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Witless

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Topic: 9) Witless (1 of 4), Read 93 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 10:56 AM

C. Kenny, of Chapel Hill, N.C., writes: "In an age when you're only as good as your wit, false irony is an existential hazard. Day in and day out, people make attempts at humor or sarcasm that fail because they are 1) disingenuous, 2) erroneous in their premises, or 3) miserably obscure. Yet we rarely call them out on it. It would seem almost more pathetic to say 'Hey, your irony is off-kilter' than to perpetrate the infraction itself. Part of the problem is that we don't know what to call it when we see it. 'False irony' is all right for the literary types, but something more stigmatizing is needed in order to deter less-cultured offenders."

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Topic: 9) Witless (2 of 4), Read 93 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 12:22 PM

here's a word that, while from the realm of medical terminology, has a nice sound to it: witzelsucht - a German term for a morbid tendency to pun, make poor jokes, and tell pointless stories.

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 9) Witless (3 of 4), Read 49 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Tim Ereneta (tim.ereneta@eudoramail.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 12:56 PM

While not a single word, I've found these phrases helpful in stigmatizing serious lapses in humor:

1) I don't get it.

2) That's not funny.

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Topic: 9) Witless (4 of 4), Read 51 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Trevor Jackson (jawd@iname.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 01:49 PM

How about "Your irony is rusty", eh?


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