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Jokes

  • By: Salvatore Attardo
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

The term joke can be found in two different meanings within humor research. The first is that as a type of text; the second is more generally that of an instance of humor. Etymologically, the word comes from Latin iocus, which means “play” or “game.” It denotes a usually short narrative ending in a humorous punch line. Jokes are generally constituted of a setup, which presents the situation in which the events of the narrative develop, followed by the punch line, which occurs generally at the end of the text. The setup part of the joke may be missing if it is inferable from the punch line. Often the punch line is discursive. The semantic relation between the setup and the punch line has been ...

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