Puns! Some people think they\u2019re pun-derful, while some people think they\u2019re pun-ishingly bad. But what are puns? How do they work? And when should you use them in your writing?\r\n\r\nHere, we run you through all the basics. And we\u2019ll try to keep it pun-chy!\r\nWhat Are Puns?\r\nPuns \u2013 or, if you\u2019re into fancy literary words, paronomasia \u2013 are a form of wordplay that draws on homophony (i.e. when two words sound similar despite having different meanings).\r\n\r\nMany people use puns as punchlines in jokes, such as:\r\nWhy do thieves struggle with puns? Because they take things literally!\r\nIn this case, we have a pun on the phrase \u2018take things literally\u2019 (i.e. to understand something as literal). Not all puns are so simple, though! For example, take this famous line from Shakespeare\u2019s Richard III:\r\nNow is the winter of our discontent\r\nMade glorious summer by this sun of York\r\nDid you spot the pun? The key word is \u2018sun\u2019. On one level, Shakespeare is using \u2018sun\u2019 literally to evoke a \u2018glorious summer\u2019. But it also plays on \u2018son\u2019, with the \u2018son of York\u2019 being Edward IV, leader of the Yorkist faction during the Wars of the Roses. A little more poetic than the 'take things literally' joke!\r\nWhen to Use Puns in Your Writing\r\nSo, should you use a pun in your writing?\r\n\r\nIn terms of context, puns aren\u2019t typically suitable for formal writing (e.g. essays). Many people think they are silly, so they will seem out of place if you\u2019re writing something serious. But in less formal writing \u2013 such as an email to a friend or a comic novel \u2013 puns can be great fun! They're also common in light-hearted marketing messages and advertising.\r\n\r\nAnd as we show with the Shakespeare quote above, puns even have a place in serious literature. It's all a matter of creativity. Though that may not apply to most of the puns we\u2019ve use in this blog post, which are rather daft.\r\nSome Punny Examples\r\nAnd to end this post, why not share a few of our favourite pun jokes?\r\nQ: Why did the soccer player refuse to accept any money?\r\nA: He was only doing it for the kicks!\r\nQ: Did you hear about the mathematician who feared negative numbers?\r\nA: She would stop at nothing to avoid them!\r\nQ: Why do cows have hooves instead of feet?\r\nA: Because they lactose!\r\nQ: What did Charles Dickens keep in his spice rack?\r\nA: The best of thymes, and the worst of thymes.\r\nQ: Why did the man fall down the well.\r\nA: He had bad eyesight, so he couldn\u2019t see that well.\r\nAnd if you need anyone to check your writing \u2013 pun-filled or otherwise \u2013 our expert proofreaders are always happy to help!