Modeling Only the Finest in Pun-Based Geek Apparel
Posted on January 29, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 33 Comments
When we saw it in the dealer’s room at ConFusion, we knew what we were getting Athena for a souvenir. She was quite pleased. As well she should have been. Normally I despise puns with a passion bordering on unholy, but, hey. For Portal I’m willing to make an exception.
That has been my /. sig for two years now! I demand royalties!
*#…. Things I Love about John Scalzi.
)his writing, not as revolutionary as Heinlein but much better in the use of words, making others reintroduce to the efforts of heinlein’s constant challenge to the social norm (hope he applies it to herberts world in some way)
) online seduction, I read “agent to the stars” online, at about the same time I was thinking of buying “old mans war” and I bought oldmans war and ghost briggades and last collony, (last two in hardback) because he’s a savvy cat.
) funny crap, bacon, random insults but accepting them in response, discussion about books and short stories. Someone who ACTUALLY discusses the things he asks for discussion about.
)links to literature: I never would have found ALL the stories of retief I did had it not been for John, nor would I have found however many other stories, full novels, or short stories that exist in the baen online library were it not for john. Nor would I have found “blindsight” and a few other online books, that I purchased later, or successive bookes.
)the joke about athena going to the salt mines. I know it’s an old joke, but I haven’t heard it in so long, that I literally laughed out loud.
)The fact that someone who’s politics I completely disagree with is still a decent human being, and doesn’t go out of his way to make me seem like anything other than a human being who just happens to disagree.
John is a good man, and I’m glad he’s around for both is writing and for his honest humor.
Rare things in my opinion.
I hate to say this but…
I don’t get it.
If so, it’s not very funny…
Todd: It helps to know that the tag line for the game Portal was “The cake is a lie”.
To be pedantic, it wasn’t the tag line, but a bit of text in the game that served as a plot twist. What plot the game had concerned the main character being rewarded with a party in her honour, with cake, for completing various lethal tests of the portal device the game is named for. As it turns out, the cake was not a lie, it’s just that the vaguely malevolent voice promising cake never specified that the main character would be around to enjoy it.
It is a relatively compact game, and well worth your time, even if you are one of those silly people who believes that games are a waste of time and end up missing out on a sizable chunk of worthwhile 21st century media as a result.
THAT is a thing of beauty.
We at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center fully approve of this important message. Remember, the Aperture Science “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day” is the perfect time to have her tested. Thank you for helping us help you help us all.
IMHO, the pun is the highest form of humor…I can even enjoy those which (like this one) are so far outside my own experience as to be totally meaningless.
Thanks to Merus for the cogent explanation…I am one of those poor souls who gets motion sickness from 3-D games like Portal.
I find myself wanting to buy one just because of the afore-mentioned Geek Appareel…
Anyone who loves puns is in good company.
Anyone who despises puns is in good company.
And at times, the same company.
“I should be punished, for every pun I shed: Do not leave a punny shread of my punnish head.” – No less than Samuel Johnson is alleged to have written this.
The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.
So, is this a pun-cake, then?
Given that pies by their nature require pans to be made, you can look in the mirror and note that many people will daily eat pan cakes. Thus the (pan cake) is not always a lie.
[ducks and runs]
I almost bought that shirt at Dragon*Con last year. Alas, so many great geek-shirts, so little cash.
I’ve always found puns humorous, and it took me a long time to figure out that when people groaned at them they were expressing genuine displeasure. As a kid I just thought that was the way one laughed at puns.
Can someone who hates puns explain to those of us on the other side of that divide what bugs you about them?
mensley @ 15:
I usually like puns and indulge in them myself, but I occasionally find punsters irritating if (a) they pun as a way of showing off and/or (b) punning seems to be the only flavor of humor they are capable of using or appreciating.
On behalf of us non-gamers, I want to thank #Steve Burnap & #Merus for the explanation.
