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Humor creates a mood in writing. It is entertaining and helps keep the interest of the reader or listener. Humor is often used for entertainment, but it also can lighten an informative piece or a persuasive piece as long as it isn't overdone. Sometimes it is hard to know how to add humor to a piece, even when you know this is what you want to do.

Sometimes it helps just to look at the types of humor you can try and think about how to intertwine these into your writing.

Definitions of Humor:

Adviser:the comic adviser gives uncalled for advice in a Punch prototype. Ex: Advice to people who want to buy a puppy: Don't.

Anecdotes:any interesting event, either having to do with a celebrity or something smaller, that helps the humorist make a point. Anecdotes are great for the speaker and writer.

Aside:a thought added as if something the speaker was saying reminded him of it.

Banter: good-natured teasing back and forth; exchange of witty remarks.

Blendword:blending two or three words to make a new word. Ex: smog for smoke and fog.

Blue Humor: not appropriate for the public speaker. Humor based on easily offensive subjects like making love, body parts, and bodily functions.

Blunder: wit based on a person who makes a mistake, which makes them appear foolish.

Bull: a humorous statement that is based on an outrageous contradiction. Ex: "The best people have never had kids."

Burlesque: a form of satire. Burlesque ridicules any basic style of speech or writing. (Parody makes fun of specific writings.)

Caricature:exaggeration of a person’s mental, physical, or personality traits, in wisecrack form.

The Catch Tale: a funny story that messes up the reader or listener by implying an awful ending but then stopping with a small declaration.

Conundrum: a word puzzle that can’t be solved because the answer is a pun. Ex: why do cows wear bells? Their horns don’t work.

Epigram: clever, short saying about a general group. Mostly satire about mankind. Two types, wordplay and thought play.

Exaggerism:an exaggerated witticism that overstates the features, defects, or the strangeness of someone or something.

Freudian Slip: a funny statement which seems to just pop out, but which actually comes from the person’s subconscious thoughts.

Hyperbole:extreme exaggeration.

Irony: a leading part of humor. Irony is using words to express something completely different from the literal meaning. Usually, someone says the opposite of what they mean and the listener believes the opposite of what they said.

Joke: short story ending with a funny climactic twist.

Nonsensism: inclusive of the epigram and the wisecrack, it is any kind of funny nonsense in speaking form. Nonsensism includes all kinds of absurdity without realistic logic and makes a general observation of absurd reference.

Parody: humorous version of any well-known writing. Ex: Weird Al Yankovic’s "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi".

Practical Joke: a joke put into action. You hear an oral joke, sees a printed joke, and feel the practical joke. The trick is played on another person and the humor comes from what happens.

Recovery: a combination of blunder and wit, where a person makes an error, and then saves himself with a fast correction.

Repartee: includes clever replies and retorts. The most common form is the insult.

Satire: wit that is critical humor. Satire is sarcasm that makes fun of something.

Situational Humor: this is comedy that comes from your own life. No one in your audience will have heard it and it can get a group used to you. This type of humor is based on a humorous situation that you have experienced.

Switching: a common form of switching is changing the main parts of the story, such as the setup or the punch line, and creating a new joke.

Understatement: making something that is regular or large seem extremely smaller or less. Intentionally down- sizing a large object.

Wisecrack: any clever remark about a particular person or thing. Wisecracks are quick wordplays about a person.

Wit: humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, repartee. Wit is funny because of the sudden sharpness and quick perception. Wit can bite. Verbal wit is a type of humor known as Wordplay.

What Is a Pun?

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"A pun, or paronomasia, is a form of word play that deliberately exploits an ambiguity between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect. Such ambiguity may arise from the intentional misuse of homophonical, homographical, homonymic, polysemic, metonymic, or metaphorical language."
"A Pun is a joke or type of wordplay in which similar senses or sounds of two words or phrases, or different senses of the same word, are deliberately confused; To tell a pun, to make a play on words."
Above definitions from: - Funny Emails.
View more definitions of a Pun from The Free Dictionary.
Pun from Wikipedia.

