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Puns Are Stupid and Other Wordplay Observations

Puns Are Stupid - Don Quixote - Carolyn Daughters

Puns are stupid. Which I will prove by sharing non-scientific and borderline sexist meanderings on gender-specific forms of repartee. Using phrases that pose as sentences.

I like crossword puzzles. Cryptic crosswords, too. Here’s a cryptic crossword clue:

Boat in waters going west ___ ___ ___ ___ ___1

Crossword puzzles aside, I think most wordplay is stupid. Math, on the other hand, is awesome. Except for calculus, which, though stupid, is not as stupid as wordplay.

Women don’t like puns and riddles. Men do like puns and riddles. I make both statements knowing full well that the women reading will feel compelled to rise up in clamorous defense of their love of puns and the men reading will disavow that same love due to their suspicion that they’re being slighted by some inchoate association between puns and maleness. (Are puns really stupid? Am I?) Such are the responses to unequivocal statements the world over.

People don’t like to be told what they think even when, upon occasion, what they’re being told is spot on. (You think you know me? You don’t know me!) Annoyed with the unequivocal statement maker for tilting at windmills, they cry, “Down with you and Dante and his thin, crappy horse!” When someone points out that Don Quixote, not Dante, rode a thin, crappy horse, everyone’s all “down with Don Quixote,” and next thing you know I’m personally responsible for the collective readership of Dante’s and Cervantes’ books decreasing from nineteen people a year to twelve.

In his defense, Dante was a big-time punster, as any reader of The Divine Comedy knows. That said, there is no defense for Don Quixote, as Rocinante really was a thin, crappy horse.

Here’s a riddle that Gollum asked Bilbo Baggins:

What has roots as nobody sees,
Is taller than trees,
Up, up it goes,
And yet never grows?2

When a clock is hungry, it goes back for seconds. To write with a broken pencil is pointless. A farmer in the field counted 196 cows, but when he rounded them up he had 200. A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it’s two-tired.


Even though puns are stupid, the pun-hating women who two minutes ago recalled their lifelong love of puns are fist pumping (rock on!), while the pun-loving men now agree with me that puns are stupid and are wondering when in God’s name this treatise will end. Though these same men all secretly feel that there’s always time for one more pun in much the same way that there’s room for Mr. Creosote to have one tiny, very thin mint.

Hemingway wrote the following to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in August 1924: “But isn’t writing a hard job though? It used to be easy before I met you. I certainly was bad. Gosh, I’m awfully bad now, but it’s a different kind of bad.”

Picasso painted Stein’s portrait though people said it looked nothing like her. Picasso quipped that if it didn’t look like the subject, it would eventually.

1 Answer: sloop
2 Answer: mountain


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