Beyond making the audience cringe and, hopefully, bring a father a little closer to his son or daughter in a healthy manner, puns have given researchers insight into how the left side of the brain engages with the right side.
Researchers showed that the brain’s left hemisphere processes the language of the pun first, while the right side takes a few beats to catch the ambiguous dual meaning in a 2016 study published in the journal Laterality. The moments between provide for a super-awkward silence that can make a father giddy as he waits for his child to squirm and moan. If everyone laughs, then a connection has been made—and the father is reinforced to repeat these dad jokes again and again. —Wall Street Journal