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Browsing Posts in Humour

Theories of humour are generally classified under three approaches1 Superiority Incongruity Relief Superiority Perhaps the majority of classical philosophers who considered humour at any depth had the cutting humour of satire and the like significantly in mind, so it was perhaps natural to suspect (intellectuals are good at suspecting) that a sense of superiority was […]

Humour’s bad rap Humour has not been popular with intellectuals in the Western world. From Plato and the Bible until quite recently their focus seems to have rested more on sharp cutting humour than on gentler wit. The overpowering loss of control that extreme laughter can produce also made it suspect. The critical probing nature […]

Writing the post yesterday on Jesus’ humour drew my attention to the way (with the exception of a couple of posts early in the project) I have not here really provided my long-running1 series of podcasts on humour in each book of the Hebrew Bible with a solid foundation. Such solid foundations are better laid […]

Dr Jane Heath (Durham University) wrote a piece “Did Jesus Christ have a sense of humour?” In it she suggests that the question might be broken into two parts: “[o]ne about the way Jesus taught during his incarnate life, and another about the way it is proper for followers of Jesus, who seek to share […]

Over at 5 minute Bible I’m putting up my latest podcast in the series trying to find examples of humour in every book of the (Hebrew) Bible, I’ve reached Amos. The example I chose comes from Amos 4:1. Where Amos talks to/about people he calls Bashan Cows.  For a quick take on why I think […]

Please take note, of this warning, and pass it on to those who may be concerned! I am “responsible”1 for the next BS Carnival. Unless you want your favourite blogs, or indeed (horror of horrors) your own blog “represented” by only those posts I found most entertaining (which let’s face it given my sense of […]

In my previous post I quoted a table from Fowler’s classic A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. 1. Device Motive Province Method Audience Humour Discovery Human nature Observation The sympathetic Wit Throwing light Words and ideas Surprise The intelligent Satire Amendment Morals and manners Accentuation The self-satisfied Sarcasm Inflicting pain Faults and foibles Inversion Victim and […]

A post on True Paradigm titled Humour, wit, satire,… drew my attention to this fine quote from Fowler’s classic A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. (My citation is from the 2009 edition by David Crystal that reproduces the 1926 first edition.)1 humour, n., makes humorous, but hunmourist; see -OUR- & -OR-. Humour is still often […]

Over on David Lamb’s blog Is the God of the Old Testament….? he asks about his readers’ response to his use of gentle humour in a couple of recent posts. Some of his commenters are quite convinced Jesus is the answer, and that the answer is negative: One wrote: I don’t find any record of Jesus ever […]

Defining humour is very difficult or impossible. 1  So, a fortiori, defining “black humour” must be doubly impossible. Even delineating the boundaries of “black humour” is difficult. The coiner of the phrase, the surrealist André Breton,2  evidently saw it as anarchist and in a sense negative, pointing out the absurd and pretentious, but not offering any […]