What A Laugh! Or, Not.

Is there such a thing as differences in humour between cultures? I’m asking because I have noticed that there might be. I may have to stop making certain comments that suggest, to me, that I am highly amused but may, in fact, seem facetious. It also works in reverse. Has anyone else noticed possible discrepancies? And, if so, any particular reasons why?

I don’t want to start a debate about this but I am genuinely curious. Is it down to cultures or just personalities? Is it modesty? Is it …shit….I don’t know what.

This could make a significant difference in the comments we all make.

I will not tell, at this point, what amuses me in comment but I would like to avoid offense! Both giving and receiving. Just askin’. 🙂 x

40 thoughts on “What A Laugh! Or, Not.”

  1. This is tough to address because I have to wonder if I’m the one who might have offended you (you’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you, don’t you). On the other hand, complete silence might be a bit off-putting after you have put the topic out there. Deep breath of courage — I have to say, I’ve never had this issue, I tend to like humorous, snarky comments that make me laugh. I’m don’t recall being offended ever, and certainly I’m trying to entertain and engage not offend myself. I just try to be myself. Warts and all. I’m not perfect, and if I have offended, it probably was cross-cultural confusion. I can’t speak for other commenters. I do fear that you might chill comments, though, by other people having a Carly Simon moment like I did. 🙂

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    1. Oh, Gawd. and now everyone things that if they’ve made comment I have been offended.
      Brenda, I could not be offended by anything you would say and now I want to retract this post for fear that’s what others think.
      I’m genuinely curious. Partly, it’s borne of observation and, partly, of wonder.
      So, Brenda, you are such a one. Your gentle humour and thoughtful grace in comment could not offend, even if I sought it.
      I speak of my own ignorance in understanding what is intended by the written word on page.
      I can barely text my own children with surety.
      You may have noticed the ‘x’ at the end of each of my comments. I was told, by several of my children, that my lack of ‘X’ at the end of a text somehow signified disapproval.
      It is not my intention to be part of WordPress and give disapproval. or, I suppose, as pathetic as it may seem, to receive it.
      I am genuinely curious.
      If my fellow British citizens will allow the analogy, I quote my father. He would tune into TV comedies, supposed, and comment that, ‘The English would laugh at anything’.
      I think he may have missed the point that most of the sitcoms were English inspired. But, therein, he may have stumbled on truth.
      I sat in a ‘theatre’ a long time ago and watched a Mel Brooks movie, subtitled in Greek, and laughed my arse off. Even after translation, or perhaps because of, the natives just were not getting the jokes.
      So, I ask, is this cultural (not personal)?
      BTW, to my fellow British citizens, for fear of causing offence where none is intended, I ask, ‘Is it just we Scots with the toilet humour? Or is that universal?’x

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      1. My 9 year old sure likes toilet humor, but of course, he’s American (part Scottish, Irish, German and English). I don’t laugh at everything, but I find you funny. I think I can tell when you are trying to be funny. Do what you like with the post – delete or wait out the silence. Do your thing and be you. I like you!

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      2. Brenda, you are one of God’s treasures. You are trusting and funny and also so easily hurt, I feel. A child borne of wisdom with a child’s soul. When a child inhabits the soul of a woman, all the answers to life’s questions are there.
        It is not for nothing that your stories speak of innocence and simple goodness. Purity and grace find its vessel. Namaste.x

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      3. What wonderful words! Wow. I can’t be flip.

        I was an adult at 4, that’s what happens when you lose your mother young. You are shocked into adulthood too soon. So I’m regressing these days. I’ve never lost touch with that inner 4 year old I have. I speak to that inner 4 year old with my stories.

        And to my children of course, god love them, burpy farty crazy kids that they are. (Okay, I was flip after all…)

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  2. I’ve personally noticed and experienced both. In person I have for the most part a sarcastic sense of humor. People that know me expect it, not necessarily accept, but it is who I am. Culturally since I’m Hungarian, we tend to be quite “brash” with humor. Having said that, here in the south it’s not always appreciated, and just yesterday I asked my hubby why is it when a comedian you listen to, makes the same type of remarks as I do, you laugh at them and turn around and ask me why I’m so negative? It was a interesting response, he gave, but I’m happy to report I made my point! In short, yes I believe there is a cultural difference!

