7 Jun 2016

Hot Radio's Drive Time presenter Geoff Carter spoke to Vyv Evans, linguistics professor at Bangor University, about Britains love for puns and the Just Eat campaign asking Brits to submit their best 'food pun song lyrics'!

Press Release June 2016

This Chow Mein Man, Wok This Way and Getting Chicken With It – just some of the inventive song puns sent in by JUST EAT users

Professor Vyv Evans claims puns are good for our health including better brain function. Being the birthplace of Shakespeare and the Beatles, it is not surprising that British people love music and word play.

But JUST EAT, the online takeaway service, was surprised when its latest ad campaign led to it being bombarded with food puns.

The TV ads, which feature funny takes on famous tunes like Bonnie Tyler’s 1980 power ballad ‘I need a Hero’ – re-worked as ‘I need a Balti ‘– have helped the company hit 200m sales.

But as an unexpected bonus - they have also sparked a competition to see who can come up with their own funniest titles.

The company has received hundreds of puns via social media and has set up its own hashtag.

They got so many, they started a competition giving vouchers to the most innovative entries.

“It started as a trickle at first but then it really took off,” said a spokesman for JUST EAT. “We have had hundreds of funny song lyrics sent to us. It is amazing how inventive our customers are.”

Vyv Evans. Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University, said that we love puns because they are good for our health.

“Not only are puns and other forms of humour entertaining, they are good for us too” he said.

“Humans beings respond to humour around four months of age, by laughing, and children laugh around 300 times a day on average, while adults laugh around 17 times. 

“Laughter makes us more attractive to friends, colleagues and members of the opposite sex and carries many health benefits including better brain function, which enables more effective learning, lower blood pressure, and a healthier heart.”

 

Professor Evans said that puns were incredibly complex requiring your brain to perform exquisite gymnastics in putting together carefully choreographed aspects of word sounds and meanings in novel ways. 

“There are many different types of puns, but the essential ingredient is ambiguity—or two meanings rolled into one—which leads to a humorous effect.”

He said that humour is something that we create in our minds, by blending parts of information in new ways, providing startling or unexpected effects. 

“These effects, which are often surprising, such as Knock Knock jokes, are funny precisely because they are unexpected. 

“But the humour lies not in the joke’s telling, but in the way in which our mind’s create the effect, by combining cues provided in the build-up to the punchline in order to ‘get’ the punchline. 

  

In the pun, ‘Is it too late to say Balti, cause I’m missing more than your curry?’, the humorous effect arises from a clash from two quite different worlds: romantic love vs. take-away food."

Building on the success of ‘I need a Balti’ and ‘Chicken Madras’, JUST EAT’s the new advert, ‘Everybody’, is set to the soundtrack of 90’s Backstreet Boys hit features a group of 30 something males having a rare night in together.

The Top Food Puns

  1. Take me down to the jumbo prawn city, where the veg is green and the grills are sticky - Guns n Roses

  2. Is it too late now to say curry? Coz I'm missing more than your bhaji – Justin Bieber

  3. I like pork chops and I cannot lie, even tastier with some fries - SirMixalot

  4. We built this chippy, we built this chippy with rock and roe - Starship

  5. A little bit of vindaloo in my life. a little bit of naan bread on the side – Mambo

  6. Getting chicken with it! – Will Smith

  7. Like a gherkin... Tried for the very first time – Madonna

  8. I predict a fry up; I predict a fry up – Kaiser Chiefs

  9. Hello ... Is it meat you're looking for – Lionel Richie

  10. I can stuff my face when I'm with you, yeah I love it – The Weeknd

  11. Wok this Way - Run DMC/ Aerosmith

  12. Korma  Korma Korma Chameleon, get it in the go - Culture Club

  13. Chicken Tikka (tell me what's wrong) -- Abba

  14. Raita here, Right now -- Fat Boy Slim

  15. Sex 'n' Drugs and Sushi Roll - Ian Dury

  16. It's Ramen Men -- The Weather Girls

  17. Another One Bites the Crust -- Queen

  18. Cheese the One -- Robbin Williams

  19. Hold Me Kosher Tiny Dancer - Elton John

  20. Shish Got it (oh baby she's got it) - Bananarama

  21. Fry Me a River -- Justin Timberlake

  22. Love Me Tenderloin - Elvis

  23. Don’t go bacon my heart
     

Prof. Vyvyan Evans
Professor of Linguistics
Email: v.evans@vyvevans.net
Web: www.vyvevans.net

© 2019 by Vyvyan Evans. 

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