The funniest words in English

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The funniest words in English

Postby Richard » 11 Feb 2021 12:01

You may be familiar with databases like WordNet and Small World of Words, but I've found an even more important database of words. There's an article titled 'Humor norms for 4,997 English words' which does just what it says (and, as all good articles should, mentions Monty Python in the first paragraph). The humour ratings for these words can be downloaded from ... ataset.csv which you can open in Excel. This database has already been used in the wonderfully titled article 'Wriggly, Squiffy, Lummox, and Boobs: What Makes Some Words Funny?' (

The task: Can you come up with a really neat piece of research using the funny words database?
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Re: The funniest words in English

Postby sgtowns » 11 Feb 2021 13:27

We could replicate the original study "Humor norms for 4,997 English words" but with participants who are not native English speakers. This could include "English proficiency" as a variable. Does a Thai person with a low English proficiency find English words funny because they are funny in English or because they are funny in Thai? Is the humor of sounds universal or is it based on the constructs of the language?
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