Hot on the heels of the news that President Obama’s daughters blanked his dad jokes on international television, China has dealt another blow to the future of paternal jollity by banning puns and wordplay from the country’s media.
The State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in Beijing claims that playing with idioms is a breach of the law and is likely to confuse the public, specifically children. Adverts and broadcasts are to be stringently checked for indiscretions despite puns being a part of everyday life in China due to the language being particularly rich in homophones. The official line is that punning is “contradictory in spirit to the promotion and continuance of excellent, traditional Chinese culture”.
If this law is enforced then this will spell disaster for dads all over China who will now struggle to make conversation. It is similarly calamitous for comedian Tim Vine‘s planned tour of Szechuan province.