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How to be Funny if You’re Not–Part I

10 Apr

I’m not funny. I try, but that gene was left out when God created me. But as a writer, I realize people like

funny writing

How to write like a funny person

a sense of humor in a story. It’s like butter on broccoli or honey on toast–the words just taste better. I wrote several articles in my quest for humor:

But what I really needed was to LEARN how to be funny. I started by writing down the funny one-liners I heard so I could adapt them to my story. That helped, but writers must be original so I bought a few books.

One is Comedy Thesaurus by Judy Brown (Quirk Books 2005). She organizes 3,241 ‘quips, quotes and smart*** remarks’ alphabetically by topic, crediting the person who said it, so you can find one that fits your theme–topics like

  • beauty (There are a lot of good-looking men out there. But keep in mind that no matter how cute and sexy a guy is, there’s always some woman somewhere who is sick of him)
  • elections (we have a presidential election coming up. And I think the big problem, of course, is someone will win)
  • occupations (I used to be a furniture salesman. Problem was, it was my own)

Here are some of the quips she recounts for readers:

  • When I gave birth, I had twins, my daughter and my husband. They were both immature and bald.
  • I love to sleep. It’s the best of both worlds. You get to be alive and unconscious (Rita Rudner)
  • My husband is from England and has never seen a football game before. So I could tell him anything I wanted. I told him it was over at half time. (Rita Rudner–she’s so funny)
  • I’ve been on so many blind dates I should get a free dog (Wendy Liebman)
  • What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night. The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance e you’ll wind up naked (Jerry Seinfeld)
  • I never drink coffee at work. It keeps me awake (Judy Brown)
  • My brother-in-law gave up his job because of illness. His boss got sick of him (Henny Youngman)
  • A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking (Jerry Seinfeld)
  • If a word in the dictionary was misspelled, how would we know? (Steven Wright)
  • I tell you, I don’t get no respect. The Surgeon General offered me a cigarette (Rodney Dangerfield)
  • The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner (Roseanne Barr)

Next, I’ll review a book that purports to teach you to be funny. That’s tantalizing, isn’t it? Drop by next week to check it out.


Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, will be out this summer. Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.


 
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