Friends, I interrupt "Our Love Story" (part 2 coming soon!) to bring you some corny, fashion-inspired V-day messages. In case you're wondering how on earth I have this topic on my mind, I recently received my second box from thredUP (more on that later), and I found out they are having a "pun-off" on their blog to win $500 in credit to use at thredup.com. Never one to pass up a competition to win free clothes, I immediately started trying to think of my best pun, and all I could come up with was a couple of malapropisms. In fact, even though the contest calls for puns, half of their examples were malapropisms.
"You're so clothes-minded." (Not bad but not a very sweet V-day message.)
"I believe in many sole-mates." (Kind of a stretch on that second meaning, bordering on malapropism, but also not a message you want to give your sweetheart on V-day.)
"You plaid me at hello." (Cute!)
"You're a trend-sweater."
I am here to shed some light on the differences.
From M-W Dictionary: A pun is "the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound."
From wikipedia: "A malapropism (also called a malaprop or Dogberryism) is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance."
From wikipedia: "A pun differs from a malapropism in that a malapropism is an incorrect variation on a correct expression, while a pun involves expressions with multiple correct interpretations."
Using the above examples, "You're so clothes-minded" is a homophonic pun. The humor is found in the fact that "clothes" and "close" are homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings. The two correct meanings play on the fact that a person can be close-minded (to new ideas or whatever) and clothes-minded (only thinking about clothes and fashion). On the other hand, "You're a trend-sweater" is technically a malapropism because the correct phrase is "trend-setter" and "sweater" is an incorrect variation on that phrase. "Setter" and "sweater" are not homophones, and "you're a trend-sweater" doesn't even make sense on its own, so multiple meanings are not at play here.
I suppose I could submit my malapropisms to the contest and they would still be in the running, but since the contest specifically calls for puns, and when it comes to language I lean toward prescriptivism, I am going to keep wracking my brain for the best fashion-related pun ever. For now, I leave you with my rejects...
"All my jeans came Choo the d'Orsay I met jute!"
"I fedora you!"
"I love you from the Check Republic to Papua New Gunny." (I love this one. Dang it.)
(My favorite entry from the contest: "Glove conquers shawl." Hehe!)
Compound Puns (the kind that combine two phrases that share a word):
I was inspired by this one from a contest entry, "You're the cream of the crop top."
"You're the belle of the ball gown."
"You're the apple of my eyelet."
"The twinkle in your eyelet sets my heart a-flutter top."
These are definitely a stretch and lack the requisite multiple meanings.
Anyway, have you checked out thredUP? It is my new favorite way to shop. They sell like-new second-hand clothes. I shop brands I love and have found some great deals. It's much more convenient than digging through the racks at the local thrift store. Shop now and enter code 20FORPUN at checkout for $20 off your order over $45. First orders only. Code expires 4/30/17.