“I regard the writing of humor as a supreme artistic challenge.”
Writing “funny” isn’t easy. It’s a skilled labor that can drive even the calmest of writers crazy. I’ve been writing my parenting humor blog, The Life of Dad (you should totally check it out!), for more than five years and I can tell you that I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep over things as simple as word choice (Should I use the word “rope,” or is “duct tape” funnier?). I have permanent lumps on my head from banging it against the wall in frustration. And I’m convinced it’s the number one reason I’m going bald.
Yet no matter how many laughs I get, I’m always striving for more (even if it costs me every hair on my head).
That’s why I put together this list of excellent references that have helped me improve my humor writing skills—and will help you improve yours. These pieces include instruction on word choice, subtleties that induce laughter and an interview with the guy who created the famous Twitter handle @Sh*tMyDadSays. Here you go:
— How to Write Better Using Humor
— Word Play (How to Choose Funnier Words)
— A List of Funny Words to Help You Writing Funnier Stories
— How to Break into Comedy Writing on Television
— Humor Phenom Justin Halpern’s (Sh*t My Dad Says) Uncensored Insights Into Writing
Hope these articles help you make your humorous stories funnier. I know they’ve helped me.
(By the way: Duct tape is definitely funnier.)
Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Read my Dad blog: TheLifeOfDad.com
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter: WD Newsletter
You might also like:
The Writer's Dig
How Writing Saved My Life
How to Create a Protagonist Who is Very Different From You
Five Books Every Writer Should Read — What Are Your Top 5?
6 Ways to Stay Creative as a Writer (When You’re a Parent)
Submitting Your Short Fiction and Poetry: 5 FAQs from a Magazine Editor
Word Play in Hamlet
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Word Play in Hamlet
A principal theme in Shakespeare's Hamlet is the strength and flexibility of language. Words are used to communicate ideas, but can also be used to distort or conceal the truth and manipulate. Throughout the play characters comment on the properties of language and exploit these for their own advantage.
Claudius, the shrewd politician is the most obvious example of a man who manipulates words to enhance his own power, possessing a professional grasp of the language. Using this he can oppress people and assert his authority, as we see him doing when delivering a polished speech to the council. He cleverly justifies the ill-viewed situation of his marriage to Gertrude, reminding…show more content…
What wouldst thou beg, Laertes?'
The comment above is ridiculous in its context, since Laertes has so far not been permitted to speak, never mind `lose' his voice. The King oppresses him to a great extend, through the constant questioning, through the unnerving repetition of his name and finally through reducing verbs like `beg', referring to the manner of speech Laertes uses to request his leave, one that the King has not yet heard. Claudius adopts entirely different manners of speech, depending on to whom he is speaking. On this occasion he controls in a way he would not, when conversing with others.
So, we have seen how Claudius exploits language to evade, oppress and assert his power. Yet, we also see how he uses language to advance his political situation and the view of the people. Upon seeing Hamlet he greets him slightly strangely:
`But now, my cousin Hamlet and my son -'
In public he stresses to the court that Hamlet is now his son, and throughout the discussion makes references to he, himself being the father. He adopts a friendly tone when advising `Good Hamlet', to give his mourning duties to his new father, and this desire to `eliminate' memories