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Puns / Word Play | English Oral Narratives Notes

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Last Updated: 7th June, 2021

Introduction To Puns / Word Play

- A pun is a form of word play that suggests several meanings, by either exploiting the multiple meanings of a word, or substituting a word for another similar sounding word, the result of which is humorous.
- A pun is also known as paronomasia.
- There are two main types of puns:

(a) Homophonic puns

This is where a word is substituted for another similar sounding word or word pronounced almost in the same way .
For example:
Fishermen are reel men.
Explanation: There is a twist on the word ‘reel’ which is originally supposed to be spelt ‘real’.

(b) Homographic puns

- A homographic pun is formed by using a word that has multiple meanings. You might not tell what exactly what the speaker means.
For example;
Rose is the flower of my life.
Explanation: The word ‘Rose’ is a female name. it could be the person the speaker loves. It is also a type of flower.
Read more notes on Oral Literature:
Oral Poems and Songs
Oral Narratives
Tongue Twisters

Features of Puns

- Puns are characterized by:
  1. They are short
  2. They are humorous

Functions of Puns

  1. Teaching pronunciation. For example, homophones
  2. Enhancing creativity. One has to think in order to form their puns
  3. Entertaining. When said one wonders what the speaker intends, the audience will laugh

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