Thursday, January 20, 2005

Women not as good at puns - Inate?

To my knowledge, no one has done scientific research into the issue of why men seem to be more interested in, and better at creating puns than are women. Certainly all of the observational evidence would point to such a conclusion. Puns are referred to as Dad Jokes, not Mom jokes or adult jokes. I can't recall any of the many women I've known to have had a reputation as a punster, although many of my men friends are quick to spin off one after another. While strictly annectdotal, most women I know tire very quickly of puns, assuming they laugh at them at all.

Assuming for the moment that this distinction between the sexes is accurate, one might next wonder at the reason why. Surely it could be social. Puns don't encourage conversation, and in American society, at least, women seem to like conversation. It could be a right brain/left brain thing. Puns seem to flow from a kind of logical manipulation of words, and requires an ability to disconnect from the meat of the information to concentrate on a word or group of words. Or it could just be that women lack the natural ability to pun as well as men.

Please don't misunderstand me. I would also make the claim that men seem to have a huge lack of talent in multitasking, floating, and resisting the urge to scratch in public. I think there have been studies on the first two, but so far Google doesn't show any on the third.

If I should receive hundreds of emails describing the immense harm that I've done to womankind by having this opinion, there is a chance that I will back down, and profusely apologize for having an opinion. If any woman who reads this blog feels the urge to purge, please feel free to describe your feelings in detail herein. Should the Washington Post or CNN call and ask me to explain my herasy, I am prepared to face the music in front of millions.


Wacky Hermit said...

If you think women don't like punning, you'd better stop by my parents' house on a Sunday night when we all get together. Punning is a family sport! We all make puns off each other, the women included. Not only that, but the women's puns tend to be more pointed and vicious (although we all laugh at them because we know they're meant in fun).

R. Alex said...

My significant other (and my mother, for that matter) has a very pun-oriented sense of humor. But there are exceptions to every rule. I'm not big in to puns, so I'm not sure if they're really good or not...