May the 4th is “Star Wars Day,” a cause for celebration for not only fans of the George Lucas films, but folks who appreciate puns. Both of these can be scary groups to be trapped among.
I know because I am one of them. It’s kind of hard to stop once you’ve started sharing either favorite Star Wars quotes or puns (pretty much any kind, regardless of whether or not it’s related to Star Wars). What’s not to like about a play on words where similar-sounding words imply two or more different meanings? Right?
When my second-grader forgets to use a utensil at the table, I can’t help saying: “Use the fork, Luke.”
As the mom of a soon-to-be middle-schooler, I’ve become concerned about the Dark Side. Why? Because he will be entering the Sith Grade.
A chicken crossing the road? Poultry in motion.
I could go on.
And it’s catching. My two young sons, 11 and 8, are already watching trailers for hints of what will happen in the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie that will be released later this year. They sometimes make up their own puns and bad jokes. Like mine, only some of them make sense.
But are puns really so bad? After all Jesus used them. “Now you are fishermen,” he said. “Today I will make you fishers of men.” And when Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church,” he was having a little fun with the similarity between “Peter or Petros” and “petra,” the Greek word for rock. Apparently, the words for Peter and rock are also similar in Aramaic.
Church signs have also been known to use puns:
“Souler power used here.”
“We have a prophet-sharing plan.”
“Lent: Not just for bellybuttons.”
So what’s your feeling about puns? Are you a fan or not?
Elizabeth (Liz) Hunter is the new managing editor of Gather magazine.
Image by Secret Pilgrim, used with permission, Creative Commons.