Thoughts from morning walk.

I love walking in nature.  The serenity is so conducive to the formulation of new insights and fresh wisdom.  This morning I pondered: why are plays on words called “puns” and not “POWs”?  For one, acronyms rule.  For another, POW would itself be a play on words.


(Tags this post “philosophy”)  I rule.

PERSONAL: Cancer sucks.
FAITH: Another atheist blogger stabbed to death in Bangladesh.
FAITH: Jesus is not the answer to this question.
PERSONAL: The corrupting power of fame and my love for my commenters.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Slow Learner

    Because PoW is a well-recognised acronym for Prisoners of War?

    • Drakk

      I was going to reply with a clarification before I saw your screen name.

  • baal

    The etymology for pun is fun. It has to do with beatings (like punishing the word)!

  • Michael W Busch

    For one, acronyms rule.

    Not always. There is a dictionary of all NASA-specific acronyms. It is a couple of hundred pages long. The real problem is the acronyms with overloaded meanings (e.g. “ISS” can mean “International Space Station”, but if you’re talking to the Cassini mission people it means “Imaging Sub-System”). The solution to that has been to make ever-more-contrived acronyms, to ensure uniqueness.

  • Kaoru Negisa

    A pun is a play on words, but not all plays on words are puns. Technically, a pun is only when the word is written the same or homophonically matched (e.g. “made glorious summer by this sun of York”, “sun” is a pun because it’s both the big glowy ball of gas that makes “glorious summer” and sounds like “son” and Richard is a son of the House of York). Spoonerisms, euphemisms, Mondegrens, and a whole lot of other things are also POWs.

  • Nate Frein

    And, there’s the very simple reason that the word “pun” is faaaaaaaaar older than acronyms.