Humour - abc-book

Bibliography | First page | Latest update : 26-09-2009.

Emphasis :

"Our queer old dean - Our dear old queen." Spooner (1844 - 1930) (La recherche n 371 -janvier 2004 p.104)

"I am not in favour of opinion polls ; I must add that 55% of French people agree with me." (Alain SCHIFRES)

"Rosita was very lucky the night when she died : among the three bullets that hit her, only one was deadly."
(Robert Escarpit, Humour, P.U.F., Que Sais-je n°877)

Humour is generally considered as a rather appreciated individual characteristic. At school it is not so easy admitted : risks of excesses are put forward. Moreover, the implicit side of humour may restrict the knowlege to the only initiates. This (humoristic) attitude, however, can be developped in school and become (with care) a learning factor.

ABC-Book :

Alcohol : You drunkards of the Middle Ages, you have, all unawares contributed to the development of culture. Your urin (acid) was highly appreciated by those who made colour inks for illuminated designs and manuscripts.
Allergy : The story goes that Richard III, King of England in the 15th century, sentenced to death a lord whom he suspected to have poisoned him. As a matter-of-fact, the King was merely suffering from an allergy to strawberries. In those days of royal cruelty, you had better not accept an invitation from an allergic person.
Ass : Heard on the radio on April 16th 1996 : "Can you tell when a she-ass is in heat ? No !! so you must be more stupid than an ass, because he can."
Billiards : It's because king Louis XIth was suffering from a bad pain in his back that games of billiards are no longer played on the ground but on the table.
Blind people : "Blind people ! well, I think they should buy spectacles" (a child's remark).
Brief (Be brief) : Heard in a meeting : "My question will be short. But I realize that the fact of telling you that I am going to be brief, does take a lot of time."
Burglary : Burglars may be useful to society ; evidence of it is given by one who enabled the police to arrest a pedophile, from whom he had stolen video-cassettes. (Febuary 10th, 1997).
Cemetery : No weed-killers on my grave, please. I am very sensitive to chemicals and liable to dermatosis.
Cetaceans :Can dolphins laugh ? if you want to know, refer to the excellent work by Henri CANAN. The smile of the "odontocetian cetaceans", publisher Hue MAURICE, 1998.
Ecology : (dialogue between a man and an oriole) : "Give me this cherry back, straight away. - Right ! answer the oriole. He gives the cherry back, and with it the 300 000 larvae of noxius insects that he swallows every year." (Jules Renard, Histoires Naturelles, 1896).
Feeding-bottle : was invented when a lady gave birth to triplets.
Forest : "The forest is useful both to give us oxygen and hide animals from the hunters" (10 year-old child).
Headache : Against headache : Champagne or aspirin ? "Darling, if do not treat me to some Champagne now, I'll have a headache to-night."
Hygiene : "Animals wash themselves with the tongue of their mother, except the hedgehog (6 year-old child)
Medecine : The big trouble with taking medecine is that we never know if we would have got cured without.
Mouse (from the newspaper "Express", issue number 2495) : A mouse runs on an average 4 meters a minute, that is to say nearly 6 kilometers a day... on her carpet.
Old trees (from a school-boy) : "Old trees should not be felled down, just because it took them a lot of time to attain full growth."
Origin of mankind : it happened on October 23rd in the year 4004 B.C at nine a.m.
Salmon : When I see on TV those grizzly bears eating fresh salmon from the river, I think it is a real waste !!"
Vacuum-cleaner : The housewife uses it to have her revenge on her tele-maniac son.
Wiping : There are people who wipe their saucepan and fill them with water immediately after.
Work : There are people who would spend hours and hours to explain they are always rushed.


Bibliographie : LANGELLIER Bernard, Humour et Biologie, in Hugues Lethierry, Savoir(s) en rire, Volume 2, Bruxelles, Paris, De Boeck, 1997. (Les extraits ci-dessus sont ici publiés avec l'accord de Hugues Lethierry)

1936 : H. SELYE, a Canadian physiologist, who invented the word "stress".