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  1. #11
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    De gustibus non est disputandum

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    The same applies to the stale joke that most of you will be familiar with. It goes like this:

    Customer: Waiter! What sort of soup is this?
    Waiter: It`s bean soup, sir.
    Customer I don`t care what it`s been. I want to know what it is now.

    Here "has been" in the pun obviously refers to the past, doesn`t it? Can anyone of you account for that?
    There's no accounting for taste or, I would add, humour. Absurd humour is funny because it's absurd not because we can account for it. Try watching Monty Python; your head might explode.

    There are attempts to explain humour with linguistics and philosophy of language but they still can't explain why saying poop is funny.

  2. #12
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    At my age I have given up worrying about holding water or satisfying Hucky. Fare well.
    Just in passing, I have to express my liking of the above statement expressis verbis because the like button didnīt accept my click. Obviously it didnīt by it that I was in good earnest. But I was, and I am - (sorry, I have been!) - really!

    I donīt think freezeframe will mind me borrowing his wonderful wording (I coudnīt have couched it better. Is it mere coincidence that he wrote next?)
    (abbreviations and additions by me in brackets)

    "There is no accounting for taste, I would add, humour. Absurd humour is funny because itīs absurd not because we can account for it. (...) There are attempts to explain humour with linguistics and philosophy of language but they still canīt explain why (it) is funny.

    Yes, and if I dare add a personal remark: The older I grow, the more humour I aplly to things and people surrounding me. I`m not sure if the world around us has become more humorous (I`m doubtful about this), or if I more than in former times notice the funny sides of things.

    I wish you all a good weekend. Why not trying to discover the humorous aspects of life? Laughing more will not only improve the quality of the weekend, but of life in general.

  3. #13
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    It's not a very good pun for another reason in my opinion. Consider stress in the dialogue. ...

    Another problem is the vowel quality - but the two go together.

    b

  4. #14
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Dear freezeframe,

    Youīve taken the words right out of my mouth, or better still: heart.* Iīm none of those who laugh or smile about a joke only when indepth liguistic analysis has established the justification of the laughter.

    Yet, in case of our issue here the alleged joke is far away from being funny. What makes it interesting, however, is the linguistic point of view. Iīd simply like to know if there are instances when the present perfect is used as a past tense (without any link to the present).

    If I could choose, however, to concern myself with (serious) linguistics or the obvious and hidden aspects of humour, I just wouldnīt hesitate a moment. Yet, it may just as well go hand in hand.

    With funny greetings

    Hucky

    * Your wording is even that good that I dared quote it in parts in the previous contribution. I hope thatīs alright.

  5. #15
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post

    Yet, in case of our issue here the alleged joke is far away from being funny.

    The thing is, I think it's funny. You cannot say whether something is funny or not, only whether it's funny or not to you.

    And thank you for your compliments on my wording.

    PS I'm a "she".

  6. #16
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Dear freezeframe,

    Against the backdrop of my newly obtained knowledge* contained in your PS I can hardly contradict you anymore. But I was not about to do so anyway, I assure you. Let me agree with you now on what you have written concerning the subjectivity of what fun is. What matters most is that you perceived the joke as funny. I`m glad to hear about that, all the more since that way I am to some degree accountable for your fun. I am always pleased to amuse others. If only I could always succeed in doing so!

    Yet, as I wrote before, apart from this - my major concern - I also take an interest in understanding why and in how far people interpret identical messages differently. If this is not going to reduce your fun level, I`d like to come up with a question. (I desist from asking you questions about the personal record of your English language acquisition.) Getting aware of your mother tongue, however, I`d like to ask you if you consider the present perfect a past tense.

    Even though in face of an arid question, I remain with best wishes for a funny, sunny day!

    Hucky

    * As if I had had a subconscious inkling that you are a "she", I was going to address you yesterday in a female form. Again mere coincidence?

  7. #17
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    I`d like to ask you if you consider the present perfect a past tense
    LOL

    I can direct you to a blog of one Ukrainian gentleman who'll be glad to fight this out with you for a very long time. I, however, have no vested or other interests in the question.

    Good try.

  8. #18
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    LOL

    I can direct you to a blog of one Ukrainian gentleman who'll be glad to fight this out with you for a very long time. I, however, have no vested or other interests in the question.

    Good try.
    A simple "yes" or "no" would have done. But it`s alright like that. Thank you for offering me that person. But first of all, I don`t have that much time, and I don`t feel like entering a debate either as there are obvious things beyond discussion because they can be checked and proven with ease. (If I were keen on debating, I wouldn`t have to change the spot.) Different tense-aspect-systems are a potential (and even a real) trap to misinterpret a similar construction in a different language. And by the way, I don`t think forums are for fighting for or against anything or anybody (although one could from time to time get the impression that they are regarded like that), but for learning (and having fun into the bargain!).

    Have a good time! And never get rid of fun!

    Hucky

  9. #19
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    A simple "yes" or "no" would have done.
    Check out "false choice".

  10. #20
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Re: no stuff for the has-beens

    [QUOTE=freezeframe;732822]The thing is, I think it's funny. You cannot say whether something is funny or not, only whether it's funny or not to you.

    LOL! ROFL! – He who laughs last, laughs longest. Your thesis has proven right again: What is funny depends on the subjectivity of the respective individual.

    Well, I for one think thatīs a good one, nay one of the best ever! It has even got a tinge of the tragicomic. You will certainly not find it funny. But thatīs really unequalled: a harmless question has changed your identity. Meantime, you have mutated into an English native speaker. Thatīs what science calls evolution! (A former thread member will be in raptures about the phrase evolving language and feel confirmed in her views.) Linguists, who will rejoice, should be made aware of this rare phenomenon of a speakerīs transition from one native language to another, in doing so even skipping the borderlines of different linguistic branches, from Slavonic to Germanic. In face of the unfortunate outcome, however, they will lament the progress achieved by speaking two mother tongues (just two?). Here is a real-life example (quotation):



    Location: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
    Native language: Canadian English, Russian

    If you still know him now, you would say:
    I knew Tom since when he was just five years old.
    I have known Tom since when he was just five years old. ( I would rather use this.)

    This lady doesnīt speak English, but volumes about her "native language"!

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