Shakespeare was famous for his off-color puns, yet much of their cleverness has been lost to the evolution of our English language.
In Shakespeare's English, the word "nothing" was pronounced as "no-ting," which at that time was a euphemism for um, a female lady part. In modern parlance, that would translate to Much Ado About... (female lady part.) Much is lost between Elizabethan times and today.
I use this to show how difficult it can be to recognize a pun when you see one - or to think something is a pun when it's not. We talk about that and so much more.
Today, a celebration of the pun. (except for our one pun hater)
- Joe Berkowitz - Writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His latest book is Away with Words: An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions
- Alexandra Petri - Humorist who also writes the Com-Post blog and other columns for the Washington Post. She's the author of A Field Guide To Awkward Silences
- Charlie Hopper - Writer at Young & Laramore Advertising and songwriter who writes a series about trying to sell a song in Nashville for McSweeney's (@CharlieHopper)
Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, Lydia Brown contributed to this show.