What is Humor?

Learning that humor can arise from joy, sadness, jealousy, and the understanding of differences, I came to feel very intrigued by individuals’ senses of humor. Similar to speaking on general terms, the way we talk can dictate the meaning and mood of our phrases. This idea of HOW we speak and what we understand ties directly into my biggest question throughout this module. What causes individuals to have different senses of humor? After watching Professor Maguire’s video on humor, I was very intrigued by the memes she used as examples because these memes have become such a widespread way of communication in our world today. People look at these memes and can instantly think different thoughts on what is trying to be conveyed, causing us to decide whether or not we believe this to be funny. The show “Friends” kept popping into my mind during this lecture because I was thinking about how the character, Chandler Bing, has a very dark sense of humor compared to the other characters. Similarly, the character, Ross Geller, has a sense of humor that doesn’t coincide with the humor of the other characters, and he is often made fun of for the things he finds to be funny. I personally believe there are boundaries to humor and as soon as it is taken to the level of humiliation and/or discrimination, I do not understand how it can be seen as funny. An example of this would be the meme shown of the man that explains a woman’s instincts will kick in when she is threatened with knives, she will simply make a sandwich instead of dealing with the violence in front of her. While I’m sure some find this to be funny, there are deeper meanings here that could offend any woman. Texting lingo is also an interesting part of language and humor. When we text, it is hard to put emotion into what we say, so words and phrases can often be taken the wrong way from what we intended. As we get closer to the holidays, I spent a lot of time in this module thinking about how when family is together, there is so much laughter and fun that brings you closer to your loved ones which is such a good thing. On the contrary, if something is said that may offend an individual while others think of it to be funny, people can get hurt and this can be damaging. Humor is something that brings people together in so many ways and without humor, our world would be insanely boring. There simply needs to be a fine line between humor and humiliation and more thought behind what we believe to be funny.