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    1. So do I!!! It does not make for easy translation in the written word if we;re all coming at it from different perspectives.
      Interestingly, I wonder if the blogs I am most drawn to share a similar humour.x

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      1. I am toooo! Been a little behind in that department lately but it’s still there, just working its way back to the surface. I do have a funny thought for ya, about me cleaning up the kitchen this this morning. I found a old wishbone on the window sill and said to myself hmmm, you know you have issues when you break it in half with yourself! 🙂 lame but was funny at the time! Hehe

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  3. This is one tough topic. Perhaps there is some differences in humor between cultures but personally I think it is more towards the individual, the person we are. A positive person saw the glass half full and smile while a negative person saw the glass as empty and flared up. Oh, by the way when I did not see your EYE on my LIKE button, I thought I may have offended you but I didn’t want to be negative so I put in all my positive energy and you came back to visit me. I knew you would because someone told me (maybe Brenda or Mayarok27) you were too busy cleaning up after the huge big party at your house…hee.e.e.e. joking !!! 🙂

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    1. This is kind of what I mean. We don’t always see the truth for the trees. I know, mixed metaphors’ and all but it does fit.
      I would no more disregard a fellow blogger than .. bite my foot off. This is such a communal, supportive gathering I can’t begin to imagine such a scenario.
      If fault lies anywhere, it is with me. I have been following so many, ‘click I fancy that one, woops, there’s another’. that I most certainly miss those who first inspired.
      It is not my intent to omit.
      My current, hopefully successful answer, is to dedicate one day to all blogs I follow.
      This may or may not work.
      I intend to try. If it fails,I will try something else.
      My heart is too enamoured of those I drew close to, to disregard them lightly. Your friend in WordPress.x

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  4. Dang, sarcasm isn’t so awful! It’s just saying the opposite of what you mean. It’s like standing on your head for a minute. Standing on your head’s supposed to be good for you — that’s what my yoga teacher told me anyway. 🙂

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      1. I actually have always wondered what the x at the end is about. When I get a letter, and it says XOXO at the end, I know that means kiss hug kiss hug. I wondered why you are so kissy, that you always put an x. I only put x’s after the first date! (Snicker) What do your kids think it means?

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      2. They think if I don’t x that I’m annoyed or angry with them. Go figure. I was simply looking for the shortest form.
        But, I now follow all my texts to them with kisses because it diffuses what they think I may be saying.
        An extra click on the keyboard saves so much understanding. But, beware, if I now miss it out.
        Actually, that just could be because I still struggle with the keyboard! But, shhhh, don’t tell.x

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      3. Wow. I’ve seen xx also. I wonder if that means, hey, I’m not annoyed and you don’t suck. Who knew… I refuse to bow to peer pressure. My lack of an x just means I’m out of touch. Fair enough… I am after all. 🙂

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  5. The only way I can deal with compliments sometimes is to deflect them, although my response does depend on who is giving them…as well as if they left me anything to play with. This may come across as facetious, but this is my way of showing appreciation for their comment by trying to entertain them with a nonconventional response. There may also be some cross-species confusion. I have been told to be careful of using “Reowr!” in comments on other people’s posts as it could be misconstrued. This thought had never hitherto occurred to me. I have noticed I use it much less now after that comment. People who know you well will know you do not mean to give offense, and for those who do take offense, this is usually quickly forgotten and forgiven with the next comment you make.

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    1. May I retract the word facetious from the comment I made? Your talent wows me and I find it difficult, at times, to express how so without being overly effusive. Your own self-deprecating comments add to my inability to honestly praise. I retract the word in favour of your charming self-deprecation if honesty and hurt is the alternative.
      Never, in my mind or heart would that be the case.
      My post genuinely queried the differences in cultural humour if it does indeed exist.
      I so obviously should never have used the same word to describe one scenario compared to another.
      My inability to express myself as clearly as I would wish is one of my reasons for posting here. I have, very obviously failed abysmally to express admiration and frustration at the same time. I would have preferred to have this conversation in private but I see no email address. Which, is very obviously another thing I have not seen.
      Feel free to obliterate this whole conversation should you prefer. I know I would. Humbly, yours. AM

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      1. It truly makes me happy that you think so highly of my writing as I greatly admire your writing as well. My parents did not believe in praise, and I grew up in an environment where nothing I did ever felt like it was good enough, and so I internalized this at a very young age. This seems now to be something I cannot extract without feeling like I am losing a part of myself and also the reason it is so difficult for me to handle compliments straightforwardly. I have been told “false modesty is not becoming” by 2 or 3 people, and this was slightly hurtful at first, but I realize that not everyone will understand where I am coming from and that is okay.

        I think you express yourself very well. We are all taking advantage of this opportunity you provided us to justify the words we leave in the comments section. I see no reason why this conversation should be obliterated, but if you so desire, you can delete it.

        My email addy is sonyasong@hotmail.com. You can email me anytime for any reason.

