Noted dictionary author Samuel Johnson hated puns, and thought they cheapened the work of William Shakespeare. The legendary former New Yorker Editor William Shawn thought that to publish an article with a pun would "destroy the magazine".
But as former World Champion punster John Pollack writes in his new book "The Pun Also Rises", puns have many fans including Shakespeare and Ben Franklin, they're also indicators of complex thought processes, and can be found in languages around the world.
What do you think? Does a phrase like "I'm a sap for tree jokes" make you want to needle the speaker or pine for more?
This program aired on May 12, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.