The Man Behind The Pun

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Man Behind the Pun I am often dismayed when I hear people say "a pun is the lowest form of humor" because I see them using the word lowest with the wrong connotation. It all goes back about 600 years ago to my ancestor, Punster Lowe, who combined the use of wit and language into an art form. His deft use of language soon became the standard to the extent that when people said "That's really Lowe!" or "You're the Lowest," everyone understood the meaning of "Lowe-est" as expressing praise, just as "bad" or "baddest" in modern times represents approval (high praise). In other words, back then, lowe was really high! The word "pun" to describe language used in a quick and witty way to connect two different kinds of meanings of the same or similar word is actually a direct derivative of Punster's name. (Don't bother pulling out your Funky Wagnall's to check the etymology - the revisionists have been very thorough in trying to squash out such marginalized voices.)

In fact, Punster was so famous that the king became jealous of his popularity. At one point the king was so outraged that the people were going to Punster first to hear his reactions and comments on events that some of the king's spies tried to entrap Punster into publicly slandering the king. They suggested they could come up with topics that he could not make clever comments on.

"I can respond on any subject," replied Punster.

"Okay, what about the king?" "The king," retorted Punster, "is not a subject!" Finally, the king called Punster forward in front of a gathering of the general populace during the general Spring Festival. His plan was to publicly disgrace Punster and...