Witty Humor

1959 Words8 Pages
I am not funny. If you were to ask my friends, they would inform you that I am only funny when I am not trying to be, as in the times when I trip and fall (which happens more often than I would like) or perform some other unintentional folly. If you were to ask someone else who doesn’t know me well, I am certain that “awkward” or “quiet” would be the words chosen to describe me far more often than “hilarious”. When I do try to be funny, I am generally aware that my jokes are bad; I rely on corniness and silly mannerisms rather than wit to elicit laughter. Due to my own shortcomings in the comedy department, I am genuinely curious about humor. What makes something funny and what purpose does humor serve? The longer that I have been aware of my own inability for intentional comedy, the more attentive I have become to how humor and laughter are intertwined with nearly all social interactions. Based on my own observations, people seem more inclined to like others who they find funny and dislike those who do not amuse them. I certainly befriend other people who have senses of humor similar to my own, because they are the people who I enjoy spending time with the most. Humor not only affects friendships, but also nearly every social situation, from bonding with a person while waiting in line to reacting to relief. Any scenario has the potential to seem humorous and produce laughter. For thousands of years, philosophers, linguists, psychologists, and other interested parties have been discussing humor. Many notable minds, from Aristotle to Freud have weighed in with their opinions. Yet, despite the extensive deliberations on the topic, no consensus about what makes something funny has been reached. Certainly, you can look in a diction... ... middle of paper ... ...ry of Humor." Thomas Veatch's personal website. N.p., 15 July 1999. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. . Veatch is a former Stanford professor in the Department of Linguistics. A shortened version of this paper was published in Humor, the International Journal of Humor Research in May of 1998. Warner, Joel. "One Professor's Attempt to Explain Every Joke Ever." Wired May 2011: 39 pars. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. Wired is a monthly magazine that has been publishing articles since 1993. Ziv, Avner. "The Social Function of Humor in Interpersonal Relationships." Society 47.1 Jan. (2010): 11-18. EBSCOhost. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. Ziv has published numerous books and articles on humor and has become very well known in the field of humor research. He is currently an editorial board member for the International Society for Humor Studies' journal, HUMOR.
Open Document