Pun

(1) PUNS a clubzine

A clubzine published for the Portland Society of Strangers by Raki(?).

Issue Date Pages Notes
13 May 1971

(2) An Artform

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
A type of wit to which fans are much addicted, despite denunciations of them as the lowest form of humor. (Dean Grennell has ably defended them, pointing out that repetition-humor like gaglines deserves to be considered lowest.) Shakespeare used the things with effect and fans with the proper mental outlook (awareness of multiple-meanings and homonyms, and a sort of whimsy which its possessors like to consider mental agility) delight in their creation and utterance; the verbal orientation and wide vocabulary most fans pride themselves on obviously predispose to this type of cleverness. When double-inversion can be implied they aren't at all bad, tho often farfetched puns are published or spoken deliberately to draw moans of anguish from the audience.

That's a purpose in pun-warfare such as the Paper Moon and Horse of Another Color battles begun by Dean Grennell; he challenged Bob Bloch with a parody of the stave of a pop song which goes: "It's only a paper moon / Sailing over a cardboard sea…" DAG substituted "Berber moon / Sailing over a Moslem sea…", Bloch replied with "pauper moon / Sailing over a bankruptcy" and the war was on. Other fans joined in later. Gags in the forms of puns on "That's a horse of another color" were exchanged in correspondence between DAG and Dick Eney, who mentioned them to their correspondents. Several dozen fen (it appeared at the time) were drawn into the fray, which seemed at the point of obsessing a large fraction of actifandom in early 1955 and reached horrid heights when Sir Winston Churchill joined in in the course of a political speech. Eventually Eney published three solid pages of the things in SAPS and FAPA and peace was restored, tho another exchange took place when the principal criminals met in person at the Eastercon.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
The lowest form of a joke, even if Shakespeare did use them. Ackerman is fandom's outstanding Shakespearean in this regard. When double-inversion can be implied, he doesn't do badly at all. Typical example: "Any report of my being in a Port of Embarkation must have come out of somebody's Bottle of Port. Am busily fiting the Battle of Fort Mac at this point of Embarrakation." All too often, tho, Ackerman deserves Dr. Johnson's criticism: "A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapors are to the traveler; he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the mire. It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible. Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be arousing attention with incidents or enchaining it in suspense, let by a quibble spring up before him and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight that he was content to purchase it by the sacrifice of reason, propriety, and the truth." — "The Pun is Mightier than the Sword!"