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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Height Puns Are Not Clever. Our Language Already Disparages Shortness

I hope most people don't actually think height puns are clever (an example). Most of the usual lines are already about height: stand tall, look up to, head and shoulders above, etc.

The word "short" is also used more often as a descriptor than "tall." If a movie or video game ends too quickly, we say it's "too short" with disdain in our voices. Even when something is in excess, "short" acts as the negative connotation, i.e., "a short temper." Unless something is literally too tall to fit through a doorway, "tall" is rarely used, especially figuratively.

On this note, I may literally be the only person who notices how short is used for both height and length. Perhaps it's so we can't used "tall" negatively, who knows?

The only phrases I can think of about tallness would be "tall tale" and "tall order." I guess being really tall is unbelievable, insurmountable, and a "quality of leadership" (society's words, not mine). Not too bad, especially when compared with "shortcoming" or "shortchanged," which are objectively negative. Try coming up with an idiom that's undisputedly implying tall is bad.

My point is that the English language already has many idioms about height. The "jokes" are already there. It's not remotely clever to parrot these lines, yet they never fail to send a group of people into laughter and pats on the back. Just italicize the word about height and you're good to go.

"I guess one could say... he came up short." *Proceeds to giggle like a schoolgirl and masturbate furiously.*

Compare the example above to these. None are common sayings repeated word for word. The real joke here is how crappy most height puns are. At least change the words around. Don't grab the low hanging fruit...

See what I did there? You can't, because like most people, I just regurgitated that phrase without adding anything to it. Laugh regardless and praise my wit. If you don't, you're selling yourself short on fun... What are you waiting for? Did you take the short bus to school? Cue the applause already... Mental midget.

That aside, if I must draw a comparison, I would consider these "puns" like math jokes or driving jokes against Asians. Not the end of the world, but they're super lazy and uncreative. Yet it's like everyone is still obligated to laugh their asses off or else they're Hitler.

If people didn't act like they were owed a laugh, I wouldn't care enough to even be making this post. The moment you fail to at least grin along, you're a party pooper and taking yourself way too seriously.

In the words of Tyrion Lannister:

"Everyone who makes a joke about a dwarf's height thinks he's the only person ever to make a joke about a dwarf's height."

Click here to see how the English language applies its height hierarchy to everything, even when it's wrong, as is the case when it comes to the popular phrase, "bottom of the totem pole."

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