A funny, erudite, and provocative exploration of puns, the people who make them, and this derided wordplay's remarkable impact on human history.
In The Pun Also Rises, John Pollack-a former World Pun Champion and presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton-explains why puns matter: They revolutionized language and played a pivotal role in making the modern world possible. Skillfully weaving together stories and evidence from history, brain science, pop culture, literature, anthropology, and humor, The Pun Also Rises is an authoritative yet playful exploration of puns.
With an engaging narrative, this book answers fundamental questions: Just what are puns? Why do people make them? How did punning impact the development of human language, and how did that drive creativity and progress? And why, after centuries of decline, does the pun still matter?
At once entertaining and educational, this engaging book builds a compelling case for the powerful and enduring role of puns in human discourse and innovation, and why they'll always be more than just some antics.
About the Author
John Pollack, former presidential speechwriter, won the 1995 O. Henry World Championship Pun-Off. His previous books include Cork Boat and The World on a String: How to Become a Freelance Foreign Correspondent. He lives in New York City.
"A compelling exegesis on what puns are and why they matter." — The Los Angeles Times
"A fun, cogent argument in favor of a dubious, often-damned art." — Kirkus Reviews
"He tells us, with a clarity unusual for the subject, how the mind works..." — P.J. O'Rourke, The New York Times Book Review
"The best books on language are the ones that encourage us to reexamine what we think we know, and "The Pun Also Rises" does exactly that." — Boston Globe
"Whether you are practicing punster, interested in language or just hungry to learn something on the beach this summer as you lie on the sand-which-is there (see what happens when you talk to this guy?), Pollack's book is fun and informative." — Detroit Free Press