The announcement yesterday of Samantha Cameron’s pregnancy was a gift not only to Conservative Party spin doctors in the run up to the general election, but also to newspaper sub-editors.
Here’s today’s headline from The Sun: ‘Wham bam! Sam Cam to be mam – and she’ll need a new pram’.
While the Daily Mail went with: ‘Sam’s having a babycam’.
A more political – and less alliterative – approach was taken by both The Guardian: ‘Sam Cam’s labour bombshell’, and The Times, with: ‘Sam Cam moves towards labour’.
Puns are often regarded as a pretty low form of word play and usually elicit groans rather than bellows of laughter. For a pretty thorough analysis of puns and various other types of wordplay click here.
However, constrained by space and the need to catch a reader’s attention, tabloid newspapers have raised punning to an art form. I never buy or read The Sun but I have to admire the skill and audacity the paper’s subs display. The Sun is the Daddy when it comes to the fantastic headline.
Here’s a few examples:
Sarky gets Narky at Carla Malarky (15 March 2010)
Obama Llama Ding Dong (19 February 2010)
Scumbag Millionaires (11 February 2009)
Hawk Kestrel Manoeuvres in the Park (9 February 2009)
How do you Solve a Problem like Korea? (10 Oct 2006)
Super Caley go Ballistic, Celtic are Atrocious (Feb 2000)
Freddie Starr ate my Hamster (13 March 1986) (I know it’s not a pun, or strictly playing with words – but it’s a monster headline)
Stick it up your Junta (20 April 1982).