Saturday, October 2, 2010

What is a Pun?

A pun is like a figure of speech. It is deliberate play of words such that a phrase or sentence can be understood in more than one ways. It is like an inside joke that can be understood by only those people who are familiar with the context. If such play of words happens accidentally and not by design then it is an entirely different thing called a malapropism. The latter is a misuse, that is, bad use of words. Man is best of creations (ashraf-ul-makhluqat). But Ashraf is a name too. Thus the Ashraf-us-Sawaneh has the literal meaning Best of Biography. But it also has another interpretation of being the Biography of Ashraf. Thus we have have a pun in this title. This is the bigraphy of Hazrat Aqdas Shah Muhammed Ashraf Ali Thanwi (NM) by Hazrat Khwaja Aziz-ul-Hassan Sahab Ghauri Majzoob (RA) in two volumes. The name Ashraf is rather amenable to pun and has been used to very high degree. This we have seen in an earlier post.