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February 13, 2014

Laughter Characterization: A Detective’s Casebook. ~ Caroline Brown {Funny}

Newtown_Ladies_bowling_laughter_1939

Giggling. Chortling. The blurting out of a burbled scream.

It’s a serious business—laughter. Nonsensical mind-flappery in the most alarming sense. Categorizing the laughter of the populous has been a frightfully perilous pursuit of subversive individuals, diving into the darkest reaches of the human psyche. This study stands as an important tool in deciphering the confusing maze of the comedy world.

The Giggler

Appearing to be demure, the Giggler controls their physical outbursts. The need to appear timid may be an indication of their innate voraciousness. Famously suspected to crave sweet things and modified stimulants, this creature may actually be the cyclic victim of a sugar-induced and semi-mad social delusion. If muttered words can be perceived between the giggles, this could be an unconscious call for help—or potentially for more sugar. Exit quietly, but leave chocolate buttons.

The Snorter

This humanoid variation has a particularly unpredictable nature. It can be exceedingly difficult to interpret the characteristic “snort”, as it can be perceived as either humour or derisiveness in equal measure. If the being making the “snort” is unfamiliar, tread carefully but stand tall. Exude backbone. The Snorter needs to know they can’t send us cowering. Be bold!

The Literal

This creature can be classified by his powerful, resounding “hahaha”—almost as if read from a script. Though this could be a sign of fakery or deception, it is more likely is the sign of attempted conformity. The Literal wants all in the vicinity to understand that he is laughing, that he is feeling jovial. By making his booming call, he anticipates that there will be no uncomfortable misunderstanding. Befriend the literal, but wear earplugs.

The Seasonal

A type originally encountered in the most Baltic reaches of the Arctic, The Seasonals now appear to have migrated south. I can only deduce that the warming tones of the “hohoho” have induced a cultural wave, sporting peculiar knitted accessories and donning excessive facial hair. The appearance of this variation increases exponentially in the days leading up to Midwinter; though the call often sounds oddly strained, or rehearsed. I am not yet convinced of the motives of this group. My studies shall continue.

The Chortler

A generally soft and songful creature, the Chortler is the least threatening of the laughter varieties. Glowing with contentedness, they’re frequent potters and do not need company in order to make their delicious hypnotic call. In fact, the Chortler most often sounds when they are alone and their call is often accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and tip of the cranium. True Chortlers are hard to come by, but are a delightful lot once discovered. Folklore dictates that tickling the Chortler in just the right spot will result in three wishes. I remain unconvinced.

The Screamer

Potentially a banshee, so call an exorcist. If the number is not on hand, try at least to maintain a calm demeanour and vacate the premises. Never attempt to match the volume of the Screamer, as this is akin to engaging her in combat. After plentiful reciprocated screaming, the mirth-match will most likely end in brain damage, trapped nerves and a flaccid voice box. The Screamer always wins. Survival can be achieved by smiling and employing the characteristics of the Literal (see above).

The Gasp

A sharp intake of breath is all that can be heard from this creature. Though this is a small clue to their character, we can most likely deduce that one of three things is happening:

1. The being shares a gene pool with a breed of Scottish wildcat, and we are being warned not to approach his/her young.
2. The creature is choking, the sound misinterpreted as mirth. Subtly check the oral region for a blockage.
3. The being is beginning the regurgitation process in order to present the gift of food. We have made an impression. Well done.

The Silent

Potentially a ghost, or someone determined to demonstrate that our jokes really aren’t that funny. Walk away.

I offer this information as both a warning and a sensory shield. How we use these secrets will either bond us to familiar kin or else aid in the locating of behemoth with a taste for comedy. Laugh as you will, but I implore you to think upon the consequences.

It’s dangerous out there. And it’s loud.

 

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Assistant Editor: Jennifer Moore /Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Flickr Commons/ Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru

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Caroline Brown