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8:01am on Wednesday, 6th December, 2017:



The big poster at the university currently looks like this.

I think they're making a pun on "resolutions", but they way they've put it, it doesn't work. Just because there are the United Nations Resolutions on Human Rights and there are New Year's Resolutions, and they both have the same word in them, that doesn't automatically mean you do something clever by referencing one in the context of the other. For a pun to work, it has to be able to be read both ways. This poster introduces the notion of New Year's Resolutions, suggesting that there's going to be a list that follows, but then it asks people to answer a question about importance. It wouldn't be so bad if it were framed in terms of resolutions, but it's phrased in terms of the importance of the concept.

If they'd asked people to suggest how they'll be changing their behaviour in the new year in the light of human rights, that would have made more sense. That would have been resolutions about resolutions. Asking people why it's important we have human rights isn't a resolution in either sense. Indeed, if they'd dropped the "our new year's resolutions" tagline, it would have been much more powerful poster. As it is, they muddled it by trying to make a play on words that didn't come off.

I'm betting that most of the people passing by the poster won't even notice it's an implied pun in the first place.

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