Society & Culture
U of A researchers are cracking the science of what makes us crack up, one word at a time.
Upchuck, bubby, boff, wriggly, yaps, giggle, cooch, guffaw, puffball and jiggly: these are the top 10 funniest words in the English language, according to a new study by University of Alberta psychology experts.
“Humour is, of course, still personal,” explained U of A psychologist Chris Westbury. “Here, we get at the elements of humour that aren’t personal—things that are universally funny.”RELATED: How funny is this word? The 'snunkoople' effect
The researchers wanted to understand what it is about certain words that makes them funny. Westbury and his collaborator, U of A computing scientist Geoff Hollis, began their work based on a study from the University of Warwick that had participants rate the humour of nearly 5,000 English words. Westbury and Hollis then modelled these ratings statistically.
“Our model was good...