Why Punsters Are Mentally Superior

New Research Suggests Pun-Haters Have an "Evolutionary Maladaption"

In my first pun book, Pun Enchanted Evenings: 746 Original Word Plays, I cited pioneering studies by Professor Al Gerian in the Journal of Sighcology and Professor Sue Crohse in the Journal of Ego and Id-eology that showed the personality and career success differences between punsters and people who look down on the art of the double entendre. The findings in a nutshell: Punsters are more flexible thinkers and more successful.

As a result, Pun Enchanted Evenings has become recognized as a leading authority by Google Scholar, with the top ranking when you search for Mental Superiority of Punsters and Verbal Dismissal of Puns.

Google Scholar would have ranked my earlier book as the number one authority on The Punning Personality, as well, but it chose to list five treatises on punishment first. Punishment before puns -- what did Google have in mind?

In the three years since I wrote my earlier book, the research on the power of positive punning has exploded.

Professor Sue Crohse of Prince Stun University, in another path-breaking study, has shown that punsters and non-punsters actually respond differently to puns on a physiological basis. Her study appeared in the April 2013 Anals of Sighchology.

Looking at the secretion of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that responds to rewarding experiences like food, sex, and rock 'n roll, Professor Crohse found astounding differences between punsters and non-punsters.

When pun-haters heard a pun, their dopamine levels actually plunged, making them feel miserable. "This would suggest an evolutionary maladaption on the genetic level," Dr. Crohse observes.

In pun neutral people, there was no impact on dopamine levels. But in pun lovers, hearing a pun released 1500% to 2500% more dopamine than normal, and making a pun caused dopamine to skyrocket to between 4800% and 7700% above normal.

Or as popular Internet wisdom puts it, "A good pun is its own re-word!"

Looking further into the neurological basis of punning, Dr. Thomas M. Parren MD studied the neurological differences between punning and ordinary speech.

Writing about his work using electronic brain probes in Advances in Brayin' Studies, October 2012, Dr. Parren explains that ordinary speech activates between one and two neurological circuits. Hearing a pun, on the other hand, energizes between three and four brain circuits.

But making a pun gets far more of the brain engaged, with six to ten neuron complexes firing away. Unfortunately, this pioneering research has gotten only passing mention in other scholarly journals because they think it's just a Parren thesis! But clearly, it's a lot more than that!

According to a leaked top-secret document from Murky Pharmaceutical Corporation, their scientific team was quick to pick up on Professor Crohse and Dr. Parren's research -- and take it further.

Murky scientists found that Punsters are up to 89% less likely to get Alzheimer's disease. The preventive value varies with the number of puns heard or made per week.

Murky has set up a weekly magazine, The Punday Clarion-Call, ostensibly to publish puns, but once Murky buys the copyrights, the puns will become exclusive Murky property, and no actual issues of the magazine will, in fact, be published.

Murky has already paid the FDA commissions that will make it feesible for the puns to be reclassified as a drug, and estimates it can charge $75 per two-pun dose.

Furthermore, the corporation is in the process of hiring 475 litigators to enforce its intellectual property rights. Murky will be the first corporation to license the National Security Agency's database to track down violators of its pun copyrights. "This extensive database will allow us to catch online and telephone violators of our copyrights," said Murky CEO Ima Druggem, MD, in a confidential email to her Board of Directors.

In a sharp break with traditional big pharma practices, Murky plans to recruit doctors into a multi-level marketing organization aimed at selling as many word-play prescriptions as possible.

I dunno, but it sounds like a punzi scheme to me!

From HomesPun Humor by David R. Yale
© 2013 by A Healthy Relationship Press, LLC

Recognized as Leading Research by Google Scholar

Pun Lovers Share Highly Positive Personality Traits

Puns are like direct mail. Although most people secretly like them, they claim they don't. How many times have you told a really good pun, only to have the listeners groan? But then, moments later, you overhear them passing it on!

But you -- and every other pun lover -- can take heart! Although it's considered good form in some circles to groan at even the best puns, a recent study in the Journal of Sighchology by Professor Al Gerian, suggests that pun lovers share some admirable personality characteristics!

Responses to puns reflect some very deep-seated psychological traits, Professor Gerian explains. His study identifies three basic responses to puns -- and their underlying personality types:

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  • * No acknowledgement, or a nonverbal dismissal, like a shrug, indicates an extremely rigid person who thinks along straight lines and is very literal. This personality type has no imagination, minimal verbal and creative abilities, and may actually fail to understand the pun because of limited linguistic skill.

  • * A groan or verbal dismissal indicates a more flexible personality type with more advanced verbal skills who wants to think non-linearly, but has a hard time doing so. This personality type tends to be insecure and un-giving, and extremely fearful of change. These people may find the playfulness inherent in puns upsetting to their sense of established rules and order. Or they may actually be jealous of the punster's linguistic skills, but unwilling to admit it.

  • * A broad grin, a hardy laugh, or positive verbal acknowledgement is a highly reliable indicator of top-notch verbal and creative skills, and an ability to look at things from more than one perspective. This personality type is secure, generous, highly innovative, able to admire the punster's linguistic ability -- and capable of responding in kind.

Building on Professor Gerian's pioneering work, Professor Sue Crohse, in a study published in the Journal of Ego and Id-eology looked at punning as a tool for conducting job interviews. Professor Crohse found that 98.4% of the job applicants hired who laughed or smiled at puns had positive performance evaluations during the next three years. But only 32.6% of the groaners performed positively in the same period. Professor Crohse predicts that a pun response test will become a standard component of employment interviews by the year 2020. Of course if you're a pun lover you've probably suspected this all along.

From Pun Enchanted Evenings by David R. Yale
© 2010 by A Healthy Relationship Press, LLC