Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pun and names

Newspaper subeditors and headline writers are generally
discouraged from making puns on people’s names. It’s a
hard habit to break, though, as the numerous Tiger Woods
headlines along the lines of ‘Not out of the woods yet’ have
shown. Bill Birch, George Bush and Rodney Hide are just
three political luminaries of recent times whose names
have attracted paronomastic activity, and John Key's a
sitter, of course; few media outlets in New Zealand have
been immune from plays on his name. I did it myself in a
headline two blogs ago. Come to think of it, I williefully
misused another name to head up my last blog too. Must
curb this bad habit. For a stunningly clever personal name
pun, however, you'd go a long way to beat the title of
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman's forthcoming book on Pakeha
ethnologist Elsdon Best (1856–1931) and his relationship
with Tuhoe, among whom he spent many years. It's called
Best of Both Worlds.

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