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10:43am on Monday, 10th September, 2007:

Against Limericks


Apparently, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Great Limerick Craze.

Jeez but do I hate limericks...

I don't like the rhythm, I don't like the weak jokes, I don't like the forced rhymes, and I particularly don't like people writing them expecting that this somehow shows off how clever they are.

Don't get me wrong, I liked them when I was about 8, but I'm not 8 any more, I haven't been 8 for 39 years. Then, I might have smiled and meant it when someone told me a limerick; now, I have to smile and pretend I think it's amusing. OK, so some very few limericks are amusing, but it's not because they're limericks; they'd be funny anyway.

Look, people, merely saying something in limerick form doesn't make it funny; it may flag it so you know it's intended to be funny, but it doesn't actually make it funny. It may give you the social dressing to say something obscene that you couldn't get away with otherwise, but that just makes it naughty, not funny. Limericks aren't some kind of magic humour dust that, merely by completing one, means you've said something funny. Augh!

There once was an unfunny limerick,
Which had nothing to do with a dimmer switch.
It had terrible rhyming,
Awkward scans that messed up the timing,
Just like every other damned limerick.

See? True, but NOT FUNNY.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).