Here Today, Gone Tomato: Twitter Obsesses Over Food Puns

The humble pun — is there any form of wit so polarizing? Some find them funny, others roll their eyes, but most of us have a soft-spot for them, especially when stacked atop one another in those glorious examples of crowd sourced humor known on reddit as “pun trains”. Over the past 24 hours, Twitter has exploded with a hilarious new ‘food pun’ trend. All aboard for #ediblewordstoliveby!

Most of them play off of existing euphemisms and idioms:

Other users have taken to expressing themselves with a culinary twist:

A few of them take on famous quotes:

Shakespeare even gets the #ediblewordstoliveby treatment:

So, are puns funny? That’s ultimately for you to decide, but it’s worth noting the linguistic technique wasn’t always associated with humor. According to John Pollack, author of the book “The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics”, puns used to be serious business. He writes:

“Critics and curmudgeons often deride the pun as the lowest form of humor. Others would counter that if that’s true, it would make punning the foundation of all humor. A close study of history reveals, however, that the reflexive association between puns and humor is a relatively recent development. In ancient Babylonia and Greece, to wit, punning often had religious implications and could even lead to armed conflict.”

It seems that the ancient world viewed word play as a powerful linguistic tool. Bear in mind, the written word was highly valued as a political weapon in ways we take for granted today.  Especially in places with few literate orators, punning was a great way to get a message across in an easily digestible format. The Chinese philosopher Shen Dao, for example, employed wordplay to describe the king’s power as coming from his kingship. It’s certainly a far cry from the food puns trending on Twitter.

We leave you with a final pun from satirist and talk show host Stephen Colbert:

“What does Karl Marx put on his pasta? Communist Manipesto!”
Stephen Colbert

You may also enjoy:

Punxsutawney Phil Wanted For Arrest By Merrimack Police

(See what we did there?)

Funny Twitter Reactions to Facebook Crash




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.