Words that describe people’s reactions to humor

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Every writer has a style and personality that influences how they write. Some may be fast and crude, others reserved and timid, and some may be witty. Some may even be all of the above!

I pursued knowledge further and sat for my Master of Fine Arts in Writing. However, pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing isn’t for everyone. Go for it if you’re fully funded. If not, read and write voraciously.

Suppose you plan on being a writer in any capacity. In that case, you must develop a strong vocabulary and a thorough understanding of literature, including the work of poets and writers from other countries. Sorry, I’m not going to debate this.

I say this because I took a class on humor for my graduate degree. Writing comedy is a lot harder than the job looks. We think comedians make up things as they go along, but 99.9% of the time, they don’t!

Some of the more famous comedians – like late-night hosts – have a gaggle of writers at their disposal. Their entire job is to develop timely, pointed jokes, sometimes the same day a show is supposed to air!

Comedy and humor is a fascinating business, and I don’t think I could ever make that my job. So I’ll leave that to the professionals!

Sometimes we know the right word; sometimes, we don’t. Sometimes we make a joke, and we laugh, and we don’t know why.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering what makes people laugh.

When you’re in a conversation, what words do people use to be funny?

Then, when it’s your turn, should you say the punchline or keep it to yourself?

37 words that describe responses to humor

Describing humor is difficult, as it is subjective. What one person finds funny, another may not. Humor can be used to lighten a mood or to make a point more memorable. Here are 37 ways that humans could respond to a joke:

  1. Amused
  2. Bantering
  3. Bitter
  4. Caustic
  5. Comical
  6. Condescending
  7. Contemptuous
  8. Critical
  9. Cynical
  10. Disdainful
  11. Droll
  12. Facetious
  13. Flippant
  14. Giddy
  15. Humorous
  16. Insolent
  17. Ironic
  18. Irreverent
  19. Joking
  20. Malicious
  21. Mocking
  22. Patronizing
  23. Pompous
  24. Quizzical
  25. Ribald
  26. Ridiculing
  27. Sad
  28. Sarcastic
  29. Sardonic
  30. Satiric
  31. Scornful
  32. Sharp
  33. Silly
  34. Taunting
  35. Teasing
  36. Whimsical
  37. Wry

These words remind me of the temperaments that we put our characters through. Your characters should be dynamic and not one-dimensional.

They should have strengths, weaknesses, and flaws that make them unique and relatable. This allows readers to connect with the character and become invested in their journey.

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