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

Let’s talk about rights and lefts. You’re right, so I left.
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  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • A boiled egg every morning is hard to beat.
  • Two fish are in a tank. One says to the other, “ how do you drive this thing?”
  • I went to buy some camouflage trousers yesterday but couldn't find any.
  • I've been to the dentist many times so I know the drill.
  • Being struck by lightning is a shocking experience!
  • Without geometry, life is pointless.
  • A chicken crossing the road is truly poultry in motion.
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur’s table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from far too much pi.
  • I went to a seafood disco last week....and pulled a mussel.
  • She had a photographic memory but never developed it.
  • Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was brilliant!

Pun of the Day - Funny Puns, Jokes, and one-liners
Pun of the Day - Funny Puns, Jokes, and one-liners

Pun Interactives Set 1

Interactive Pun 2

Pun Joke Interactive Set 3

What Is a Irony?

Examples of Irony

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Irony pervades contemporary language. From its use in sarcasm, comedy and just everyday conversation, irony has long transcended from only being a literary device.

Irony Categories

Irony can best be defined as that middle ground between what is said and what is meant, or others’ understanding of what was said and what was meant. It can sometimes be a bit confusing, yet at the same time it can also be amusing. There are several examples of irony which can be summed up in various categories.

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Situational Irony

This type of irony may occur when the outcome of a certain situation is completely different than what was initially expected. It is often referred to as an “irony of events.”
Examples of irony in the situational category include a contradiction or sharp contrast.
  • Example: A person who claims to be a vegan and avoids meat but will eat a slice of pepperoni pizza because they are hungry. It may not make sense, but it is an illustration of irony.
  • Example: A man who is a traffic cop gets his license suspended for unpaid parking tickets.
  • Example: An ambulance driver goes to a night time bike accident scene and runs over the accident victim because the victim has crawled to the center of the road with their bike.

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Cosmic Irony

This type of irony can be attributed to some sort of misfortune. Usually cosmic irony is the end result of fate or chance.
  • Example: Gambling. If you are playing blackjack chances are you will be up (making money) for awhile, and then just when you thought things were going good, you lose it all.
  • Example: The Titanic was promoted as being 100% unsinkable; but, in 1912 the ship sank on its maiden voyage.
  • Example: At a ceremony celebrating the rehabilitation of seals after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, at an average cost of $80,000 per seal, two seals were released back into the wild only to be eaten within a minute by a killer whale.
Cosmic irony feeds on the notion that people cannot see the effects of their actions, and sometimes the outcome of a person’s actions may be out of their control.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony occurs when there is miscommunication in a book, play or film and the audience is smarter than the characters.
  • Example: As an audience member, you realize that if a character walks into an abandoned warehouse, chances are a killer is waiting... but because you are a member of the audience you cannot disclose the information to the character.
  • Example: In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged state and he thinks she is dead. He kills himself. When Juliet wakes up she finds Romeo dead and kills herself.
  • Example: In Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth appears to be loyal to Duncan but he is planning Duncan's murder. Duncan doesn't know Macbeth's plans but the audience knows what is going to happen.
This is most often seen in horror films. If you are watching a horror movie, you know by the actions of a character that their number is about to be up.

Socratic Irony

This type of irony is most relative in the great world of academia and is related to the Socratic teaching method. The Socratic teaching method encourages students to think and present opposing views while the teacher plays ignorant.
  • Example: Later on in the lesson the teacher completely embarrasses the student, by illustrating how their points were both foolish and ignorant.
The Socratic teaching method is widely used at prestigious colleges and universities on the undergraduate level where bustling minds are quick to ignore the obvious in exchange for coming up with a grand explanation to a not so grand problem.
  • Example: Another way in which Socratic irony is used is when a person pretends to be completely ignorant about a topic in an argument just to get an upper hand in the argument.
  • Example: A professor never answers questions and does not explain key concepts of the course; however he expects students to come to class after having read their assignment, ready to answer the professor's questions.
Socratic irony can be used as a tactical strategy in getting what you want.


