A joke is a combination of words that are strung together in order to gain a laugh from a group of people. Jokes generally use a structure that involves dialogue of some kind and ends in a punch line. A joke will involve a set up that brings about a particular picture to the audience before the delivery of the punch line. The punch line contains the humorous pun, irony, nonsense, or play on words that gains a laugh. Joke Use
Jokes are a form of humor and are often used as a form of entertainment or to lighten the mood. There are different styles, tones, and frames of jokes that a joke teller may take. Comedians are professional “joke tellers” and often use a monologue type structure for their comedy, however there have been distinctions made between comedians and comics, the distinction being that comedians rely heavily on comedic timing, and that rather than telling jokes, they say things in a manner that is funny. Characteristics of a Joke
A good joke is concise, to the point, and does not contain an over abundance of information that would otherwise get in the way of the delivery. Jokes can be told anywhere, both in private and public, by amateurs or professionals. While jokes are a form of humor, it must be noted that not all humor can be considered as a joke. Humor that does not fall under the category of a joke includes: unintentional humor, stand-up comedy, practical jokes, situational humor, anecdotes, sarcasm, etc. The Passing of Jokes
Jokes are both passed along orally, or in the form of writing. There has been a recent explosion of the Internet as a means to passing along a good joke. The most common forms of Internet jokes involve pictures or cartoons, as well as narratives that have been written.
Revised September 14th, 2015
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