Richard Maun – Beware Of The Pun

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Beware Of The Pun

7 March 2010

Mmmm...delicious. You know you want some!

Mmmm...delicious. Would you like some?

Picture the scene: I’m sitting on a comfortable sofa, in the airy foyer of a Holiday Inn, when a waitress comes over and serves our drinks. Just as she finishes and straightens up, I lean forward, catch her eye and say:
“Tell me about your muffins…”

What would your reaction be?

In this case my friend Joe coughed and gargled his iced water in surprise and my other friend Debbie, just stared at me.

The waitress, who didn’t seem to mind, just grinned and replied:
“Well, we have chocolate chip, banana, plain, or raisin and pecan.”

“Ok, thanks,” I said, “I’ll let you know if we want one,” and she smiled and wandered off.

I then had to explain to my stunned friends that the reason for my unexpected and slightly dubious question was that she was wearing a badge that read: Ask us about our muffins.

So, all I was doing was following instructions; whilst wondering if the double-entendre was a deliberate piece of corporate mischief, or simply a slack bit of marketing?

The next time you’re designing a piece of promotional literature perhaps keep an ear open for ambiguous statements that might be well meant, but have an idiomatic slant that renders them open to lively sniggers.

Personally I’m not a big fan of muffins and tend to prefer breakfast baps. What about you?

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