language resources

Laughing in the aisles

There’s a fun new word in the Open Dictionary this week that should make you smile, even if you never actually use it. It’s gelotology, and it refers to the scientific study of laughter. Now, obviously there’s nothing inherently funny about scientific enquiry – it’s a serious business – and the very act of studying laughter rather runs the risk of taking all the fun out of it, but just think of the experiments you could perform! Timed Tickling, for example, or a joke marathon. Setting the measures for success might be a problem, since humour is such a subjective thing, but if they’re laughing in the aisles, you can be pretty confident you’ve made it.

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Sharon Creese

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