Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 2 months ago

Why do people refer to "unfunny jokes" when the phrase itself sounds a little oxymoronic?

I mean, a joke by definition is a statement or statements which are meant to be funny, so any example of speech which is not funny is ergo not a joke, right?

4 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    failure at the attempt does not make the attempt never have happened.  A joke is intended to be funny, but it can fail at it.  It remains a joke as made by the person, but it is not funny, so an unfunny joke seems like a good description, an apt description.

    Of course, it isn't a joke to you.  But that does not mean it wasn't supposed to be a joke.  His joke can be my insult. Depends on where you are standing, sometimes.

  • 2 months ago

    An unfunny joke is one that contains a sad truth / has a sad truth hiding in it.  "Global warming is caused by overpopulation so Greta Thuinberg should be happy that Covid is reducing the world's population." ... Fat kills, unless being fat prevents you from being drafted and thus dying in a war. [<quick example ?]

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    A very famous "comedian" once said (Aristotle I believe ;-))  what does a joke contain in it, that makes it a joke? He then answered the element of surprise! When the punchline is unexpected.....that is what makes a joke funny. So yes if the joke is completely expected, it makes it not a joke anymore...just a statement. 

    Yes the phrase 'unfunny joke' is an oxymoron....but lots of English phrases are 

    For example: 

    act naturally or bittersweet or only choice or random order or alone together.....

    Get it?

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It means something intended to be a joke was not at all humorous.

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