Pardon me for feeling a bit sheepish; this is my first time posting a question here.
I am known - and revered, as far as I can tell - as something of a pun wizard at my workplace. Today, on our internal work chat, the topic turned (as it does) to raiding barbecues, prompting me to make the comment:
"We stole the beef, now we're on the lam!"
Needless to say, thought my pun was mutton short of amazing... All but two, who criticized my using the word "lam" (i.e. the 'correct' meaning of the phrase) rather than "lamb" (i.e. the meat, as it were, of the pun).
I maintain that using the word "lam" was funnier, as it better pointed out the usage of a somewhat uncommon phrase, as well as making the pun seem more thought-provoking and high-brow (yeah, right). But it made me wonder if perhaps my delivery was baaad.
As another example, for this very post I considered writing that writing my first question here evoked "shear terror" (or something to that effect - it was a work in progress!) but would have used the word "shear" (the substitution) rather than "sheer" (the original meaning) - which is the opposite to my original pun.
So my question is whether there is a specific convention when it comes to wordplay of this nature, of is it more dependent on the artistic whim of the punsmith?
Thank ewe in advance for any input.