The Instigator
SuperRobotWars
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
Millymuffin
Con (against)
Winning
35 Points

This is a pun . . .

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,764 times Debate No: 14031
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (10)

 

SuperRobotWars

Pro

The following are puns:
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Banning the bra was a big flop.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and
says, "Dam!"
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in
the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't
have your kayak and heat it too.
Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other
says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

http://www.joshua.com...
http://www.spiration.co.uk...

To define my position . . .
Pun: A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
http://www.answers.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...

The opposition must prove that the things stated were not puns . . .
Millymuffin

Con

Despite the one-sidedness of this topic, I will argue against my opponent that the previously stated phrases are not all puns.

Of course, because of how interpretive this topic is, I cannot disprove ALL of the phrases in being puns. However, I am not required to. Because of my opponents statement that "The following are puns" I know that he is arguing under the belief that every mentioned phrase was a pun. I must only determine that at least ONE of the above phrases are not a pun to disprove him.

For this, I will choose the phrase: "...you can't have your kayak and heat it too."
Now I realize the intended pun in this situation. It is arguing that this phrase sounds like, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." However, according to my opponents preferred definition of a pun, it is clearly not.

As clearly defined by my opponent, a pun is play on words either by interchanging different senses/definition/interpretations of a same word, or else a similar sense/definition/interpretation and sound of a different word. The words 'kayak' and 'cake' do not share either of these similarities.

Kayak is pronounced kai´┐Żak (according to http://www.thefreedictionary.com...) and does not have any different sense other than: an Eskimo canoe made of a frame covered with skins except for a small opening in the center and propelled by a double-bladed paddle (according to http://www.merriam-webster.com...). Therefore, it does not meet the first said qualifier of a pun.

The arguable qualifier for this word, kayak, as a pun, would be that it shares the the similar sense/definition of the word 'cake' by linking it via a similar sound. However, the only similarity here between the two sounds is the beginning sounds of 'kuh' and the ending sounds of 'kuh'. This is HARDLY enough evidence to prove that "...you can't have your kayak and heat it too" is a pun.

Please bear with me as I give an example:
Two men sit on a bench. They both watch by-passers walk by until one passing man falls to the ground and dies. They both look at the man on the ground until one says, "Thats the third time today." "Yep," the other agrees. "They're just dropping like floss."

Now if you think a long time about this scenario, you realize that its not funny. The joke is obviously intended to compare "dropping like flies" to "dropping like floss", but the word floss isn't at ALL related to the story at all.

This is the same as my opponent's phrase. Both share the similar beginning sounds (kuh and kuh in kayak as to the kuh and kuh in cake AS does the fuh and seh in flies compare to the fuh and seh in floss) but neither are funny or related and neither can be considered puns.

Now say that, perhaps, my story was revised to that the men falling down dead were dentists. Then MAYBE it could be considered a pun because of the facetious relationship between the vaguely similar words and the subject. HOWEVER, my opponent's "pun" has no such link between his random words and the story.

IF the words kayak and cake shared a similar middle sound as well as the beginning and ending similarities, then the pun argument might have some bearing.

However, they do not.

To strengthen my argument, I will state that there is only one pronunciation of kayak as cited in these numerous sites: http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://www.wordnik.com...
http://www.oxfordadvancedlearnersdictionary.com...
http://www.audioenglish.net...

Unless my opponent has found the pun somewhere else in the phrase debated, of which I am glad to listen to, my conjecture is inarguably correct.

To summarize my points:
1. I need only to disprove one of my opponent's "puns" to disprove his contention
2. Kayak and cake haven't enough sound similarity to be considered a pun
3. There is no loop hole around the pronunciation of "kayak"
4. My argument remains sound as long as my opponent finds no other pun within the phrase

I conclude my argument with the resolution that not ALL of the previously mentioned phrases are puns.
Debate Round No. 1
SuperRobotWars

Pro

Clearly my foe has forgotten about the key parts of the definition I gave "To define my position . . .
Pun: A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words." Now if you read it properly you would have seen the "sometimes on the similar sense or sound" key word being sometimes so play on words is not a must, My kayak argument had nothing to do with sounding like "You can't have your cake and eat it too." it simply shares a similar meaning negating your criterion, plus kayak and cake do have similar enough sounds but that is not my criteria basis . . .

If you want another definition here's one:
Pun: the use of words or phrases to exploit ambiguities and innuendos in their meaning, usually for humorous effect; a play on words. An example is: ``Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannonball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms.' (Thomas Hood)

You could also see that there is no one widely accepted definition of the word pun hence the pun can simply be considered drab humor of a bygone era and can also best be left to the opinion of reader hence further refuting your argument . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
http://www.answers.com...

