General Question

Nimis's avatar

People always say that puns USED to be the highest form of humour. If so, what is the highest form of humour now?

Asked by Nimis (13011 points ) October 1st, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

blastfamy's avatar

Well placed innuendo?

Nimis's avatar

Spelling aside, good one!

blastfamy's avatar

edit this response for the win

augustlan's avatar

Have you been watching True Blood? Bill the vampire just said that in this week’s episode.

queenzboulevard's avatar

The perfect f-bomb, or something sexual.

Nimis's avatar

Aug: Oh, man. I have been watching True Blood.

augustlan's avatar

It’s in your blood!

stratman37's avatar

An innuendo is an Italian suppository!

shilolo's avatar

Like Richard Pryor, I vote for none of the above. Just out of curiosity, who exactly said that puns were the highest form of humor? I’m not seeing it.

Nimis's avatar

Shi: I don’t know who is spreading the scandalous lies.
But if you google it, it keeps popping up.

Oh, yeah. And a vampire said it on TV, so it must be true.

shrubbery's avatar

I heard that sarcasm was the lowest form of humour. Oops.

loser's avatar

I like my humour like my martinis-dry!

Nimis's avatar

I like my humour like my underpants-dry!
(I don’t like martinis.)

fireside's avatar

The highest form of humour is in space

Nimis's avatar

Not entirely related, as I think the shift away from puns is largely social,
but I’ve been reading about how the brain processes humour.

It would seem that different areas of the brain process different types of jokes.
But the appreciation for (or activity in response to) all of these jokes is in the same area.

Interesting, no?

gailcalled's avatar

@Nimis: You got the original quote, by Samuel Johnson, backwards. He said, ”“Pun (n.): the lowest form of humour” —Samuel Johnson, lexicographer
“Puns are the last refuge of the witless.” —”

Most puns are truly dreadful. Here are the only two that I can remember that I like;

Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.

Two maggots were fighting in dead earnest.

Nimis's avatar

Gail: I think it was Freud who said that puns were the lowest form of wit.
Yet, even he admitted that punning was an useful tool to understanding dreams.

I find it interesting that Freud chose to deride puns on one hand,
while utilizing it for one of his critical areas of work on the other.

gailcalled's avatar

@Nimis; I had a dream recently that was apparently about a sales at a NYC dept store. In reality it related to sailing. I’ll check on Freud, but I am sure that you are right about puns and his interpretation of dreams. S. Johnson came much earlier than Freud. Maybe SF was paraphrasing? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Oscar Wilde?)

Nimis's avatar

Gail: Gotcha. Should have wiki’d that.

gailcalled's avatar

@Nimis: Both O Wilde and Freud get credit but they were paraphrasing. S Johnson said it much earlier (second half of 18th century and before 1784, when he croaked – probably from gout, too much ale and spotted dick.

Nimis's avatar

Gail: Yup. Too much spotted dick will do you in.

gailcalled's avatar

God bless the English.

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