But humor doesn't always work, depending on the context, the audience, and other factors. As I've learned after making a pun, that attempt at humor can sometimes distract listeners from the main message or weaken the message, perhaps even the credibility of the speaker.
For me, my wordplay usually happens when I'm talking, not often when I'm writing. If I make a pun while writing, it's usually for a headline--as a way to attract attention to an article. For better or worse, I don't write much funny stuff for this blog.
hopefully Ignore the rapidly dwindling number of style gurus who think it is incorrect to modify the meaning of an entire sentence by beginning it with the adverb hopefully. As other style experts note, adverbs such as apparently, fortunately and obviously are already used correctly to modify entire sentences. And hopefully can be used that way too! Thus, go ahead and use hopefully to mean "it is hoped, let us hope, we hope" or "I hope" when describing feelings toward the entire sentence: Hopefully, the war will end quickly with few civilian casualties.
Hopefully may also be used to mean "hopeful or with hope or in a hopeful manner" when describing how the subject of a sentence feels: Hopefully, the dog sat by the dinner table. (The dog is hopeful.) Hopefully, Carlos emailed his request for a vacation. (Carlos is hopeful.)
shall Avoid this formal, ambiguous, pretentious word:
- Try dropping use of any pronoun.
- Use is when something is fact: The senior editor is [not shall be] responsible for reviewing all documents for clarity and consistency.
- Use may instead to give permission: Members may borrow up to three CDs a month.
- Use must instead to express legal obligation: Tenants must pay rent by the 15th of each month.
- Use have to, must, need to or required instead to express other requirements: Each student is required to take the exam.
- Use should when recommending a course of action: We should move ahead with the project by Friday.
- Use will instead to express what someone plans to do or expects: I will be there. We will meet. You will like it. She will not be pleased.