Despite research demonstrating a certain degree of incompatibility between humor and religion, church marquees in the United States frequently use humor, and especially puns, as a way of advertising religious messages. Is the wordplay found in this context different from wordplay in general? Our comparison of the puns found on church billboards versus those found in a general corpus of puns reveals significant differences in structure and content, suggesting that these puns represent a specific type of humor. The discussion outlines possible reasons for these differences, with a focus on social context.
© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York