April 14, 2014

ALWAYS AT, NEVER WITH:

It's Funny How Humor Works (SCOTT WEEMS, March 21, 2014, WSJ)

"I just shot an elephant in my pajamas," goes the old Groucho Marx joke. "How he got in my pajamas I don't know."

You've probably heard that one before, or something similar. For example, while viewing polling data for the 2008 presidential election on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert deadpanned, "If I'm reading this graph correctly...I'd be very surprised."

Zingers like these aren't just good lines. They reveal something unusual about how the mind operates--and they show us how humor works. Simply put, the brain likes to jump the gun. We are always guessing where things are going, and we often get it wrong. But this isn't necessarily bad. It's why we laugh.
Posted by at April 14, 2014 5:50 AM
  
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