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Arielle Bloom

on 20 October 2013

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English II Lesson 05: Hunt for Humor
Moaning Myrtle: "I'm Moaning Myrtle! I wouldn't expect you to know me! Who would ever talk about ugly, miserable, moping, Moaning Myrtle? AHHHHHHHHHH!"

Hermione: "She's a little sensitive."

This is a well-known quote from the second Harry Potter movie, in regards to the ghost of Moaning Myrtle. In the scene, she then flings herself into the her toilet and shrieks as loud as she possibly can. Hermione is intentionally downplaying Myrtle's reaction in the scene, not wanting to draw much attention to the situation, as they have more important things to worry about. Thus, it is an example of understatement. Her understatement was definitely effective, in my opinion. It was meant to exude a sort of playfulness in the movie; to take away from the fact that they were trying to brew Polyjuice Potion and break into the Slytherin common room. It was obvious by Myrtle's whine and Hermione's sheepish reply that this was what we were meant to take away from the scene. It did make me laugh, as it was supposed to.

This is an advertisement for Kraft macaroni and cheese, as depicted on some stairs. The device used in the advertisement is a pun, as they are joking about the fact that their recipe of boxed macaroni is much easier and has fewer steps. The reason it is a pun is because it, in fact, is on steps. The purpose of this is to be witty and make the reader laugh; hopefully influencing the average person to buy their product. I think that their advertising ploy has worked, in this case. The pun used an accurate play on words, and made me laugh in the process.
The Nobel Peace prize was always one of the largest contradictions to me, when growing up. Perhaps this was because Alfred Nobel, the man who invented the most popular prize for peace, was known for his own invention of the ballistite and dynamite. No one is sure exactly why he named the prize as he did; perhaps because he felt guilty for providing something that caused so much damage and destruction. Regardless, I don't think that he knew how much, years later, it would make others laugh. Despite his, the Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most effective oxymorons that I am aware of. It is certainly humorous to me, and others that I know, despite it being a world renowned, widely recognized honor.
This greeting card is provided by a website that is known for funny cards that you can send to your friends, although they usually include crude humour. This one just happens to be very sarcastic. The purpose is to convey the creator's annoyance with situations similar to what it says on the card; such as when people say that they might like you romantically while you're chatting on Facebook. However, then the next day they ignore you completely at school. This is an accurate example of sarcasm, and is effective, because it does not mean what the text originally says. It is also meant to harm or injure the receiver; something that verbal irony would not do. It did make me laugh, though; probably because it's so accurate.
"I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee,
I'm going to Louisiana, my true love for to see.
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry
The sun so hot I froze to death, Susanna, don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, Oh don't you cry for me,
For I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee"

This is part of the song "Oh! Susanna" as played by Stephen Foster. It speaks of a person coming from Alabama to find their true love, and the things that they went through on the way. It is, however, an example of dramatic irony. This is because though it rained all night, he says that the weather was dry, and the sun was so hot that he froze to death; which all seems a bit silly. All throughout the song, however, it doesn't seem that he recognizes how the words sound or that it's not possible. This is what makes it dramatic irony. Regardless, it is what makes the song so funny! The song isn't supposed to make much sense, as it's a folk song. Folk songs usually make people laugh and have a lively beat.

In the comic, Jon is providing Garfield with a meal of canned cat food. However, due to the fact that Garfield loves food above most other things, and has violent tendencies, it could be thought that he would be angry at Jon for preparing his food in such a careless way. Nonetheless, Garfield responds in a way that was surely not to be expected; instead saying how much he loves the little touches of effort that Jon provides (i.e. the umbrella). Because of the difference between what we expect to happen and what actually occurs, this comic uses situational irony. I find that the comic is very effective, although it's not as funny as some of my other device examples. Certainly, it provides a very dry sort of humour, but it just doesn't make me laugh out loud like some of the others do.
Summertime Is Here

My tongue is a piece of sandpaper
I’m dissolving into a puddle.
I want to dive into a snowdrift
Though I’m sure that would befuddle
Open me up, my organs are cooked
I think I’m now well done.
You can fry an egg upon my brow
As I melt away in the sun!

This poem was written by Sharon Hendricks and contains multiple examples of hyperbole. In the poem, the narrator is speaking of how summer has arrived and it's now very hot outside! I think that amongst my favourite hyperbole examples from the poem are "I'm dissolving into a puddle" and "I think I'm well done now, You can fry an egg upon my brow." You can't really do either of these things; unless you're the Wicked Witch of the West! (Melting into a puddle takes a lot of talent.) Hyperbole is just that - an exaggerated statement used for the purpose of emphasis. It's a little ridiculous, but in a cute, funny way. I smiled when I read the poem, and I think that it serves its purpose quite well.


This article is written by a humorous pseudo magazine/newspaper. The entire thing is chock-full of verbal irony. It starts off with an "interview" after the Giants took a major loss; Justin Tuck, defensive end "says" that he's worried that his team may be on the same page now! Heaven forbid! As verbal irony is described as a "device in which what one means does not match with what one says," I find that the article is very effective with portraying the point. Obviously, due to the loss that they have taken, the Giants are not on the same page at all. Alas, I found myself laughing very hard when I read this! I simply had to use it as my example!

Aretha Franklin and her personal chef were interviewed in the late 1990's for a cooking magazine. Her chef was from New Orleans, and Aretha couldn't help but rave about his "vignettes." Of course, what she really meant was "beignets!" This is a malapropism, because she accidentally used an incorrect, but similar sounding word. It just happened to be super effective for me, because as a baker, myself, I started cracking up! Generally, malapropisms are supposed to be funny, and this one definitely was!
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