A Framework for the Study of Computer-Oriented Humor (Cohum)
CIS Working Paper No. 2003-01
21 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2006
Date Written: August 2003
All humor is to some extent cultural and, perhaps to that same extent, humor serves to define, explain and enhance our understanding of a particular culture. The computer industry, now over 50 years old, is a mature culture characterized by industriousness, creativity, energy, bureaucracy and wit. The computer itself has lately become something of a cultural icon or signpost. Yet the computer industry has always seemed to breed its own special brand of humor - intelligent, somewhat superior, slyly subversive - even from its very earliest days.
This paper is to explores computer-oriented humor (COHUM) in order to provide a framework, and a comprehensive categorization, and to place COHUM in the context of the much broader study of humor. In investigating COHUM some of the most interesting findings were: the abundance of antiestablishment humor and of hermetic, knowledge-based humor. Recognition of the importance of bonding humor and especially the I-get-it variety of bonding humor. As so often happens, an intimate investigation of the specific has led to innovations in the more general field of humor study.
Keywords: computer humor, in group humor
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