horrible and widespread violence, almost all of it brought about by a very few men attempting to create a legacy of...what? Mao Tse Tung, who must be in the Top Five, said "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." All of these "leaders" knew the only way to reach their goals was to seize control of their governments, and in most cases, they then tried to move outward from there. They persuaded millions that the utopia/perfection they sought was not only reachable, but if reached, would make all of them happier, feel better about themselves, and perhaps make them remembered forever--despite obvious evidence all around those millions that they were causing suffering and bloodshed and unhappiness. Since human nature doesn't change--there will always be insane men who want to "lead" us to some new utopia--may the average sane person find within the ability to resist the barrel of the gun.

Thank you for reading these Unintended Puns, and please resist the calls for utopia.