Humor and Language
Two Things that Make Us Human
Martha C. Pennington [+–]
SOAS and Birkbeck College, University of London
Humor and Language: Two Things That Make Us Human offers a reader-friendly yet comprehensive view of humor by considering it in relation to language and how both humor and language pervade our lives and embody our human nature and experience. The book, first developed as a general education elective for university undergraduates, examines humor and language in relation to human history and evolution, play and related phenomena in other species, child development, gender, politics, workplace and professions, ethnicity and culture, cognitive processing and physical response, psychological effects and benefits, and medical applications. A wide range of contexts and types of humor are considered, ranging from humorous poetry and fiction to internet humor, comedy on television and in film, regional humor, sarcasm and satire, and off-color jokes. The wisdom of humorists and the advice of comedians are distilled, with exercises provided for writing and performing humor. Ample illustrations in the way of jokes, cartoons, and funny stories, in addition to thought questions and other kinds of activities, make the material suitable for use as a textbook, for self-study, or simply for personal enjoyment.