The British Humour
The British Humour is known all over the world for its special characteristics.
But, in fact:
What is humour?
My Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says 'the quality of being amused or comic' or 'the ability to appreciate things, situations or people that are comic; the ability to be amused.'
What makes us laugh?
Ambiguity - 'A
motion is something the government tries to pass'
To pass a motion has more than one meaning. One of the meanings is not considered polite! Use your dictionary to find them.
'When you smell an odourless gas it is probably carbon monoxide'
The contradiction - you can't smell something which is odourless.
what you have heard - A student's definition of the equator
'A menagerie lion running round the earth through Africa'
The true definition should be 'An imaginary line running running around the earth ...'
Humour is closely related to the way each people and each culture see the world around them. You need to know the people's culture to understand the jokes. Think of our jokes about "Alentejanos". Why do we understand them and why can't other cultures?
Because we know the context. So, humour also helps you learning a language because it gives some hidden meaning for some phrases, words or expressiosn. It opens your spirit to the culture of a different people with different ways of watching the world and reacting to situations and this factor alone makes you more tolerant by accepting the differences and so you become another person much better and understanding than before.
Humour is a therapy. It is proved that when you laugh we use a lot of muscles in your face and body, that's great! And, besides you also feel much "lighter" inside.
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