I would like to thank my opposition for this debate:
Vote Pro
Millymuffin

Con

Anyone can look up a definition to counter an argument AFTER the fact, but your first definition, the definition that my opponent's conjecture is founded upon, states: "Pun: A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words."
My opponent back tracks in his argument, saying that "there is no one widely accepted definition of the word pun". However many definitions there might be, the Con argued its conjecture with the clear and single definition. Normally, I would let this slide, but because of the lopsided nature of this argument, I have no choice but to decline any such leniency. Please DISREGARD any other definitions set for "pun" for the definition set in the beginning is the definition on which the debate was founded.

The key part of the definition lies the words 'sometimes' and 'and sometimes'. The structure of the sentence, although confusing, states TWO possible plays on words that define a pun.

It is like saying, "SOMETIMES I go to the gym and work out AND SOMETIMES I do not." There is no other hidden option (at least not stated) so for the technical sake of the debate, we must disregard any such possibility.

Because it has been proven again that there are only two possible definitions of the word "pun" in THIS particular debate, I will simply restate my previous, revalidated arguments.

1. I still need only to prove one "pun" wrong to disprove my opponent's argument (He did not dispute this)
2. Kayak and cake haven't justifiable similarities to be in accordance to the set definition
3. There is no way around the pronunciation of kayak to disprove contention #2.
4. My argument is sound because my opponent only attempted to reinterpret his previously set and concrete definitions

I conclude my final argument by saying that, by the set rules of my opponents first argument, I have proven that not all of his "puns" are in fact puns. Thank you for you time and please vote Con!

(Great debate! It was definitely a challenging topic)
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by writinggirl123 6 years ago
writinggirl123
"big flop", lol hilarous
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
kayak sounded enough like cake in order to draw a similarity.

I got it as soon as i read it.

heat and eat... c'mon pretty much the same word.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 6 years ago
TombLikeBomb
And let's not forget the importance of Pro's particular definiton. The Eskimo pun was clearly a play on words, but Con made a convincing argument that the two "sometimes" in Pro's definition were exhaustive. "Kayak", "cake", "heat" and "eat" don't have a similar sound, regardless of any similar sounds any of their subsets might have. The "play" is rather on the particular ordering of not only those words, but also other words that are not "similar", but same (sameness doesn't qualify as a pun, else everything would be a pun). The play on the similar sound is of different phrases, not different words. A play on the similar sound of different words would be, for example, "have your half and halve it too".
Posted by JaketheSnake 6 years ago
JaketheSnake
I think that, just because Con was able to recognize that the statement was supposed to be a pun, it doesn't mean that she conceded that it WAS a pun. I think someone can recognize what something was intended to mean without agreeing that is correct. Just for example: Say someone said, "Ever since the conception of Facebook, it has grown in popularity exponentially." You can obviously tell that the person meant inception, not conception. And just because you realize this mistake, does not mean that conception is at all the right term to use...
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Con understood the pun, so therefore the sounds were similar enough to be understood as a pun. I doubt any native speaker of English would have missed it. I think that admission effectively concedes the debate. Pro should have pressed that point.

There is an old joke about the tracks of a young man leaving a Chinese furniture store with stolen goods. Later, a witness sights the true thief, a bear making off with the goods, and shouts, "Stop, boy-foot bear with teaks of Chan!" Most good puns are contorted. That doesn't mean they are not puns.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 6 years ago
TombLikeBomb
I agree (assuming "Pro" refers to "Con"), but there may have been a way Con could have won. The relevant part of Pro's definition requires the similar sound of different words. The "pun" in question is rather a play on the similar sound of different phrases. That "kayak" sounds like "cake" and that "heat" sounds like "eat" are insufficient for a pun (in the same way that that "floss" sounds like "flies" is insufficient); anyway, Pro's definition requires singularity, and there's no sense in which "kayak" and "cake" are similar but "heat" and "eat" aren't, nor vice versa). And the notion that the set of words involved ("have", "your", "cake", "kayak", "and", "eat", "heat", "it", "too") sound similar is plainly false.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro said, "Now I realize the intended pun in this situation. It is arguing that this phrase sounds like, 'You can't have your cake and eat it too.' " That concedes it meets the definition of being a play on word sounds.
Posted by CJay 6 years ago
CJay
Way to lose a one sided debate that you chose yourself. Good job Con.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
SuperRobotWarsMillymuffinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I give Con a point for conduct since SuperRobotWars tried to re-introduce a new definition for a word. In addition, Con pretty much showed that pro's statement about the Kayak wasn't a pun [[by his definition]].
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by ASB 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by home_of_the_brave 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by CJay 6 years ago
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