Language and Humor
In the one-act-play written by Alan Ayckbourn, I read the play “Mother Figure”, I didn’t find the plays I read very funny, because I think Ayckbourns sense of humor is different from mine. He did show me the principles of reaching the audience. The first one I observed is that humor is most often unexpected.
The writer often uses his life stories and modifies it so that it relates to the audience. The author has to tell a life story that anyone can relate to. The author sets up a situation in life, and everyone forms an expectation about the outcome of the story, then comes the punch-line, the punch-line punches you and knocks you off in the opposite direction, which makes the sudden change in the joke that’s really unexpected makes a joke funny.
Below is a dialogue that shows Lucy was very obsessed with children that she forgot how to interact with other adults:
Lucy: Would you care for a drink or something?
Rosemary: A drink? Oh — well — what’s the time? Well — I don’t know if I should. Half-past — oh yes, well — why not? Yes, please. Why not? A little one,
Lucy: orange or lemon?
Rosemary: I beg your pardon?
Lucy: orange juice or lemon juice? Or you can have milk.
The dialogue there indicates rosemary was expecting alcohol. Still, Lucy automatically assumed “drinks” meant juice and not alcohol, because that’s what kids drink, and she only has kids on her mind for an extended period.
Sometimes humor can also be derived through exaggeration. For example, the poem “Dear Advice Columnist”, the author calmly states he killed his father and asks a question regarding the wedding, this situation is an overly exaggerated situation in life that is very unlikely to happen, except for Oedipus.
I would like to learn how comedians write their jokes so that jokes become funny. In this section,
I did not fully achieve my goal, because I don’t find these plays very funny. I did, however, watch standup comedians telling their jokes. I find those quite amusing, and their techniques are similar to the writers.
As the last section in English 9, I was having the usual amount of difficulty. Among them, annotating the poem was the most challenging part of this unit. Because I felt the poem is unusual, it is hard to expand on it. Whereas standup comedians are more straightforward in their stories.
In this section, I consider my success is being able to analyze the dialectical journals. This is because, through these writings, I could understand what they wrote in much more depth compared to the poem.
At the end of English 9, I do realize that I need lots of improvement. As a learner, I do not think I fully meet the criteria of responsibility and attitude. Firstly, I don’t think I consistently meet the due dates I set for myself. Secondly, I need to be more self-sufficient and take more responsibility for my promises. Thirdly, I need to expand on my readings and writings in general.
My goals for English 10 are that I have to put extra effort into my work and meet the due dates, and try to start on work as soon as possible. Also, I need to pay closer attention to the requirements and follow them.
Lastly, of all the standup comedies I had seen, there is one golden rule that rises above all, which every comedian has to follow. The golden rule of telling a joke is, don’t ever laugh at your own joke.