I realized that there is a tag 'puns', and there are questions tagged with them. I think puns are a good example of questions that are too local and are less likely to become any help to someone in the future. Puns are one of a kind. They are rarely recylable. Whenever I notice a pun, I vote down for it being too local. I don't understand the reason people voting up for these questions. Is this tag valid? Should't a question be voted to be closed or deleted once it turns out that it is a pun?

Some recent ones:

There may be more that are not tagged as puns but are.

  • I guess it'd depend on how common the pun is? In English, some puns are recycled quite a bit because they're so easy, but others are one-off jokes. Like the NASA question I'd agree wouldn't be useful. I don't know enough about the first one to have an opinion.
    – Troyen
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 4:57
  • 3
    I disagree (on excluding/restricting puns from JLU)... I think puns are a perfectly fine example of JLU questions. Bad questions (like the NASA one above) are bad, not because of puns, but simply because they are hyper-localised and/or barely even relevant to the language in the first place. 猥シャツ, in that it is both referenced and [somewhat] witty (therefore re-usable), seems a good use of JLU to me...
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


It is true that questions like the おやすみNASA胃 one can be extremely "local" and not that useful for future readers... although, even questions like that could be useful to others in the future if someone happens to answer them with detailed info on ways that you can play with writing systems in Japanese, say.

But I can also imagine questions about puns that are useful in general because they refer to well-known "standard" puns (even if deprecated now), not one-offs. For example, I think a question like "I saw someone say おいP instead of おいしい, what's that all about?" is fine. (Does おいP count as a pun? Can we say that it does for the purposes of my example?) おいP is quite obscure, but it's not a one-off -- it's (most likely) a reference to a weird corner of the language/culture which the passage of time has made less accessible, and I can imagine multiple people running across it on the internet and wondering what it is.

I guess the downside of this is that you can't tell whether a given pun is a one-off or not until someone answers the question about it, but individual questions can still be downvoted, and it doesn't look like the tag is being abused so far so I don't see much reason to declare it invalid.

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