Congradulations vs Congratulations

congradulations vs congratulations
Have you ever wondered why people say and write “congradulations” to those graduating instead of congratulations? What we have here is a pun or play on words. Whoever first dreamed this one up must have thought it hilariously funny, and it would seem that others did too since it has caught on in a big way. “Grad,” of course, is short for “graduate,” and it sounds vaguely similar to the “grat” part of the word “congratulations.” Saying or writing “congradulations” is, therefore, an attempt at a mild joke.

I’m not sure if anyone finds this particular play on words “punny” (funny) any more. Even though I am told that I have an unhealthy love of puns, it fails to elicit so much as a smirk. I’d class most puns as “groan” humor, and “congradulations” has become so overused it doesn’t even give rise to that.

A little recourse to Google is all it takes for me to see that people are starting to get irritated about the use of “congradulations.” There are even rants that fiercely declare it’s time everyone went back to saying “congratulations” like proper English-speakers. I’d say it’s corny, but not a big deal – as long as you know that “congratulations” isn’t really spelled like that.

The Art of the Pun, Play on Words or Paronomasia

The formal term for a “pun” is “paronomasia.” If you learn nothing else from this article, you’ll at least have found a wonderful new Scrabble word that will have your friends reaching for the dictionary.

In the interest of finding a pun that tickles your funny bone, I’m going to see if I can come up with a few classics that will either make you smile or form the intention of throwing a dictionary at me should we ever chance to meet in person. Pay careful attention, and you may even discover how to develop a few puns of your own. But be warned — some find puns witty and cute, while others will not. It’s always important to get ready to duck at possible flying objects aimed in your direction as you utter your newly coined pun.

A Lot of Jokes Use Puns in Their Punchlines

As you go through this selection of puns, you may find yourself groaning rather than laughing. If that happens, you’ll know what I mean by “groan” humor, but it may also become more difficult to understand just why I like puns so much. Are you ready?

Q: Why are pirates called “pirates”?

A: Because they Arrrr.

Q: What do you call a very energetic person who constantly used puns?

A: An energizer punny.

Q: What did the calm leaf say to the trembling one?

A: What’s stomata?

As with our “congradulations” example, these puns use similar sounding words that are nonetheless very different from the ones they masquerade as, but that’s not always the case. Read on for even more painful wordplay.

“He isn’t all that fond of cooking Indian food, but he does like currying favor.”

“I see you have a photographic memory. Too bad you never developed it.”

“If we can say one thing about boiled eggs, it’s that they’re hard to beat.”

“Two antennas got married. The wedding wasn’t exciting, but the reception was fantastic!”

“If you fail to pay an exorcist, you may be repossessed.”

This variety of pun is my favorite. I feel particularly pleased with myself when I coin a new one, and when I hear puns like this, I may even smile, snort, giggle, titter, laugh or even guffaw. Then again, I’m slightly strange that way. Do you have a favorite pun or play on words? If so, please share it by adding your comment. Do you hate puns? Death threats can be sent to my private email account. You will receive a pun-ctual response (hides under table).

(Photo courtesy of klbradt)

4 comments

    1. I agree. People think it’s cute to say congradulations but it’s kind of stupid. I guess if you were the first one to invent it then it would unique, but now so many people say and it’s nothing more than a cliche. Stop trying to be clever and just let people know you’re proud of them. You trying to be clever just makes you look foolish.

  1. I think using congradulations instead of congratulations is cute. Why is there anything wrong with this? If you don’t think that this is cute, you’re far too serious and need to loosen up a bit.

    1. I think it depends when you use it. If it’s someone graduating from elementary school, it’s cute. If they are graduating from medical school, it’s not. I think the problem is there are too many people trying to be “cute” when congradulations has become sort of cliche.

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