Do people groan at puns across languages/cultures?

Since I’m an introvert, perhaps keeping a particular irritatingly-bad pun in mind would be a good strategy for me to get some instant time alone. :slight_smile:

Watch your punctuation (4 dots instead of 3).

I tend to groan at puns because most puns I hear tend to be groan-worthy. It probably doesn’t help that since puns are considered kind of lame that when people say them they tend to do an exaggerated/silly pun delivery like they’re a stand-up comedian telling a bad joke. Sometimes I’ll read/hear a good one though and when somebody actually lands it without sounding stupid you have to give them credit.

Tweet! Subpuncting foul! Improper use of ellipsis. You must wear a bag over your head for your next two posts here (in this thread) as pun-ishment.

An oldie but goodie. :smiley:

One spotted at Netflix. In the movie “Finding Dory”

The English groan comes when a giant clam talks to Nemo and his dad and mentions how despondent he his because “Shelley” left him.

I had to groan twice because the wife was watching the movie with the Spanish subtitles and the one making the translation used the “Shelley” name. In the Spanish subtitles… causing people that speak mostly Spanish to miss the joke and making bilinguals to groan x2.

The proper name to use was supposed to be “Conchita”, the Spanish name equivalent to “a little shell”.

Hispanics even like making multilingual, cross-cultural puns. This company makes their living off puns. This particular example is cross-cultural; some of the readings are specifically based on the milk being USAnian and the coffee being from Spain.

They may be met with an exclamation of “ooooh, that one was bad!” but then, our name for pun translates literally to “bad joke”.

I don’t remember where I heard or read this, maybe from one of my English professors in college or grad school, or maybe in an article or book, but supposedly, in Shakespeare’s time, puns were appreciated and welcomed, not regarded as a low form of humor.
Here’s a cite in a book from 1915: “the Elizabethan attitude towards puns was altogether different from ours. . . . The ability to do so [create puns] excited admiration rather than mirth.”

I’m dumb. I meant to agree that I had written it wrong, and that puns are generally considered a low form of humor.

Random accidental pun memory, activated by post #29:

A Saturday-morning TV cartoon character, probably Huckleberry Hound, posing as a dramatic hero (the Purple Pumpernickel?) saying “I am [character name]! I right wrong!” - and little me, watching the show and not understanding his suddenly old-fashioned speaking style, thinking he said “I write wrong!”.

I was kind of preoccupied after that - “If he writes wrong, how would we know? He’s not showing us his writing - he’s just going around doing hero-ish things. And anyway, why would he talk about that? It just seems kind of weird.”

Those were the real thoughts percolating through my five-year-old brain, as well as I can translate them now. It’s hard to be an odd little boy watching cartoons, knowing that if you ask your mother what this all means, she’s just not going to get it. :slight_smile: My poor mother. All the odd questions I must have asked. :slight_smile:

Decades ago I read a s-f story that had been written decades before I read it so it was pretty old. This was back when computers were still Magic and in it, a bunch of scientist had just put together a Super Duper computer. One of them was a human joke machine who could come up with a short joke or one-liner (not involving puns) at the drop of a hat. After the fifth joke in a row one of his cow-orkers asked where he got his jokes, anyway. “Dunno, they just come to me. Let’s ask Deep Thought![sup]1[/sup]”

The answer came back that it was an experiment by Alien Overlords for purposes unknown. They would seed jokes in the HJMs and were studying how the jokes would spread throughout the rest of the population.

“Why the distaste for puns?” Because they muddy the results. They are a spontaneous reaction to whatever triggered it, and that was not what they wanted to study.[sup]2[/sup]

“When will the experiment end?” When it is discovered. All eyes fell on Dr. Joke Machine and he couldn’t come up with a single one.

[sup]1[/sup] Not its real name but you get the idea.
[sup]2[/sup] Shaggy dog stories were not mentioned.

That was one of Asimov’s Multivac stories, but I don’t remember the title. It might have been “Joker”.

And of course, Asimov was also quite fond of shaggy dog stories. At least, fond of telling them: I’m not sure how he reacted to ones told by others.

I read a lot of translated manga and there are a lot of jokes that have to be explained in footnotes because the humor is based on words with similar sounds but different meanings or on different “spellings” of kanji used. And an article I read just today reminded me of a Japanese movie called Hinokio, in which a robot/waldo/telepresence device is used by a home-bound child to attend school–the robot is made partially of hinoki cypress just so that the name can be a pun on Pinocchio.

Pinocchio itself comes from the Italian word meaning “pine”, pino; it can be translated as “small pine” (the diminutive is also used as a sign of affection). So it’s exactly the same pun as in Japanese. Spanish also preserves that pun in translation, we call the character Pinocho (our word for pino is pino). What I don’t know is why does English not keep the pun.

Because in English ‘Pine’ would be a dumb name while ‘Pinocchio’ has a fanciful cachet suitable for a fantasy character. English is not a beautiful language like the Romances, we borrowed too much from the Germans.

But the name didn’t have to be “Pine”, or “Piney”. The word the Japanese use doesn’t mean Pine. Pinocchio sounds ok to you because you’re used to it, but that’s all. Nowadays we have a similar issue with translations from English material to Spanish: it took me decades to realize that Strider was just Trancos’ nick in the original; Strongarm sounds fine and exotic and fantasy but Brazofuerte sounds “what was this idiot thinking”.

But what else would we use? Spruce Dupp? Too Big For His Birches? Oaky Doaky? :slight_smile:
ETA: I forgot to suggest Hey Yew. :slight_smile:

Speaking of Japanese puns, HBO Asia is currently airing a miniseries Miss Sherlock, with Holmes and Watson re-imagined as Japanese women living in modern-day Tokyo. The consulting detective is now named Sharyaku (i.e., Sherlock with a Japanese accent). Her companion is Wato Tachibana; with the Japanese honorific, she is called “Wato-san”.

First story: Honda no Basukabiru? :smiley:

Hound of the Baskervilles? :dubious:
As far as I can tell, the stories are all original.