China pun-ishes its citizens with nationwide pun ban

China pun-ishes its citizens with nationwide pun ban

CultureNovember 29, 2014

Last Thursday, China pun-ched its citizens in the face with a terrible new law that bans the use of puns and wordplay in the media, proving that the Chinese are definitely not pun-dits of humor.

Citing that the witty manipulation of words for the sake of giggles creates nothing less than "cultural and linguistic chaos," China's State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television outlawed punnery in the media. Apparently, puns, idioms, and wordplay used in advertising and television has been both "confusing to children" and insulting to the preservation of Chinese culture.

Mental images of the sentence "Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now" causing people to run creaming through the streets as their city burns ... that's what that brings to mind.

The news is ironic, because Chinese is perfect for punctilious punnery; the sheer amount of homophones makes it so that popular sayings, jokes, and even customs, lend themselves perfectly to beautiful, evil wordplay.

However, the ban seems to be more of the result of a few humorless citizens than a nationwide sentiment that hilarious puns create "cultural chaos."

“It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humourless, priggish and arbitrarily purist, so that everyone has to fall in line,” said David Moser, academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University. “But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move, an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient.”

Well, China, if you're going to ban puns, we'll be happy to pick up the slack for you. Here's a few of our favorite ones, because puns are our based god and that's that.