What's funny to you in English?


When I was in college, I studied the plays of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is probably the greatest writer in the English language, but he wrote several hundred years ago. So some of his plays can be hard to understand for modern English speakers.

The comedies were especially hard to understand. I remember the professor explaining some of the jokes in class. Eventually I understood Shakespeare's jokes. But even after understanding them, I still didn't laugh much. Shakespeare's jokes just aren't funny any more.

It can be the same thing across languages and cultures. Some of the things that are really funny to people in one country can seem boring, dumb, or odd to people in another country. If I say something using a funny choice of words, some native speakers might laugh. But if you're an English learner, you might not realize that it sounds funny at all.

Sometimes I have trouble with writing for PhraseMix because naturally I always want to be funny. My usual writing style uses a lot of sarcasm and strange wording. But I usually don't write that way for PhraseMix because I don't think it will go over well.

So I'm curious: what makes you laugh in English? Are there any TV shows, movies, books, that you've found really funny?

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