Garblog's Pages

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Using Humor: 6 Reasons Why It Works | Kerri Karvetski, Company K Media

I'm a big fan of word play, making plays on words ... punning. At some of my most creative moments talking with other people, I think, I can spout puns rapidly, responding to the things people are saying. And that word play can improve when other people join me--not just in laughing (or moaning, with a smile) but also in responding to my puns with their own creativity.

I've heard that puns are the lowest form of humor, but I disagree. Sure, puns don't always work: some are a real stretch that people don't get; some double entendres can be inappropriate for the setting; some are timed inappropriately; some are too obvious or just plain silly; some detract from a serious discussion; some can affect the authority of the punster if overdone.

Admittedly, I've experienced all those reactions at times. But mostly and usually, my impression is that my word play is appreciated and aids the conversation. It can stimulate creativity among the listeners.

For me, awaiting the possibility for a play on words also increases my attentiveness to things people are saying, not just in what they're saying but also in how they're saying it, the words they use.

Heck, I've heard quite a few times that I oughta write a book of my puns!

My pun-ishment, though, doesn't appear much in my writing. One reason for that, I think, is my puns are usually spontaneous reactions to the words I'm hearing from someone else. That doesn't happen when I'm writing ... unless I'm talking to myself.

When I make a play on words in my writing, it's usually for a headline on an article.

Karvetski's article got me thinking about other opportunities for using humor--one-liners, humorous stories, funny photos ... and puns too. But writing this blog article also reminded me of opportunities for making inappropriate jokes.

I don't want to take the fun out of it, but I think it's important to consider the potential consequences of using humor in writing--negative as well as positive. Go ahead and try it, but do so thoughtfully, even seriously ... and not too often.
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Karvetski's article appears today, Dec. 8, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Good Cause Communications--available that the Nonprofit Communications tab above and by free email subscription.

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