(I didn’t get it either.)
And I like puns too.
I hae to say that I don’t like puns much myself.
I ride in the Krewe of Morpheus Mardi Gras parade on the Friday night before Mardi Gras and I have a special throw that I hand to lucky young ladies on the parade route. John, with your permission, I would like to send one to Athena. It is a Mardi Gras T-Shirt, along with some beads. From the picture, it looks like she wears an adult small. Please let me know if I can send her the shirt.
Charles K. Bradley:
As long as it’s not inappropriate for an 11-year-old to wear, go right ahead! I’m sure she would like it.
John @ 19.
Thank you. I only have family appropriate things. I have special throws for you and your wife as well. My parade is onFeb. 12th.
If yall ever come down for Mardi Gras I’d like to show yall around.
mensley, a groan is the appropriate way to show your appreciation for a pun. That’s why so many people keep telling them to people that hate puns. They can’t tell the difference.
Oh, I want one! Actually I want several…my Portal-playing friends each need one.
LizrdGizrd, the true pun hater simply ignores puns and continues the conversation. As a punster myself, I assure you this is much more likely to reduce the puns I produce than any negative reaction.
It’s not available anymore, but I loved this Portal-based woot shirt. If only it hadn’t been printed on coral.
For those who might wish to purchase this.
Oh, dear. I guess, since I’m the guy who prints that shirt, I had better get it added to my site pronto. Give me about ten minutes…
(By the way, the art work is by Ben Rodriguez, and the design belongs to Kris Overstreet; they’re the principle co-conspirators on this one.)
Now I am worried I am the only Follower of the Church of Scalzi who doesnt Portal.
But it does now explain Jonathan Coulton’s “there will be cake” remark at concerts.
Okay, it’s up at http://www.instantattitudes.com/shirts.html
Xopheron @ 22
The only drawback of this approach is that some punsters think that if you don’t react, you didn’t get it … which means that they must repeat it with proper emphasis until you do.
In that case there are three levels of possible response. The first is to simply and calmly say, “Yes, I got it” and immediately move on. The second level is to roll one’s eyes, which is understandable and generally effective, but considered less than polite in some circles. Plus, it may backfire with one of the subset of punsters who have sadistic streaks. The third level of response is to slit the punster’s throat. This has the advantages of being impossible to misinterpret and permanently inhibiting further attempts. The only real drawbacks are bloodstains and possible legal complications.
Throat-slitting is obviously the only acceptable PUNishment for the overly PUNctilious or improperly PUNctual punster…
God I love English! But for a real treat, if you can speak/read ancient Hebrew, the opportunities for turning puns are downright divine: imagine a language where (for example) the exact same word is used for “to dance” and “to writhe in pain.” Wonderfully fertile ground for aficionados of ancient texts like, say…The Bible!
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? Just ask somebody like Sara Miles…and thank you John for giving her a say. I’m looking forward to reading her book as soon as Amazon delivers it!
Speaking as the co-creator: glad you liked.
To order direct from the people who came up with the design:
Chuck 29: Sanskrit is so pun-laden that some of the puns actually play important roles in Hinduism. I can’t think of any examples at the moment, unfortunately.
The Middle Egyptian writing/speaking puns are famous. The scarab beetle is called KFR in Middle Egyptian (there are vowels in there, but no one knows for sure what they were). Therefore the scarab is also the hieroglyphic for KFR. The verb ‘evolve’ (progress spiritually) has those same consonants, so the scarab became a symbol of spiritual development.
Everyone knows the ankh, which is a picture of a sandal strap. It has the same consonants as the word for “life.”
Don we now our geek apparel…
[…] But for a real treat, if you can speak/read ancient Hebrew, the opportunities for turning puns are downright divine: imagine a language where (for example) the exact same word is used for “to dance” and “to writhe in pain.”
Um, what word is that? I’m a Hebrew speaker and I don’t recall a word that can mean both.