Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I won't pardon the pun

I was struck by a sentence in a recent PC Magazine review, by Joel Santo Domingo, of a new eMachines computer (yes, this is what I read in my spare time):

"A big (pardon the pun) plus is the roomy 250GB hard drive."

Now, I'm not sure I would have even realized there was a pun without the silly parenthetical aside. In fact, I'm not convinced there is a pun, or at least a pun worth mentioning.

The pardon-the-pun/no-pun-intended locution is overused. It's like a comedian telling you he's funny. If he has to tell you, is he funny? True, Steve Martin used to do that in the '70s and it was funny. But that was different.

What I'm saying is, writers, why not let readers find the jokes on their own? And if you need to flag a joke with a lame cliche, maybe it's not a joke.

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