I wouldn't say that I'm the funniest person I know - unless, of course, people laughing at you counts as being 'funny'. I'm one of those people who occasionally has good moments, but really, I'm funniest when I don't intend to be. Like that one time I was making fun of a friend's over-exposed cleavage by shouting in a WalMart "Look out folks! She's gonna blow!" only to turn around and see the look of pure horror on the extremely pregnant woman behind me who presumed I was talking about her. I find that I often say things that sound bad out of context.*
Well maybe I can learn to be properly funny. Apparently a UK researcher has identified 8 patterns which are the basis of all humor regardless of culture, civilization or personal taste. Clarke lists the patterns that are active in humour as positive repetition, division, completion, translation, applicative and qualitative recontextualization, opposition and scale. Somehow, those just don't sound that funny. But seeing as he looked at over ten thousand instances of humor, I'll just have to assume he's on to something.
Or on something.
See that? I used qualitative recontexualization and opposition, as I changed the context of the two words "on" and "something" and turned them from something good to something bad. I'm getting better at this already.
Anyhow, his e-book is available free for 30 days, for those of you anxious to delve into the science of funny. His theory will be published later this year. It's pretty heady, so it's not for the faint of interest. It's just one of his many publications on humor and pattern recognition which shows the depth and breadth of his theory.
So watch out - I'm going to digest this stuff and put it into action and get funnier. You just wait and see.
**Update** Apparently, the dense material was far over most people's heads, and so the author had to try and explain what it all means a little more clearly. Good luck with that - I still just don't get it.
*Heck, they often sound bad in context. I'm sure if you all ask Allie she can give you plenty of good examples...