lol creative clever

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caption-writing tips


I think some purists would probably say that puns are cheap. In many cases they are right. Truly tortured puns make me groan inside. But that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. I really love clever ones like ‘Slouching Tiger Hid in Drag’. An artful, elegant, witty pun is brilliant. A bad pun is really unforgiveable.

I also think puns should be delivered deadpan, without a capitalised ‘nudge nudge’ or a hyphenated ‘wink’. Even worse is the exclamation mark – surely a sign that the writer is throwing everything they can at trying to sound funny. And nothing is so unfunny as someone trying too hard to sound funny.

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written by Christionion
15/01/09 1:22pm


Often they are just not punny.

comment 2 comments
written by Keith McClory
19/01/09 7:34pm

newcomers check before you post

Read all of the captions before you post yours just in case someone has already written it. It makes you look like you are either incompetent or a cheater!


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written by Ian M
16/01/09 8:04pm

suggested edits taken

If you comment on how a caption can be improved and the captioneer edits the caption to reflect your suggestion, then please delete the comment.

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written by Eileen M.
09/08/11 10:51pm

have a go at the highest common denominator...

Never be afraid to be too clever or elegant. A beautifully-worded, Gary Larson-esque, third person soliloqy can be just as rewarding as a sharp, quick pun...

And, I think, that way, if someone gets it, they deserve to get it... They earned it.



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written by Paul (Muff) Diver
01/10/09 12:10am


The passive object in relation to the active object in relation to the surroundings. Puns help, twisting word/phrases meanings, assonance, common knowledge, current events. If you are completely stumped go lateral and perhaps pick up on one specific point of the picture and embelish it. To be honest, I'm not even sure where they come from, it just happens.

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written by Flip Vicious
25/02/09 2:44pm

tactical voting

PLEASE DO NOT TACTICAL VOTE. Everyone at some time has had an urge to tactical vote, but don't do it. Voting on everyone else's negatively will not only make you suspicious but affect the captioneer themselves, making them produce lower-quality captions.

My account cannot logout so I am unable to tactical vote. If the negative vote was scrapped the competition would be fairer, but also more fun.

comment 4 comments
written by Ryan M.
19/01/09 7:10pm

don't copy

Don't copy someone else's caption, even if it is a slight rewording of the caption. There is nothing worse than to see the winning caption being your caption with an extra exclamation mark.

Feel free to relate back to other captions, such as the Swan Dive Lake/Nutcracker, but don't just plagiarise someone else's idea.

comment one comment
written by Ryan M.
19/01/09 5:07pm

look elsewhere

Sometimes, there is a really good caption that isn't obvious. Look in the background for other people/images/objects as they are often unseen yet they can make really good captions. It is also good if, when doing this, you can relate it back to the main image of the caption.

E.g. The image of Darth Vader in a supermarket - there is a man looking a lot like Captain Jack Sparrow in the background - relate to both films in your captions and you have a winner

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written by Ryan M.
19/01/09 5:03pm

be yourself

I think the best thing to do is just take a look at the picture and if something pops into your head that makes YOU laugh, write it down. Don't try and think about what other people will like because then you will end up with something generic. You will be surprised by how many people will share your sense of humour!

Personally, I love the weird slant people put on pretty normal pictures.

comment one comment
written by Ian M
16/01/09 8:24pm

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