Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There Are Only Seven Jokes - Introduction

      The statement “There are only seven jokes – all the rest are variations,” has been around for a long time, but no one ever seems to know what the original seven are. I think I have found the solution to the mystery.
      The answer is to be found in an article published in the New York Times on May 2, 1909. Entitled “New Jokes? There Are No New Jokes, There Is Only One Joke,” it goes on to say that all jokes are a distortion, and lists seven categories of distortion. Supposedly every joke will fit into one of the categories. I believe that repetition changed the seven categories into the seven jokes.
      Each of my next seven blogs will be devoted to exploring one of the categories. In addition, I shall attempt to give an example or two of jokes which I think fit the category.
      You must realize that this article appeared over one hundred years ago, so most of the jokes appearing therein are so out-of-date that modern readers wouldn’t even understand them. For example, one has to do with women’s suffrage, and was probably very funny at the time, but today it falls flat with a loud thud! So to spare my readers, I will attempt to find jokes that are more up-to-date than 100 or so years old.
      In addition, I ask my readers to click each day on the “Comments” link below, and record any thoughts, or additions they may have to the list.
      To give you a head start, the categories are distortions of: truth, the human body, spelling, pronunciation, construction (topsy-turvy language), idea, and double entendre.
      An independent reviewing service, Rebecca’s Reads, has reviewed my book, “The Spirit Runs Through It.” You can read it on the right side panel. The book and/or a free look inside is available in paperback or on Kindle at Amazon.

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