lexlingua: (WHAT!?)
Clerihew: a type of light, humorous biographical four-line poem (i.e. a "quartrain"), in rhyming style AABB. The clerihew was named after its inventor, Edmund Clerihew Bentley (also, one of G.K. Chesterton's close friends). The first line of the clerihew is the name of the poem's subject, usually a famous person "put in an absurd light".

A few funniest samples here:

After dinner, Erasmus
Told Colet not to be “blas’mous”
Which Colet, with some heat
Requested him to repeat.
The people of Spain think Cervantes
Equal to half-a-dozen Dantes:
An opinion resented most bitterly
By the people of Italy.
Sir Humphrey Davy
Detested gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
George the Third
Ought never to have occurred.
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder.
Sir Christopher Wren
Said, "I'm going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls,
Say I'm designing St. Paul's."

Funny Five

Apr. 27th, 2013 12:46 pm
lexlingua: (fanfiction)
Nothing feels better than ending a long day at work with a few big laughs. I thought I would put up a list of the top five books that made me hoot like a hyena.

1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

In a Victorian world where everyone's brimming with insincerity and money-mindedness, Oscar Wilde talks about the importance of being earnest. No easy thing, when even wanting to be called 'Earnest' is going to make our heroes sweat with desperation. This was written as a play, but I personally felt reading the book was far funnier than watching it acted out (in the movie, to your right).

2. Tintin in Tibet by Herge

There are those who will disagree, saying The Castafiore Emerald and The Calculus Affair are so much funnier. There are those who will disagree because they think Herge was quite racist. But if there's one thing that makes Tintin in Tibet so hilarious, it is the number of epithets that Captain Haddocks comes up with in this one. Example to your left.

3. Quick Service by P.G. Wodehouse

No, not Blandings and no, not Jeeves. Sometimes, I find Freddie too silly and Jeeves too haughty. But Quick Service hits all the right notes. As usual, Wodehouse does wonders with his bag of imposters and henpecked husbands all locked up in a country house. It all starts with a beef-manufacturing tycoon wanting to steal a portrait  -- which several other people also want. Mayhem ensues, and much madcap laughter. Sadly, this particular book has not gone through the makeover that the other Wodehouse books have, so I have to put up a really old and discoloured cover image.

4. The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

Put Wodehouse in the Regency Era, and what do you get? You get Georgette Heyer. Heyer excels at putting our heroines in priceless situations of confused identities, crazy adventures, absolutely laughtastic relatives and a sparkling comedy of manners. In Talisman Ring, a ring gets stolen, a naive girl runs away, a dangerous smuggler escapes, an architect makes bad drawings, the policemen get confounded, and Tristram refuses to ride in haste. This is the closest I can get to describing the plot. It is making me laugh even as I write it.

5. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronvitch

"What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz?" Who would have thought that fantasy and detective fiction combined could make you laugh so hard? The laugh-out-loud kind of laughter is what Ben assures with his first book. Peter Grant, a policeman in London, narrates his story in first person, and his observations are straight-on and so amusing. His life catapults into the other world zone when one day he and a ghost have a chat. I still have to read the whole thing, and I often read it during my cab ride to office. Puts a cheeky grin on my face some mornings.

So what's your funny five? Do lets share a laugh.


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