Humour and linguistics

Breaking of linguistic conventions and rules may seem strange in serious contexts such as court and religious situations, but the truth is that the informal conversation lends itself to verbal humour and word play. What’s more, it’s even desirable.

Verbal humour can be preplanned and intentional, while it can also arise spontaneously, resulting in misprints, slips of the tongue and accidental puns. For example, Punch magazine had a column called Country Life, a readers’ selection of unintentional humorous observations from all over the world.

Cross-examined by Mr Quinn, witness said that someone called her husband “an Irish pig”.

She said he was not Irish.

Apart from jokes, which are considered the archetypes of humour, verbal humour can be divided into humour in structure (graphological and phonological humour), morphological humour, lexical humour, syntactic humour and discourse humour.

Here is the list of the some of the funniest verbal humour instances I have found.

What is your favourite joke?

Verbal

 

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Chrystal D. (2013). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press, UK.

 

 

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Milica

Milica

Author. Undergraduate student of English language and Literature
Milica