Writing Styles and Humor

When in class one of my favorite weapons in my arsenal against inattentiveness is humor, so I promised my students that with each “-ism” I show them in class that I would provide a joke with each. Today I presented to them artistic and literary examples of Impressionism, Surrealism, and Gothic Literature (not an -ism, I know, but it still counts). Here is the humor I used based on the old, corny English jokes I could recall:

Impressionism: (a one-liner) He is just like an Impressionist painting; he looks better the farther away you get.

Surrealism: (this makes a lot more sense if you know Surrealism) How many Surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: Fish!

Gothic Literature: (prepare a groan) Why do Gothic writers have a hard time getting real jobs? Answer: Because they only know how to mope the floors and depress the buttons.

Yes, yes, I know. They aren’t that great, but the kids appreciated even an attempt at humor. Pity laughs are better than no laughs. 🙂


One thought on “Writing Styles and Humor

  1. Cassie

    One of my favorite “-ism” jokes:

    How many existentialists does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to observe how the lightbulb symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of Cosmic Nothingness.


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