Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Good Writing

Cracked.com is a quality humor website. Jay Pinkerton is an editor; contributing writers include Maddox, Mike Nelson, Dave Campbell, and many others.

Many pieces critique other works of humor, opining whether something is funny or not funny, but also why it is funny or not funny, and doing so in a way that is funny. It is like reading insightful "theory of humor."

Most of Cracked's pieces are good. This one, by David Wong, is startlingly good:

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable

"So did we really need a study to tell us that more than 40 percent of what you say in an e-mail is misunderstood? Well, they did one anyway.

"How many of your friends have you only spoken with online? If 40 percent of your personality has gotten lost in the text transition, do these people even really know you? The people who dislike you via text, on message boards or chatrooms or whatever, is it because you're really incompatible? Or, is it because of the misunderstood 40 percent? And, what about the ones who like you?

"When someone speaks to you face-to-face, what percentage of the meaning is actually in the words, as opposed to the body language and tone of voice? Take a guess.

"It's 7 percent. The other 93 percent is nonverbal, according to studies. No, I don't know how they arrived at that exact number. They have a machine or something. But we didn't need it. I mean, come on.

"When we're living in Text World, all that is stripped away. There's a weird side effect to it, too: absent a sense of the other person's mood, every line we read gets filtered through our own mood instead."

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