Topics: Theories of humor, Humour, Humor research Pages: 23 (6854 words) Published: July 7, 2013
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Hilarity" and "Hilarious" redirect here. For the U.S. Navy ship, see USS Hilarity (AM-241). For the stand-up special by Louis C.K., see Hilarious (album). For other uses, seeHumour (disambiguation).

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a state of amusement, as in this painting ofFalstaff by Eduard von Grützner. Humour or humor (see spelling differences) is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provideamusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humors (Latin: humor, "body fluid"), control human health and emotion. People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. The majority of people are able to experience humour, i.e., to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a sense of humour. The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humour would likely find the behaviour induced by humour to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. Though ultimately decided by personaltaste, the extent to which a person will find something humorous depends upon a host of variables, including geographical location,culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. For example, young children may favour slapstick, such as Punch and Judypuppet shows or cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. Satire may rely more on understanding the target of the humour and thus tends to appeal to more mature audiences. Contents  [hide]  * 1 Theories of humour * 2 Views on humour * 2.1 Ancient Greece * 2.2 India * 2.3 In Arabic culture * 2.4 Social demographics * 3 Humour formula * 3.1 Root components * 3.2 Methods * 3.3 Behaviour, place and size * 3.4 Exaggeration * 4 Humour and culture * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links| -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Theories of humour
Main article: Theories of humour
Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves. The prevailing types of theories attempting to account for the existence of humour includepsychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humour-induced behaviour to be very healthy; spiritual theories, which may, for instance, consider humour to be a "gift from God"; and theories which consider humour to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.[1] -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Views on humour
Some claim that humour cannot or should not be explained. Author E.B. White once said, "Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind."[2] Arthur Schopenhauer lamented the misuse of the term "humour" (a German loanword from English) to mean any type of comedy. However, both "humour" and "comic" are often used when theorising about the subject. The connotations of "humour" as opposed to "comic" are said to be that of response versus stimulus. Additionally, "humour" was thought to include a combination of ridiculousness and wit in an individual; the paradigmatic case being Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff. The French were slow to adopt the term "humour"; in French, "humeur" and "humour" are still two different words, the former referring to a person's mood or to the archaic concept of the four humours.[citation needed] Nonsatirical humour can be specifically termed "recreational drollery".[3][4] [edit]Ancient Greece

Western humour theory begins with Plato, who attributed to Socrates (as a semihistorical dialogue character) in the Philebus (p. 49b) the view that the essence of the ridiculous is an ignorance in the weak, who are thus unable to retaliate when ridiculed. Later, in Greek philosophy, Aristotle, in the Poetics (1449a, pp. 34–35),...
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