What do you find amusing? What makes you laugh out loud? Do
either of these jokes make you laugh?
In the box below are different types of humour. Do you know
the difference? Which is your favourite? Which makes you laugh
Have a look at these definitions and put one of the words in
the correct space.
A __________ is a piece of writing (or music or art) which copies
the style of someone famous or a particular situation, making
the original look ridiculous.
b. A __________ is usually a short, narrative story which aims
to make people laugh.
c. __________ is a general word to indicate the ability to use
words in a clever and humorous way.
d. ___________ is a kind of humour in which things seems ridiculous
e. _________ is a very general word to describe the things that
make people laugh or amuse them.
f. __________ is a way of criticising people or ideas in a humorous
way, or a piece of writing or play which uses this style.
g. __________is making a joke about something that is not usually
considered to be funny or is a taboo subject. Humour about sad
events (jokes about the death of Princess Diana, for example)
would be examples of this.
h. ___________ is saying something which mean the opposite of
what they say, and which is said in order to hurt someone's
feelings or to criticise something in an amusing way.
i. The literary definition of ______ is "saying one thing
and meaning another" for example, pretending to be serious
about something while really making fun of it.
Use the correct form of one of the words in the box to complete
The comedian was angry and bitter and showed his rage in a satirical
monologue that was bitingly _________ and utterly scathing about
the world today.
b. If you read his novels, you can see that this writer was
actually very fond of his country, and described it in terms
of a gentle __________, making fun of it, but in an affectionate
c. Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus has been interpreted as not
being a comedy at all, but has instead been shown as full of
a black ________, ironic and comic in its tragedy.
d. In this novel the crushing __________ is that the narrator
is completely ignorant of what is really happening it ends up
being wickedly funny!
e. Full of classical allusions and literary quotations, this
book isn't exactly a belly laugh, but has a learned _________
which may raise a smile.
Match the first line of the children's jokes with the second
The jokes above are funny (for children!) because one word in
each joke has two meanings. These words are homonyms - one word
with two meanings. For example, fine = good, as in a fine day,
or something you must pay, as in a parking fine,
or homophones - two words that look different and have different
meanings, but sound the same. For example, male and mail.
Which words in B are homonyms and which are homophones? Can
of other examples of homonyms and homophones in English?
Can you explain this joke to a friend?
"I loved my wife, she was ever so loyal, she stood by me
for twenty years..............
we only had one chair."
(R) thedailystar.net 2005