Joke INTRO: An MIT linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”
A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
Well, since this blog is going to be about the deconstruction of humour, let’s start off like how almost every blog post starts off. With a cliche. The Oxford Definition of Humour. The Oxford Dictionary defines humour as ‘the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech’
eg: his tales are full of humour.
Now what makes a good blog post? I feel a great way to start a post is by opposing each and every thing possible in the definition. Unless, of course, you have some good content. Well, I am not sure of what content to put in when I am analyzing some thing as abstract as humour.
Should I be sarcastic? Should I be serious yet treat several grey areas facetiously? Should I be totally unreadable and use complex words in order to try inveigling potential readers into thinking that by virtue of being unreadable I am therefore, intellectual? Eh, no it sounds like too much effort. Lets just get right down into it.
Now here is a very interesting concept. ‘Sexual Selection‘. Proposed by this psychologist, Geoffrey Miller the theory states that initially, during neanderthal times, humour wasn’t really considered as an important criteria for survival. But slowly over time, as we honed our language skills and social cultures, we evolved humour by sexual selection. Bit by bit,one of the reasons behind selecting a mate became concerned with said mate’s sense of humour. Why? Because having a sense of humour is usually associated with intelligence.
This is astounding. If we can assume that something as general as humour was an evolved reaction, could it be that people earlier had no sense of humour? No laughing cavemen? Could it mean that other forms like condescension, sarcasm or even comebacks were just evolved and we had nothing before that?
Ah well, who cares? There’s this new cat video on Youtube I have to check out….(I’m kidding. I hate cats. Smug bastards)