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  1. meliss's Avatar
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    #1

    whirring bow-tie

    It is about the talent of writing humour. If you have got the talent:
    "You won't need to be told that jokes are funnier when delivered with a straight face rather than the litterary equivalent of a whirring bow-tie".
    What does this "whirring bow-tie" mean? I have no idea, help me, please!

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    'whirring' is 'revolving' (with perhaps the suggestion of a regular noise). A whirring bow-tie is part of the traditional dress of some kinds of clown, and by extension here it's used to suggest some way of physically making a show of something's having been funny - as when someone makes an obvious joke and adds the sound "bou-boum".

    b

    ps - I'm off now to look up the difference between "whirring" and "whirling".

  3. meliss's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    So, I could rephrase it as:
    "... rather than the litterary equivalent of a clown"?

  4. rewboss's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ps - I'm off now to look up the difference between "whirring" and "whirling".
    I'd say "whirr" describes the noise, while "whirl" describes the movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by meliss View Post
    So, I could rephrase it as:
    "... rather than the litterary equivalent of a clown"?
    Not really. A clown is a person who delivers jokes (usually visual jokes or slapstick), while a whirring bow-tie is a mechanism by which certain clowns signal the fact that they have just made a joke.

    The passage is saying that if a joke is truly funny, the reader doesn't need any extra help to understand that it is funny. In stand-up comedy, a very bad comic will use some kind of signal to tell the audience: "Hey, this is funny, now you should laugh."

    In written humour, bad comic writers use devices such as multiple exclamation marks in this way; or sometimes they use highly exaggerated language; or they might even explain the joke.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    I'd say "whirr" describes the noise, while "whirl" describes the movement.
    .
    .
    .
    Yes, that's it. What confused me was the collocation with bow-tie. If describing that, I'd call it a revolving bow-tie or a spinning bow-tie. If one of the w... words fits here, I think it would be 'whirling'.


    b

  6. rewboss's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    I'd say that using a slightly unusual word here emphasises the ridiculous nature of the image.

  7. meliss's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: whirring bow-tie

    That's it! I did understood! You are very-very nice, thank you very much indeed!

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