I have often heard people say "pun intended" or "pun not intended" and thought nothing of it at the time. However, last week, someone said "excuse the pun". And that got me thinking. The play on words used was definitely not offensive. So, why would one need to excuse the pun.
Why do people say "pun (not) intended" or "excuse the pun"? Why should pun need to be excused?
[EDIT] : This was on the "5 Live Science" podcast of 14 Mar 2015. ( http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/fivelive/drkarl/drkarl_20150314-0653a.mp3 ) At 24:07 into the podcast Naked Scientist Chris Smith says: "Coming up after the news we'll be hosting, excuse the pun, several interviews about the world of parasites." Why would he ask to 'excuse the pun'? Is this some kind of social thing in Britain or something? I get the joke. I just don't get the need for him to excuse himself.