4 Ways to Use Humor in Papers # 1 在論文中善用幽默的四大守則第一條

寫學術論文的人常聽說不要用幽默來表達觀點。雖然這個告誡用心良苦,但完全不用幽默又太過頭了。幽默是有效的溝通方法,而寫作學術論文本就該懂得運用各種溝通方法。本系列文章說明如何用適當的方式,在學術論文中有效運用幽默。文章將刊登在 TPS 粉絲頁,最後集結於電子報。
Writers of academic papers are cautioned against employing humor to communicate their points. The caution is well-intentioned, but outright prohibition of lightly humorous material goes too far. Humor is a valid method of communication and authors of academic papers should have every method at their disposal. This series of columns will describe how humor can be effective and acceptable in scholarly writing. Each part in the series will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.

1st Humor Guideline – Use it Carefully

One of the rules laid out for writers of serious papers is… don’t try to be funny. There is wisdom in such counsel. It indeed is wise not to try to be funny. Every comedian who has died on stage when his humor falls flat can attest that nothing is more painful than failing to connect with an audience. Academic writers often present their material to an audience of one, who grades the material even more mercilessly than a nightclub crowd. So, yes, if humor is not your forte, don’t try to force it on your professor. But if you do have talent for turning an amusing phrase, use it.

Nearly every person—of course, some don’t have a clue—knows whether he is amusing in his expression. Yet even those who have such talent don’t always employ it effectively. They joke too much, and too much of any good thing usually is bad. They try to amuse people at inappropriate times, when solemnity clearly is preferred. They perhaps get too raw in their jesting or become slapstick in their delivery. Scholarly writers certainly will not impress anyone with any of the above. So, as much thought should be given to the context of humor as to the humor itself.

Knowing when to inject an amusing comment is even more delicate in academic writing than in show biz. That’s because the goal is not to amuse per se but to communicate a larger point. If a humorous expression distracts a reader from a thread of thought, it is detracting from the paper rather than contributing to its success. Therefore, in a paper as in every other venue, timing is important. A light comment should slip into the flow of thought as naturally as any other element of the writing and for the same reason: to move the reader toward a desired conclusion.


Posted at 2013-08-06 22:26:11

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