Judy's MIRTH & MEANING BLOG
One of the dumbest things I ever did was to satirize a friend’s political point of view on Facebook. Yeah, I really did that. I hadn’t identified her by name of course —I’m that that dumb—but she knew I was talking about her and let me know how upset she was. I felt lower than a slug. I was shaken and apologized. Thankfully she ultimately forgave me. You betcha I haven’t made the same blunder again.
Writing for laughs is seriously hard work, but the payoffs are priceless. If you can make someone laugh with your words (because you intended to, not because your writing is so God-awful they can’t help but spurt coffee out their noses), you’ve done a great thing. You’ve brightened someone’s day, and improved their health, unlike those miserable wretches who make their living by writing traffic citations or delivering subpoenas. Why not try your hand at the humor game? You’ll have fun, and if you don’t have fun, at least you’ll have more appreciation for those who do make you laugh. Here are my twelve tips to make your readers laugh out loud.
I’m always on the lookout for clichés. When I find them slipping into my own writing, I excise them out. Spotting them in my clients’ writing, I suggest alternatives. Too many cliches make for unimaginative writing, but some cliches are so wise and pithy we just cannot do without them. One of them, “Today is a new day,” recently saved my friend Anna from getting dragged back into an old dispute.
President Obama isn’t much of a church-goer, having dropped that practice after moving from Chicago, but he does take time to publicly commemorate various religious holidays in the White House. Mr. Obama has koshered the White House kitchen for Hanukkah celebrations and hosts annual Passover seders, complete with gefilte fish and matzo ball soup. He hosts Iftar dinners in the State Room for Ramadan. Naturally, he and the First Lady light the White House Christmas tree and host the Easter Egg Roll.
I once asked a friend of mine, a therapist, what the biggest problem she encountered with her patients was. She answered swiftly. “They stay stuck. They get to a certain point of self-awareness but then cannot move forward.”
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