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Public Speaking Course: 

Words are Funny

Some words are simply funnier than others and the words you choose can be the key to creating a successful witty line or a dud. All professional comedic writers agree on the following techniques taught in my public speaking course. The sound of some certain words can almost guarantee a laugh. In particular, the 'K' sound in words is the granddaddy of all funny sounds. In Neil Simon's play, The Sunshine Boys, Willy, a main character, gives his nephew a lecture about comedy:

"Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know what words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka Seltzer is funny. You say "Alka Seltzer" you get a laugh . . . Words with "k" in them are funny. Casey Stengel, that's a funny name. Robert Taylor is not funny. Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny. Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny. Car keys. Cleveland . . . Cleveland is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there's chicken. Chicken is funny. Pickle is funny."

Is "Spea-king" funny? Or Publick, as in the old way of spelling it? Remember being funny is part of using the skills you learn in your public speaking course

Someone actually researched why the 'k' sound is so funny to people. They surmised that it has something to do with the sounds we hear as babies that are associated with comfort. Like cootchie-coo, cuddle, cozy, etc. Note that these words don't have a 'K' in them, but they have the 'K' sound. Kinda Crazy, huh? Or how about Captain Kangaroo? That brings up a funny thought or two.

Examples:

Those turkeys over at XYA (remember no Z's allowed) company can't hold a candle to our team of installers.

I'll bet you a cupcake to a cucumber the blue team will outsell the gold team.

So kids, keep on keeping on.

 

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