CK: >>Humor, like vernacular language itself, is generational. Not so sure I agree. Certainly there's topical humor, which might be more or less topical in a generational sense, but I wouldn't compare it to generational slanguage, which often seems to function mostly as a kind of identity marker. Humor, as we all know, can be verbal, physical, ironic, cruel, silly, disjunctive, contradictory, or nonsensical (and probably in some other ways that I can't think at the moment), and we all seem inclined to respond more or less so to particular types of humor, but I would argue that young people are responding as all people do, to one of those qualities. And while it is true that a young person is less likely to understand the travails of an old age, and consequently (perhaps) not appreciate so fully the humor implicit in jokes about aging, I don't see that as essentially generational in the sense that each generation puts it's heroes on the pop charts. Mike Geary Memphis ----- Original Message ----- From: carol kirschenbaum To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 5:10 PM Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: OLD JOKES Yo! It took just one month to obliterate my dual status--old and a student. Now that I don't have to pretend to share my sense of humor with students, am I free to analyze humor, thereby destroying any sense of it? Yes, I am, declares my inner (and outer) elder. Now we are one. Humor, like vernacular language itself, is generational. Much of it today depends on TV. Actually, that's true for my era, too (anyone here remember riffing on "ooh! ooh!" from "Car 54"?) Thing is, the 20s and 30s of today have no memory of the boomer's jokey stuff. Our jokey memories extend back only to our parents' 40s or so. For a while, I kept up and volleyed back to the 20ish kids in their lingo. Shock and awe. I fit in. But for how long could I keep up the ruse? Ach phooey. Too much energy. Carol On 7/13/07, Mike Geary <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: "Grumpy old men may not be able to help it, as age could affect their sense of humour, scientists have found." "A study by Washington University in St Louis found older people find it harder to understand jokes than students." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6897023.stm Hrrrumph! (as Erin would say) Mike Geary, wholly composed of 13 billion years old atomic particles in Memphis, but everyday discovering new things under the sun, or maybe just not remembering them from an hour ago.