Edmonton – Ever wondered why some words can make you snort milk through Your nose or why little kids love to run around yelling CERTAIN others?
A pair of University of Alberta Researchers say the What They've analyzed the words That make some intrinsically funny.
"Nobody really DONE Has a Good job at predicting humor in advance," said University of Alberta Psychologist Chris Westbury. "One of the the-REASONS They have not Been Willing to Go Low Enough."
Westbury co-author of the Recently Published a paper entitled "Wriggly, Squiffy, Lummox, and Boobs: What Makes Some Funny Words" in-the Journal of Experimental Psychology. His Research BE May-the first to break down Makes us break down.
Like for great science, to build on Previous Research.
Previous Under the Federal government, Westbury said a drought in science funding left Him free to do something to wacky.
"I thought people would think I was wasting their money ow I did Print on their dime."
He'd Noticed That people OFTEN laughs at silly-sounding non-words, so he strating Looking for patterns. Garble like "snunkoople," For example, Was more apt to score a smile Than something to like "x-attack."
"Could we do well at predicting Surprisingly Which words people find funny," said Westbury.
That are on the strength of Research, he Was a British paper form sent to review That Used statistical analysis to rank the-funniness of nearly 5,000 words. Cutting-edge stuff, thought Westbury, Pocket why thoses words were funny?
Some of western Civilization's finest minds have Asked That Same question.
Plato and Aristotle, Westbury Writes, argued That humor and the denigration That have a butt for jokes. Roman statesman Cicero said laughs lie in incongruity – the gag gift, for Example.
Westerbury's 27-page paper present a 2,500-year literature review of philosophical attempts to get the-joke. The May BE-only-the Academic Paper That Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard Both CITES, author of-the-book "Fear and Trembling," and Broadway playwrights Neil Simon, Who Gave us "The Odd Couple."
But Nobody Has really succeeded, Westbury hold.
"None of thoses Theorie Theorie really are. They're explanation."
He wanted to Be Able to PREDICT What people would find funny. To do That, he and colleague Geoff Hollis DECIDED to on-the focus must Basic kind of humor.
"Single words? That It's not really funny, even though it's not pocket That funny, it's really complex."
What makes a funny word, he found, a combination at the two of Factors – sound and meaning.
Using sophisticated statistical analysis of three billion words worth of prose on Google, They found words likely to get a laughs Tend To Be Associated With sex, Bodily Functions, Good Time, Animals and insults.
But That's not Enough. They have to sound funny, too.
If They've GOT the "oo" sound, found in 17.4 per cent of the-judged words must funny, That's Good. So the a hard "kay" or lending transaction in an "e." ALSO Double letters are funny.
Westbury HIS Findings Confirmed by using them to PREDICT funny how people would find a given word.
"I was amazed at how well we were Able to PREDICT Judgments."
Interestingly, Age and Gender Difference in What made Almost no people found amusing. Culture, however, did.
"I have an Iranian-grade student Who didnt really find-the words we found funny to Be funny.
"She said, 'These I find a bit rude.' I said, 'Sorry, That's the-culture you're in now.' '
Westbury KNOW HIS That analysis says little about Irony, satire, or more sophisticated yuks. But he said ANY shed light on Laughter shed light on What it Means To Be Human.
May even have Evolutionary humor value. That said some Westbury Scientists theorize the-endorphin buzz That Comes From a Good laughs a Reward for the thinking out of the box and being creative.
"We study-the Things That matter to us."
The 10 funniest words in English From a sample of a nearly 45,000?
Upchuck, Bubby, Boff, wriggly, yaps, giggle, cooch, guffaws, puffball and jiggly.