Sarcasm is yet another popular form of irony where the user intends to wittily attack or make a derogatory statement about something or someone. Often, sarcasm is confused with irony instead of being a recognized form of irony.
  • Example: At a party a lady tells Winston Churchhill he is drunk to which Churchhill said "My dear, you are ugly...but tomorrow I shall be sober."
  • Example: In "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer criticizes the clergy who had become corrupt, by referring to the Friar as a "wanton and merry" person who takes bribes and seduces women.
Sarcasm can often be funny, and witty yet simultaneously it can be hurtful and humiliating.
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Ironical Statements

  • One of the identical twins says to the other, "You're ugly!"
  • I saw a fish drowning
  • Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.
  • Marriage is the leading cause of divorce
  • I have been down so long, it looks like up to me.

Coincidental Ironies

  • Britain's biggest dog was named Tiny.
  • Two marriage therapists got divorced from each other.
  • Most tobacco company executives don't smoke.
  • Titanic, which was touted as "100% unsinkable", sank on its maiden voyage.
  • The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.
  • A ninety-eight year old man won the lottery and died the next day.
  • My friend, who is an incredibly successful artist and writer, often has dreams that are bland and dull.
  • A class on prophecy at a church was postponed due to some unforeseen circumstance
  • Do you know that fear for a long word is called Hippopotomonstrosesquippedalio phobia?
  • Hitler's Grandmother was Jewish.
  • The only reason there are evil people in the world is because there are good people in the world.
  • A man died in his living room!
  • Canada is owned by Britain, yet half the people there speak French.
  • Coffee City is a city in Texas, mostly visited to buy beer.
  • My family owns a dairy, I work at a frozen yogurt shop and I just found out I'm lactose intolerant.
  • The world's largest ice cream cone is made by a factory called 'Tiny Dairies'!
  • The owner of a butcher shop is a vegetarian!
  • A restaurant called "Hard Times Cafe" has closed down because of the recession!
  • The water vendor died of thirst!
  • A restaurant with the name "Firewood Cafe" was actually on fire!
  • The dictionary entry for "short" is really, really long
  • "Stand by your Man" is one of the biggest hit songs sung by Tammy Wynette's who has been married six times in her real life.
  • Do you know that there is a song about the phobia of music?
  • The White House isn't white.
  • I put on an outfit in the morning and didn't like it, after spending an hour trying on other clothes, I ended up trying back on the same outfit I started with and wore it for the day.
  • A seminar on Global Warming was cancelled due to snow.
  • An obese teacher is teaching the class about healthy food or physical exercise!
  • A class on "planning and scheduling" was cancelled due to poor planning.

Situational Irony
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  • Posting a video about how boring and useless Facebook is on Facebook.
  • My friend said he can't go to church because he has a theology test to study for!
  • The firehouse burns down.
  • The police station was robbed.
  • The teacher failed the test.
  • The student who didn't study passed the test.
  • The marriage counselor gets a divorce
  • "Water, water, everywhere,
    And all the boards did shrink;
    Water, water, everywhere,
    Nor any drop to drink."
  • A girl was going on about how she wouldn't hurt animals when I noticed she was wearing a leather belt.
  • He is a pilot but, is afraid of heights.

Irony In Literature

  • "Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honorable man" - Julius Caesar.
  • Romeo returns to Verona and he finds Juliet drugged, in a death-like sleep. He assumes she is dead and kills himself. When Juliet wakes up and finds him dead, she kills herself with his knife - Romeo and Juliet.
  • Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 is consistently on the top 100 list of banned books in the US.

