It appears that the Chinese government has declared war on puns. Since I am extremely fond of this form of humor, I guess this rules out that nation as a possible future home for me.
It just got a little less fun to be a headline writer in China.
China’s media regulators have put out a new edict to copywriters, directing them to keep their groaners to themselves.
It’s no laughing matter – the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued an order restricting puns and irregular wordplay on television and in advertising.
The order, listed on the media regulator’s website late last week, says that puns could mislead young readers and make it more difficult to promote traditional Chinese culture.
Puns are ubiquitous in Chinese, which has countless homophones. Substituting one character for another can easily change the meaning of a phrase while barely altering the sound.
A quick sweep of articles covering this news revealed that writers had taken this opportunity to unleash as many puns as they could think of and The Daily Show could not resist either.
(This clip aired on December 2, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)