Friday, August 5, 2011

What Makes People Laugh?

The other night someone shared a website on Google+ that had me laughing until tears ran down my face.  Seriously, tears and gasping for breath!  The website, in case you're in the mood for a good belly laugh, is 

After twenty minutes of laughing hysterically at fathers texting things to their children like "pick up a turkey breast" and make sure the "butcher has boner" (aka de-boned) I started to wonder why almost every single autocorrect mistake left me giggling. 

The next morning it hit me.  Autocorrect bloopers are funny because they're genuine.  Two people enter into a conversation with a general understanding of what will be said.  All of a sudden. one of those people goes astray, and in the case of autocorrect, it's far, far astray.  The response and befuddlement of the other party to the conversation is genuine, and thus, genuinely amusing.

It's a good lesson to remember from a writer's perspective.  We hear it all the time in a variety of different guises.  Write what you know, is the way it's usually phrased.  I think a better way to say it, is be genuine (or in the words of Seventeen Magazine to every female American teenager, 'just be yourself').  People know when you're faking it and react accordingly.  Stay true to yourself and the good writing, be it comedy, horror, romance or anything in between, will follow.


julie fedderson said...

I love that site! I think one of the problems with a lot of the movies out now is they seem so forced--the characters do things that are so outrageous it has to be funny, right? Uhm, no. You're right, humor can't be faked.

The Bookworm said...

I don't like auto correct for that exact reason.

SBJones said...

The episode of Family Guy about Quagmire's dad was good. Peter txts and its auto corrected to Ducking.

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