Minor British Institutions: Punning
Saturday 13 August 2011
How much less fun would a punless Britain be? It's always been fashionable to groan or sneer at plays on words, but that's mostly the envy of the slower classes for their betters with letters. True, Dr Johnson thought they were out of order, but he was a lexicographer.
Punning is the choice of the People: British Hairways, The Grateful Head, Curl Up and Dye, Hair Today, Ali Barbers and such, for example, distinguish many of what they would doubtless call our mane streets. But it's not a game reserved exclusively for the shampoo set.
A lot of puns stem from florists, while fish-and-chip shops fry hard and restaurants don't seem to need any tips: A Salt and Battery, Floral & Hardy, Florist Gump, Blooming Marvellous, Thai Tanic, Wok This Way, and a militaria outlet in Winton, Dorset – Norman D Landings.
We may not be literally a nation of shopkeepers, but we are certainly a nation of literary shopkeepers. Newspapers do it quite a lot, too.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
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Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Budget 2015: George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
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