Ironical News

  • Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, the self-styled "eternal revolutionary", who took power in a coup 42 years ago, was himself deposed in a revolution.
  • A Harvard University fellow, who was studying ethics, was charged with hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.

- See more at: More Puns

Definition: A hyperbole, as a figure of speech, or as a rhetorical device, is used in literature (poetry and prose) to emphasize on something. This emphasis is achieved by the use of extreme exaggeration.

Example: You try to call someone on their phone about 3 to 4 times and they do not answer. When they eventually get back to you, you say something like "I called you a million times!" Here, you haven't really called the person a million times, but you imply you've called the person a lot.

Thus, we can also say that hyperbole are literary devices that aren't to be taken literally. Usually used in works of fiction, a hyperbole adds color and more meaning to a character or the story as a whole. A part of the figurative language (language that is not literal in meaning), a hyperbole becomes a great tool in creative

Famous Examples of Hyperbole

"At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century."
- Gabriel García Márquez, Living to Tell the Tale

Here, the claim that 'rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century' is an obvious exaggeration.
"Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before."
- Opening of the American folktale 'Babe the Blue Ox'

Here, the 'geese flying backward', 'snow turning blue', 'words freezing', and 'waiting for sunrise to find out what was being said' are all hyperboles, as none of these actually happen.
"Auden on Endless Love
I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky."
- W.H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening

Here, we know that China and Africa will not meet in our life times anyway and they can not be hung to dry. These ideas are impossible. The poet has implied this 'impossibility' as the depth of his love. Here, hyperbole is used as a rhetorical device.
"I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far."
- Mark Twain, Old Times on the Mississippi

Here, the author has added humor to his predicament, and to describe it has said, '...could have hung my hat on my eyes'.
"A man can have a belly you could house commercial aircraft in and a grand total of eight greasy strands of hair, which he grows real long and combs across the top of his head so that he looks, when viewed from above, like an egg in the grasp of a giant spider, plus this man can have B.O. to the point where he interferes with radio transmissions, and he will still be convinced that, in terms of attractiveness, he is borderline Don Johnson."
- Dave Barry, Revenge of the Pork Person

Here, the author has described a character using a comparison that is a hyperbole: 'a belly you could house commercial aircraft in'.

10 Simple Hyperbole Examples for Kids
Have you realized you always walk at the speed of a snail?

I have been trying to complete this since the Stone Age.

After the holidays, I'm sure a whale would weigh less than me.

Hundreds of tears flowed down her cheeks that day.

The car was decorated with a million flowers.

Her mile-wide smile could make anyone's heart melt instantly.

Her nails were so long she could tap people on the back with them.

Whenever I went to the library, I would see him buried under a mountain of paperwork.

Sometimes I really believe that your brain is the size of a pea.

I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.


repartee [ˌrɛpɑːˈtiː]
1. a sharp, witty, or aphoristic remark made as a reply
2. terse rapid conversation consisting of such remarks
3. skill in making sharp witty replies or conversation[from French repartie, from repartir to retort, from re- + partir to go away]

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Learn how to give witty repartee and insulting comebacks

Like anything worth learning in life, practice, practice, practice.
Everyone can use witty repartee. But to people who have an acerbic tongue that drip with sarcasm,insulting comebacks come naturally. That does not necessarily mean they are spiteful or want to hurt the feelings of others.
It's just that they see the irony of things around them.The incongruity of what is expected and what actually is. To a sarcastic person, the affairs of men is nothing short of a tragic-comedy.

However, if you must poke fun for amusement or need to square things with someone, then be observant about how they look, their mannerism, the clothes they wear and what they are saying. Often, these will reveal clues that will set them up for your wit to take advantage of.
Remember the three T's, target, timing and tact.