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      2. You have gladdened a saddened heart by your words. I appreciate your honesty and sharing where you are coming from. I know it is difficult to accept praise. It must be the teacher in me that wants everyone to understand their worth. I want to take the child in everyone and hold them up to the light so that they may see their value and merit.
        I love your humour in your poetry and comments. It is my inability to understand you that has caused confusion. Please don’t for one minute think to restrain that natural beauty. But, please do accept genuine compliment when so duly given and deserved.
        P.S. I want to shake your parents or whoever for instilling in you too little self worth. Or, am I being out of turn here? These language differences with common language will be overcome. Together. X

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      3. Compliments are always accepted warmly into my heart even though my mind struggles to deal with them in an acceptable way. I think it is wonderful that you want everyone to cherish themselves, and I feel the same way towards others. It is not self-worth but self-confidence that is lacking, but I believe writers in general are prone to insecurity when it comes to their writing.

        You are a beautiful soul and one I feel so fortunate to have met. And yes, together we will conquer, if not the world, then any obstacles that may stand in our way. 🙂

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      4. Thanks for your understanding and too kind words. I know you are right when you speak of lack of self-confidence. It is a curse in so many ways. I suffer from it too in areas of my life and depress myself with negativity, at times. Part of me wishes I had never published this post. Too much of my own self-doubt is displayed. But, I am so happy that others have shared their feelings with me in such frank appraisal. I genuinely feel I have experienced something very special here with the insights others shared.
        Together, there is strength and the opportunity to build and grow. Thank you, Cubby. And all.x

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  6. What is humor to someone might not be to another. Comments to posts are subjective but can be controlled personally. The safest way to escape the misunderstanding is to stay silent. 🙂
    In real life, we can say, “Ooops, I am sorry. That’s not what I meant.” In this medium we use, there are time lags. You may want to retract what you posted but the thought you conveyed had its effects, positively or negatively.
    Anyway, I don’t feel offended by negative comments. What I more offended of is indifference. 🙂

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    1. My difficulty is I am far from indifferent to all I read. What I must learn is, as you say. The words are spoken or written, intention true or misconstrued. I must own the words and learn to be more selective or accurate in what I say.
      Thank you for your input on this. There are times I would sever my tongue. This may be one.
      You are absolutely right in saying that indifference is greater offence. Right now, it is small consolation. I would sooner say nothing than cause offence.x

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      1. That is really a problem with blogging. Ambiguities exist.
        I ask this question myself: Will I like a post that is 80 percent to my liking but 20 percent against? Should I comment instead that I agree with you almost but..?
        Most of the time, I press the like button. Why? I believe in free expression. I may not like it entirely but you have the right to say it. Of course, there are limits to such right. One of them is respect for others’ sensibilities.
        A very important issue you opened for debate. A great post. 🙂

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      2. Until a moment or two ago I would have said not and deleted every word if I could. I struggle to hurt another even inadvertently. My mind and heart is now assuaged by understanding of a heart purer than mine. Thank you, Belsbror, for your understanding and compassion. It means so much.x

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  7. I think some is cultural and some is personal taste. I enjoy sarcasm and story telling that is slightly self deprecating in nature. Sometimes it is taken more seriously than I ever intended.

    I am fairly certain that poop humor is universal though. 😉

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    1. I think some of it must come down to coping mechanisms in families. Developing a tougher skin to deflect snarky comments from brothers comes to mind! Within my own family now humour, that can be biting, is generally accepted and understood to be in jest. But, even then, it can go too far and what started in fun can end up in earnest.
      As Belsbror pointed out, the time delay and lack of visual reference to accompany comments can result in misunderstanding.
      I suppose there must be so many contributory factors to it all that it is almost impossible to judge.
      I am always highly amazed and amused that toilet humour is, as you say, universal. Perhaps a great leveller by virtue of common experience.
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. It is much appreciated.x

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  8. We are bloggers from different cultures. We blog because we like to understand one another in a more universal way. 🙂
    So, blog on. Keep the posts coming. Good luck. 🙂

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    1. Thank you. My journey of understanding in the Blogosphere is obviously in its early stages. But I do look forward to learning more and, hopefully, understanding better.x

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  9. I am a huge fan of British humor and find myself often being looked at rather oddly when laughing my bum off at a seemingly inappropriate scene in a show, or singing the Spam song spontaneously when going down the grocery aisle where Spam is stored, or saying something snarky at seemingly inappropriate times.
    I have had my overseas friends remark that I’m more European than Texan when it comes to my humor…. ah, well….

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    1. I love the image of you singing, ‘Spam, spam, spam…..’ in the supermarket aisle!
      Your comment does suggest that you believe there is a difference, culturally, in types of humour.
      We may all be in for a bumpy ride here. 🙂 x

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