Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"What Made the Greeks Laugh?"

I enjoyed this article/book review about humor in Ancient Greece. A sample:

An Abderite saw a eunuch talking to a woman and asked if she was his wife. When he replied that eunuchs can't have wives, the Abderite asked, 'So is she your daughter then?'

That's the stuff that had them slapping their knees in the agora — and it is kind of funny, still!

I remember when I was learning German, the first time I felt like I really spoke it, understood it, and got it was when I was able to understand a German joke. When you understand what a culture thinks is funny, I think you're well on your way to understanding what makes them tick. I do think I understand the Greeks a little better having read this piece about their jokes.

1 comment:

Mithridates said...

"Two Martinis, bitte."


"Nein, I said TWO!"

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