Sunday, December 8

On Puns

I like puns, most of the time. I think deep down, everyone has an attraction to cleverness that we can't really ignore. Maybe that's why so many people groan at puns (even good ones).


People are weird like that. We like to control ourselves and not being able to control something like loving puns deep down in our soul is uncomfortable.

Even though puns are a pretty basic form of humor, they are not completely ridiculous. Trust me, I have a diagram. Sort of. And everybody knows diagrams grant instant credibility.

I went all Aristotle on you all this time and actually organized and defined several different types of humor and arranged them by ridiculousness. The lower they are on the list, the more ridiculous.

The first and lowest form of humor is also my brother's favorite: anything crude. Yes, I know that various bodily sounds are funny - SOMETIMES - but how much thought does it take to make a joke around them? Not much. So even though this type of humor may be funny, it is certainly the most ridiculous.

The next type is actually divided into two sub-types: knock-knock jokes and puns. Since many knock-knock jokes are actually puns, I thought it was appropriate to combine them. After all, a pun is a play on words, so "Knock knock! Who's there? Etch. Etch who? Gesundheit!" is a type of pun. However, I also think that knock-knock jokes are a lower type of humor even than puns, so they do come below puns. Puns are defined as jokes that exploit the different meanings of a word. And they are fun.

As for the highest form of humor, that remains undecided. For a while I considered sarcasm, but to an extent sarcasm is just being mean under the guise of a humorous quip. (Which is partially why it's so much fun) Being mean is something that most people can do quite easily, and consequently doesn't require much thought, so sarcasm is not the highest form. Another type I considered was those irritatingly long jokes written as epic poems or novels or encyclopedias, but those bug me so much that I couldn't handle thinking about them long enough to classify them. Since this classification of humor is a work in progress, perhaps I'll have another post for you later, but since it is not yet complete, I'll just show you my instantly credible diagram and go study for finals. (It's amazing what I accomplish when I need to be doing something else, yes?)

Meredith's Typology




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