I LOVED your golfing
story. Read every word. You're a wonderful writer.
(Peter Bowerman, the Well-Fed Writer)
Big Things rule! ... and the video
of the Airbus is great. (Jim McDonald,
Having enjoyed reading your
can't take that away from me... I
would love to post your article (for my) course for
seniors entitled Autobiography and Journaling ... and
let them read your article as a good example of what
I call the reader's writer, clearly expressed and easy
to read. (Howell)
The French language has
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France! (Di Sullivan, Perth, Australia)
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expat here since 1990. I have been a subscriber to Writing
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year, don't just read a best-seller ... Write
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every week, Jennifer, it's never boring and there's always
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Your story about the evil
glasses made my day :) (Edith, Derbyshire, UK)
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course. (Dave Wagner, Sacramento, US)
The best part of the
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humour and expressions. (Chaska, Prince Edward
site...very inspirational when you get writer's
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more testimonials ...
Great newsletter -
originally found this site after searching for
clarification on a contentious
point amongst work colleagues. Just had to look at old
issues and now look forward to Fridays (Juliet Wallace,
Using Humour in Your
Humour in writing takes many forms:
satire, parody, irony, lampoon and just plain nonsense.
For some writers, humour is simply a
way of entertaining their readers, but for the majority, it provides a way of
sugar-coating bitter pills. You can make some very serious points with wit and
A nobleman met with
a yeoman of the country, to whom he said, 'My friend, I should know thee. I do
remember I have often seen thee.'
'My good lord,' said
the countryman, 'I am one of your honour's poor tenants, and my name is T.I.'
'I remember thee
better now - there were two brothers, but one is dead. I pray, which of you doth
This was written by
John Taylor, the water-poet, who lived between 1580 and 1653.
How many times
have you heard a similar lack of interest and sensitivity from one of the
Comments that would
lead to blows if delivered in a serious manner, can be freely made if done in a
BANG, v.t. The
cry of a gun . The arrangement of a woman's hair which suggests the thought of
shooting her: hence the name.
BELLADONNA, n. In
Italian, a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the
essential identity of the two languages.
A person who talks when you want him to listen.
CHOP, n. A
piece of leather skilfully attached to a bone and administered to patients at
The wonderful definitions are from The
Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1913).
Robert Benchley (1889-1945)
graduated from Harvard in 1912 and made a list of everything he'd learned in his
either died or was born or did something with the Holy Roman Empire in 800.
2. By placing one
paper bag inside another paper bag you can carry home a milkshake.
3. There is a double
'l' in 'parallel'.
4. Powder rubbed on
the chin will take the place of a shave if the room isn't very light.
5. French nouns
ending in 'aison' are feminine.
6. Almost everything
you need to know about a subject is in the encyclopedia.
Does this sound familiar?
The Beachcomber column in the Daily
Express newspaper, was written by J.B. Morton, six days a week for fifty-one
years. Among his many memorable creations were these:
Dr Strabismus ... is
working hard on about fourteen thousand new inventions. These include a
collapsible salt-bag ... a leather grape ... a dummy jellyfish ... false teeth
for swordfish, a method of freezing meat-skewers ... a screw for screwing screws
into other screws ... a cheese anchor and a chivet for screaming radishes.
Here is a dainty
pair of braces for your doggy. Work on a ribbed welt with two-ply. Cast on eight
stitches working in B3, H7, to pawn's fifth and mate in three purl. Rip out six
on the third row, ending at back edge in 4. Pick up rep. val. at side to 7,
going straight to 14 ins. Then take a half-gill of peptonised milk essence and
pour it inot a container leaving the armhole below, as shown in Fig. 6.
P.G.Wodehouse (1881-1975) has a
wonderful way with words:
'After all, golf is
only a game' said Millicent.
Women say these
things without thinking. it does not mean that there is any kink in their
character. They simply don't realise what they're saying.
She looked like
something that might have occurred to Ibsen in one of his less frivolous
Fran Lebowitz also
uses humour to make her comments about Life as she sees it:
either alone or with small toy animals. The wisdom of such behaviour is
unquestionable, as it frees them from the immeasurable tedium of being privy to
the whispered confessions of others. I have yet to run across a teddy bear who
was harbouring the secret desire to wear a maid's uniform.
teenagers: stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In
real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.
Generally speaking, it is inhumane to detain a fleeting insight.
Sarah E Edgson is one of a number of
online writers who uses her humour to share her experiences. Read her
I Write the Book here.
All of these writers are using
humour to point out what they see as weaknesses or problems in those around
At the risk of proving E.B.
White's claim that, "Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the
thing dies in the process...", here are some thoughts on using humour in
Keep it simple - don't go
looking for the bizarre - it will find you soon enough if you keep your eyes
Write about the everyday things
that everyone can relate to - sleeping, eating, raising a family and trying
to earn money
Have a point to what you're
writing - your humorous comments must have a target (or at least a point)
Learn from the experts - read
and re-read those writers who make you laugh (or just chuckle)
One way of using humour, is to
represent your persona as the bumbling victim, so that the readers can feel
superior (or identify with the victim).
Use words to surprise your
With only two hours
in Chicago I would be unable to see the city, and the thought drew me into a
state of composure.
On the "Maid of
Hull" a frigate of the line ... went my great-grandfather ... Fifty-three
days later, living almost entirely on cameo brooches and the ptarmigan which
fell to the ptrigger of his pfowling piece, he at last sighted the towers of
Ishpeming, the Holy city of the Surds and Cosines, fanatical Mohammedan warrior
The final point, as with all
writing, is to proof-read your work. It's not funny if it's poorly written, has
spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. All these things detract from the
impact of what you've written and distract your readers. Let them concentrate on
your brilliant wit instead!
Jennifer Stewart is a professional writer who offers copy writing, proof
reading and editing services for businesses and individuals from her site at http://www.write101.com
You can subscribe to free Writing Tips to improve your writing:
She has undertaken a variety of assignments - writing articles for ezines and
the print media; preparing award submissions for business clients; copy writing
and proof reading works of non-fiction; editing web pages and ebooks; writing
press releases and much more.
spelling of words
like "humour" in
this article worried you, please read this.