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What is humour?

  1. Oct 29, 2005 #1
    What does it mean? Where did it come from? What is to be humorous?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2005 #2
    Did you mean "humor" or "humour"?

  4. Oct 31, 2005 #3
    Humor is usually enjoyment of others pain. The smile, grin or grimace (the showing of teeth) originated the same as, for example, when an animal like a dog bares its teeth. Like it or not, humour is derived from base animal instincts. Those that like to believe we aren't evolved, like the religious, will dispute this because they don't want to acknowledge our animal ancestry. Yet they will still grin at a joke like this: the leper's hockey game was temporarily stopped because there was a face-off near the visiting teams goal. :biggrin:
  5. Oct 31, 2005 #4
    Interesting. Would you say that this is just the origin? How would you say that more intellectual humour developed?

    And MF are you just joking? A bit of humour about humor?:smile:
  6. Nov 1, 2005 #5
    Joking? Me? :surprised

    Various people in this thread keep telling me I should use Merriam Webster definitions in my arguments. Thus I oblige :

    Thus : Humor (or humour on this side of the big water) keeps one healthy. :smile:

  7. Nov 1, 2005 #6
    Probably just the origin. For intellectual humor to be appreciated you need an intellect. Hence the term low brow humor. People who aren't exactly shining intellects usually just appreciate crude humor. Us intallectuals can appreciate the high brow AND the 3 stooges. I wonder why most women don't think they are funny? strange
  8. Nov 3, 2005 #7
    I don't think that's an adequate answer. Misery can't be the motivation behind humor, we don't laugh at your leper joke because we enjoy thinking about their faces falling off, otherwise we wouldn't need the pun, we'd only have to think about it to be amused and a 'joke' would be limited to "haha, you're stupid/weak/ugly/ect."
  9. Nov 4, 2005 #8
    I think the concept of "funny" stems from a raw emotion that we cannot conceptualize with words.
    I think most people laugh at jokes because they surprise them, because there's a logical tie between the two things that they didn't see before.

    But if you go deep enough, you see that the funny itself, is only a gut feeling, we react to humor almost instantly before we can even have a chance to think about it.
  10. Nov 4, 2005 #9
    Then why is someone elses misery in almost every joke?

    There is a wide variety of ways in a joke for it to be at the subjects expense, not just misery. It can be anywhere from a perceived difference (inferior) all the way to horrible suffering like leprosy.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  11. Nov 5, 2005 #10
    Ayn Rand defines humor as "the denial of metaphysical importance to that which you laugh at". "Too often humor is used as the camouflage of moral cowardice".
  12. Nov 9, 2005 #11


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    One definition I found interesting is that humor uses the extreme and the absurd to show the strangeness of people.

    The strangeness being that the colonel still thinks of the coca cola company as being a priority even though the world is facing a nuclear war.

    Basically every episode of Seinfeld and Arrested Development play on this same idea - people are crazy.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  13. Nov 12, 2005 #12
    I currently am in agreeance with psi 5.
    a silly joke is really just inadvertanly mocking those who act sensible or commonly.
  14. Nov 12, 2005 #13
    I read the an article once about the sicence of humor.It said humor is non-leathel friendly wepon that humans used.It said the foumla of humor was
    HE=PI x c/t + Bm
    HE= humor
    PI= persnol involment
    C=Complexity of the joke(Not light)
    Bm=Backround mood
    here's the link
  15. Nov 12, 2005 #14
    I find that the primal healthy, clean, 'laughter' is the laughter that one experiences when there is a sudden 'understanding' of something, a sudden 'epiphany' (obvious! "Why didnt I see that before?"). We laugh at the 'obviousness' of a 'truth' of which we were unaware. I see other humor as an attempt to 'replicate' this 'deep humor' 'through a glass darkly'.

    On the common level, humor is what makes you laugh.
    There is no one size fits all definition. It, like the appreciation of all 'qualities', is a subjective' thing, personal.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2005
  16. Nov 12, 2005 #15
    I know exactly what you mean, I've had that happen to me a few times while pondering mathematical puzzles.
  17. Nov 13, 2005 #16
    Ain't it the best? That 'laugh' is the noise one makes while having a 'mindgasm'! What 'blond' joke, or 'knock-knock' joke is even in the same ballpark? *__-
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