I was reading a technical article and came across the "pun intended" part. I'm not sure what the pun is in this excerpt. What pun is intended in the sentence in bold?

Being at least 27 years old, DEFLATE is getting a bit long in the tooth. Computers are completely different today than they were in 1990. The Pentium microprocessor debuted in 1993. If memory serves (pun intended), it used PC66 DRAM, which had a transfer rate of 533 MB/s. For comparison, a modern NVMe M.2 SSD (like the Samsung 960 PRO) can read at 3000+ MB/s and write at 2000+ MB/s.

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    I rather suspect the only reason for writing if memory serves was for the sake of the pun! It really is true that the theoretical (never achieved in practice) maximum transfer rate for PD66 DRAM was 533MB/s. But I bet any money the writer never actually dug that number out of his "wetware" memory - he probably looked it up on Wikipedia, same as I just did! :) Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 13:53
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica but the author could dug "pc66" out of the memory (no pun).
    – Drossel
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 14:41

3 Answers 3


The pun is in "memory".

It's an allusion to "if memory serves me right" which means "if I remember (something) correctly". And here it also means a physical computer memory, RAM.


If (my) memory serves (correctly/right/rightly)


If I remember correctly/accurately

which refers to author's memory. They are trying to recall the history of the Pentium microprocessor mentioning PC66 DRAM, which is another kind of memory, a computer one.


"If memory serves" means "If I remember accurately", and the excerpt from the article you have linked mentions the PC66 DRAM, which is a type of computer memory unit.

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