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Online Media Industry

No laughing matter: China's media regulators ban puns

No laughing matter: China's media regulators ban puns

It just got a little less fun to be a headline writer in China. China’s media regulators have put out a new edict to copywriters, directing them to keep their groaners to themselves. It’s no laughing matter – the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued an order restricting puns and irregular wordplay on television and in advertising. The order, listed on the media regulator’s website late last week, says that puns could mislead young readers and make it more difficult to promote traditional Chinese culture. Puns are ubiquitous in Chinese, which has countless homophones. Substituting one character for another can...