Monday, 23 March 2009


Yes; they have researched why we can’t remember good jokes but can remember bad jokes- Telegraph

Robert Provine, professor of psychology at Maryland University, who is writing a book on laughter, said: "What makes a joke successful is also what makes it difficult to remember. The punch line involves an unexpected turn.

"If someone tells you a list of flowers, like roses, daffodils, petunias and brick. That was unexpected and funny. You remember 'brick', but not probably the correct list of flowers."

Prof Provine believes that good jokes work in the opposite way to a poem or piece of music.

He said: "It's easier to follow a song because it has rhyme and rhythm. I hear a good joke but usually I can't remember all of it."

Daniel Schacter, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of The Seven Sins of Memory, said that good jokes often rely on subtle nuances and timings and these are things we find difficult to accurately recall.

He said: "We humans are better at remembering the general meaning or gist of things; this is why we can remember anecdotes. With jokes we have to remember details like nuance and timing."

Examples of a bad joke:

What do you call a judge with no thumbs? Justice Fingers

Why do cows have bells? Because their horns don't work.

What's an archaeologist?

Someone whose career is in ruins

What does a cat sleep on?

A caterpillow.

How do you catch a squirrel?

Climb in a tree and act like a nut.

Better jokes:

A linguistics professor was lecturing his class one day.

"In English", he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages,
though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A loud voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Two men are in the woods when one collapses. He's not breathing so his friend calls

"My friend is dead. What should I do?"
"Stay calm," says the operator. "First, let's make sure he's dead." There is silence, then a shot.
"OK," says the caller. "What now?"

One day a man tried to get a job at a great company. He passed every test with flying colours.

At the final interview part, the CEO told him that his constant blinking would bother customers.
"I can fix that with some Aspirin. Just take some and I'll be better in a second"

So, he reaches into his pocket and pulls condom after condom out until he finds the Aspirin. He takes it and his blinking goes away.

The CEO says "We don't approve of womanizing!"

The guy says "Oh! No! Have you ever tried to ask a pharmacist for aspirin while you’re winking?"

And because of the employment difficulties here is a draft letter to send when you have been rejected yet again.

Dear [name of the person who signed the rejection letter], Thank you for your letter of [date of the rejection letter]. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me [employment with your firm/a contract to publish my book].

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters.

With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite [name of the co or agency that sent you this letter]'s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting [applicants/manuscripts], I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.

Therefore, I will initiate [employment/publishing] with your firm immediately following [graduation/job change, etc. - get creative here]. I look forward to working with you.Best of luck in rejecting future [candidates/manuscripts]. Sincerely, [your name]

Been there done that.

"Well, dinner would have been splendid…if the wine had been as cold as the soup, the beef as rare as the service, the brandy as old as the fish, and the maid as willing as the Duchess." Winston Churchill


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