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Short humor story
The main purpose of this study is to explore the appreciation, comprehension, and interpretation of short stories and jokes with incongruous humor for children aged from five to seven.The subjects of this study were 60 children. The main way of investigation was adopted in this study. The result of this study indicates that the children develop different appreciation of the story Here Comes Spring. However, there is no difference in the children’s appreciation of five types of incongruous jokes and their comprehension of three stories. The children share different comprehension of three types of incongruous jokes, namely jokes with abnormality, double meaning, and interesting analogies. Sex distinction affects only the children’s comprehension of incongruous jokes with interesting analogies. Ten causes lead to the children’s interpretation of the “funny lines” in humorous short stories: association with related funny experience in the past, the children’s feeling of novelty about the story, homonyms-induced double meaning, ugly things/foolish behavior in the story, the story’s inconformity to the children’s normal experience or expectations, the story’s inconformity to the rules of reality, the children’s comprehension of the causes and effects in the story, the children’s perception of the story as normal, the paradoxical and ridiculous behavior in the story, and the story’s inconformity to moral principles. Eleven reasons bring about the children’s interpretation of funny pictures: ideas about the abnormalities they perceive in the picture, the children’s interpretation of the story text, the picture’s inconformity to the reality, the children’s feeling of novelty about items in the picture they see for the first time, the picture’s inconformity to the moral principles, the children’s self-deduced illogical cause-effect relationships in the picture, other reasons (such as the story’s inconformity to physical principles or the story’s authenticity), the children’s description of the funny characteristics in the mere appearance of the picture, the children’s self-imagined funny analogy, the children’s ridicule of the foolish behavior/ugly appearance in the picture, and the children’s association of funny experience in the past, as well as exaggerated actions in the picture. Children develop two types of interpretation of incongruous jokes. In the first type, children possess an accurate comprehension of the punch lines in the joke and realize that the fun actually lies in the incongruous behavior, appearance, or meaning of words. In the second type, children fail to comprehend the punch lines. This type can be further divided into two situations. In the first situation, children are able to locate the punch lines but give the wrong interpretation. This might be caused by lack of comprehension of the meaning of the punch lines, lack of common sense, self-deduced illogical cause-effect relationships, over analogy, or timing (e.g. transition period). The second situation occurs when the children locate the wrong punch lines. In this case, the children focus not on the punch lines but on other words, phrases, or symbols when reading jokes.
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