Target - Try not to get entangled with people in authority like a police officer who is carrying a gun, your boss who has the ability to fire you or your mother in law who can make your marriage a living hell.
Do not use insulting comebacks in an indiscriminate scatter gun manner. Applied at the wrong time with the wrong person and you might end up hurting someone's feeling. Worst, you might end up hurting yourself if the person you insulted is capable of beating the living daylights out of you.
So choose your targets wisely.

Timing - It is essential to time your retort or comeback to the right moment to achieve the desired effect. If you wait to long, it loses it's value and may look strange. Choose your words carefully so as not to appear rude and simply badmouthing the person out of malice (Even if that's the reason).
Don't forget to smile before you deliver the punch line to let the person know that you're not serious. Follow the WGL rule; Wink, Grin, or Laugh.

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Tact - People really don't enjoy having themselves brought down or abashed in front of others. Don't overuse you talent and keep your comebacks in a good nature manner or you may find less people willing to talk to you.
Your verbal skill have the power to provide amusement and evoke laughter, it also may leave a sour and bitter aftertaste with the victim. The ability is a finely wrought tool that can make you the life of the party or a pariah.
You may find friends and acquaintance, suddenly crossing to the opposite side of the street as you approach, avoid eye contact with you in parties and social events, or decide that they needed to be somewhere else as you join their conversation or gathering.

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PUPIL – “Would you punish me for something I didn’t do?”
TEACHER – “Of course not.”
PUPIL – “Good, because I haven`t done my homework.”…

Freudian Slips

Freudian slip

noun(in Freudian psychology) an inadvertent mistake in speech or writing that is thought to reveal a person's unconscious motives, wishes, or attitudes.


[par-uh-dee] noun, plural par·o·dies,verb, par·o·died, par·o·dy·ing.
noun1.a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing: his hilarious parody of Hamlet's soliloquy.2.the genre of literary composition represented by such imitations.3.a burlesque imitation of a musical composition.4 any humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation, as of a person,event, etc.5.the use in the 16th century of borrowed material in a musical setting of the Mass (parody Mass)
From One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"

From Bon Jovi, " Living on a Prayer"

Here is a list of the twenty top parody movies:
Do you love those movies that make fun of other movies? Here is a list of the top movie parodies of all time.
1. "Spaceballs" - This movie is a parody of the "Star Wars" movie.
2. "Naked Gun" series - This movie is a parody of a mixture of many police movies.
3. "The Princess Bride" - This movie is a parody of many sword and sorcery movies.
4. "Airplane" series - This movie is a parody of many movies including "Jaws", "Saturday Night Fever", and many more.
5. "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" - This movie is a parody of the "Robin Hood" movie.
6. "Austin Powers" series - This movie is a parody of the "007" movies.
7. "Hot Shots" series - This movie is a parody of the "Rambo" movies.
8. "Scary Movie" series - This movie is a parody of the "Scream" movie.
9. "Blazing Saddles" - This movie is a parody of many western movies.
10. "Galaxy Quest" - This movie is a parody of the "Star Trek" movies.
11. "Young Frankenstein" - This movie is a parody of the "Frankenstein" movie.
12. "Epic Movie" - This movie is a parody of the "X-men" movie and many more.
13. "Spy Hard" - This movie is a parody of the "007" movies.
14. "Wrongfully Accused" - This movie is a parody of the "The Fugitive" movie and many more.
15. "Not Another Teen Movie" - This movie is a parody of "Bring it on", American Pie", and many other teen movies.
16. "Meet the Spartans" - This movie is a parody of the "300"movie and many more.
17. "National Lampoons: Loaded Weapon" - This movie is a parody of the "Lethal Weapon" series.
18. "Vampires Suck" - This movie is a parody of the "Twiglight" series.
19. "Shriek if you know what I did last Friday the 13th" - This movie is a parody of the "Scream" movie and many more.
20. "Disaster movie" - This movie is a parody of many films including "Iron man", "2012",

Three parodies for kids are:




The below videos were carefully selected to be appropriate for youngsters:

Robin Hood, Men in Tights

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