Funny and serious

G. K. Chesterton on being funny and being serious:

Mr. McCabe thinks that I am not serious but only funny, because Mr. McCabe thinks that funny is the opposite of serious. Funny is the opposite of not funny, and of nothing else. … Whether a man chooses to tell the truth in long sentences or short jokes is a problem analogous to whether he chooses to tell the truth in French or German. Whether a man preaches his gospel grotesquely or gravely is merely like the question of whether he preaches it in prose or verse. … The truth is, as I have said, that in this sense the two qualities of fun and seriousness have nothing whatever to do with each other, they are no more comparable than black and triangular.

Emphasis added. From Heretics. Text available online from Project Gutenberg.

One thought on “Funny and serious

  1. Coincidentally, many UFOs recently sighted are black and triangular.

    Of course he is correct, and I’d add that humor gets attention and keeps it. I just wish it weren’t so dangerous in the workplace.

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