Thursday, February 7, 2013


HUMOUR – The Ultimate Feel Good Factor



We all have a sense of humour.

I am sure you too have a sense of humour and you like to hear jokes, you love to watch Humorous Movies, TV Shows, Comedy Acts and Funny Plays and Read Humorous Writing.

Humour relaxes you and is an effective stress buster.

As they say: Laughter is the Best Medicine.

Good writers (and speakers) have the capability to convey profound philosophy through humour which makes it palatable and easy to understand.

That is why humour facilitates effective communication.

Depending on your objective, there are many types of humour you can use in your writing and speaking.

A few types of humour are given below.


In a nutshell, here is a guide to the various types of humour, in alphabetical order, which I have collated by surfing the internet.

Well, as you will see, the various types of humour are interlinked and intertwined, so you must cross-refer the terms indicated in bold lettering.

1.  Burlesque is a form of satire.

Burlesque ridicules any basic style of speech or writing whereas parody makes fun of specific writings.

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

Cartoons are a form of caricature.

Caricature can be used in writing too, an example being humorous sketches of famous unforgettable persons.

3.  Comedy comprises a ludicrous and amusing event or series of events designed to provide enjoyment and produce smiles or laughter usually written in a light, familiar, bantering, or satirical style.

There are also topical, romantic, satirical, and verbal wit comedies.

(Comedy is derived French word comedie which in turn is derived from the Greco-Latin comoedia which was formed by combining komos, meaning “to revel,” and aeidein, meaning “to sing”)

4.  Hyperbole is an exaggerated witticism overstates the features, defects, or the strangeness of someone or something.

Extreme exaggeration is Hyperbole.

5.  Epigram means a clever, short philosophical saying with a message or a moral.

Ancient Wisdom, enunciated by many eminent Philosophers, has been expressed and compiled in the form of epigrams for easy understanding.

6.  Incongruity arises from lack of harmony between two statements or events.  

This is similar to oxymoron in writing. 

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms, for example: OPEN SECRET or DEAFENING SILENCE or SERIOUS JOKE or AMICABLE DIVORCE or some tongue in cheek expressions like BUSINESS ETHICS or HONEST POLITICIAN or FRIENDLY FIGHT or HARMONIOUS DISCORD

Sometimes, contradictions and incongruities can result in absurdly funny paradoxes and situations.

7.  Irony is a contradiction in terms, a paradox

Dramatists use irony in their works with great effect. For example, in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged state and he thinks she is dead. Full of grief, Romeo kills himself. When Juliet wakes up she finds Romeo dead and kills herself.

8.  Parody is a humorous version of any well-known writing or speech. 

Many Comedy and TV Shows use parody and there are parodies of famous songs too where the original lyrics and replaced by different words to inject humour.

9.  Pun comprises wordplay.

Jokes, one-liners and witty remarks often are composed of puns.

10.  Repartee – a clever reply or retort.

Sometimes the recipient of your repartee may find it insulting, so care must be taken not to hurt someone while using repartee.

11.  Satire is critical humour.  

Satire is sarcasm that makes fun of something.

12.  Surprise means bringing in suspense and unexpected twists which result in humour eventually.

13.  Sarcasm is a sharp, harsh, bitter or cutting remark on something or someone.

This is one of the most popular forms of humour and can be used with deadly effect.

One has to be careful in using sarcasm in order to ensure that it does not transgress the boundaries of humour.  

14.  Wisecrack means any clever remark about a particular person or thing.

Wisecracks are quick wordplays about a person.

15.  Wit comprises the entire repertoire of humour, irony, sarcasm, satire and repartee.

Your writing can be witty and so can your speech. Verbal wit is also called wordplay

Wit is funny because of the sudden sharpness and quick perception.

Sharp Wit can bite, and you must be careful in using wit, especially with those who do not have a sense of humour.


It is said that now-a-days, the commodity which in short supply is “A SENSE OF HUMOUR”.

This lack of a Sense of Humour is reflected in the increasing intolerance in society.

Many persons have become hypersensitive and do not take kindly to humour.

So you have to be very careful before you use humour while speaking or writing or in creative works otherwise someone who does not have a sense of humour may take offense.

What you think is a seemingly innocuous witty remark may land you in trouble with persons who do not have the sense of humour to appreciate your wit.

This absence of a healthy sense of humour manifests itself in the various social tensions and stressful atmosphere we are witnessing around us.

Sense of Humour is a hallmark of a healthy democracy.

Sense of Humour is the sine qua non for free speech.

The sign of a confident person or harmonious society is the capacity to make fun and be made fun of, to laugh heartily and laugh at oneself, and to take humour in the right spirit.

I feel that a healthy sense of humour is the panacea for many of our present day personal ills and to alleviate social dissonance.

So let is all develop a good sense of humour and laugh and make others laugh.

Laugh and the World Laughs with You – Cry and you Cry Alone.


I wish I could have given examples of each one of the 15 types of humour I have mentioned above, but then I have been repeatedly advised that my blog posts are too long, so I will end here.


But not to worry, Dear Reader: If you want to see examples of the various types of humour mentioned above, all you have to do is “Google” the term and hey-presto – you will remain glued to your computer screen and will be laughing all day.

Meanwhile, let me hark back to my glorious Navy Days when we had a delightful of sense of a humour which facilitated harmonious interpersonal relationships in stressful situations.

Let me try and write a few humorous blog posts.

Writing Humour makes me Feel Good – I am sure Reading Humour will make you Feel Good too.  (Of course, sometimes you will have to read between the lines in order to discern the subtle humour).

Like Love, Humour is the Ultimate Feel Good Factor.

Do you agree?

Close your eyes. Think of a joke or a humorous episode. Laugh. Have a Happy Thursday.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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somasree sarkar said...

i am not too old in reading blogs but found something really witty in all ur blogs. i started reading them for ur real estate idea n thoughts but this one about humor is superb.
Truly in today's modern generation the meaning of plain wise humor is lost, something that is witty n simple. i can't find it in my friends, either they are raunchy or very bad jokes. its the same for listeners they can't take jokes like caricatures about themselves..its a light heart ed humor but many can't take it that way.
please keep on writing so that i can make some good use of my boring life by reading them.
thank you.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Welcome to my Blog, Somasree.
You are right - one has to revive sense of humour in our modern society