Thursday, April 15, 2004

"I could not resist posing the tiresome but still mysterious question: Where do jokes come from? 'There are two classic theories about the origin of jokes,' Dundes said. 'One is that they come from stockbrokers, who have time on their hands between sales and a communications network to send jokes around. The other theory is that they are made up by prisoners, who have a lot of spare time and a captive audience.' He added, "Lately, these two theories have merged.'"

It's from a New Yorker essay on the scholarly history of jokes, and well worth a read if you're into such things, which, of course, I am.

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