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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  December 2008

HUMOUR-RESEARCH December 2008

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Subject:

Re: Humor and not humor

From:

"Roy E. Russell" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Humour-Research <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 2 Dec 2008 14:44:53 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (9 lines)

Humor Researchers,
     Thanks everyone for your interest and responses.
Jim, I think the convergent validity is important.  Newton stretched his formula to fit the motion of an apple falling from a tree and the motion of the moon around the earth.  Without relating the motion of earthly objects to the motion of heavenly objects, he would not have had much of a theory.
     I agree it is also important to show how a non humorous situation differs from a humorous one.  Usually in a non humorous situation we are dealing with one problem or disturbance which could encounter a series of blockages before it is eventually adjusted, for instance:  disturbance--- you need to leave the mailman a note--pen out of ink--find pencil--pencil needs sharpening--knife dull--sharpen knife--sharpen pencil--write note--- adjustment.  You may feel pleased by these adjustments, but you are not amused.
     In a humorous situation two diverse problems are linked by an ambiguity which would require one to react in two different ways simultaneously.  There is no rational solution to this dilemma, hence the substitute response, laughter to overcome the impasse.  The pleasant aspect of humor is provided by the adjustment of the various disturbances.  
     Jim, you have excluded from humor many of the things which I have loosely associated with it.  You seem to exclude carnival rides, tickling, fun, laughter, thrills, joy and dendrite firings.( I don't think I associated humor with that last one).  I am curious.  Do you have a joke or situation which you consider a prime example of humor?  Most of us can agree that being surprised by a mugger is NOT humorous.  Although, Jack Benny got a lot of mileage out of that very situation.

Roy

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