[lit-ideas] Re: Insults Which Are Humourous (Maybe)

  • From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 07:53:46 +0700

Perhaps two different meanings of the word 'humour' confuses the
issue.  There is the activity that aims to create a specific response
in an audience, and then there is that specific response.  One can
recognize that someone is engaged in the activity of humour, but not
find the joke humorous.  I can see a particular response in others,
but I don't have that response.  We can also recognize situations
where someone is not trying to engage in humour, but find the
situation humorous.  Something being humorous, then, is independent of
the fact of there being someone engaged in the activity of humour.

One can say 'He was being humorous, but I failed to recognize the
humour' if 'being humorous' refers to the activity of humour.

One cannot say 'I found his jokes humorous but didn't get the humour'.


Phil Enns
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