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At 12:47 PM 4/4/2006, you wrote:

>Of course there can be aural punning.  But writing is not just a
>transcription of speech:  written punning depends on spelling precisely
>because it cannot be heard except in the reader's mind (unless it is
>being performed, and then it the actor's choice).

   I don't think that is quite true, at least not the part about written 
punning depending on spelling because it cannot be heard. You say next 
"except in the reader's mind," but I do not think that is an exception; 
rather it is the rule. Without speech, there is no writing; while without 
writing, there is speech. If we do not hear the written word "in 
our  minds," we do not make sense of it.

  Which, in itself, is punishment enough for many people, whether or not 
the implications come immediately to light.

Ken A.