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Deveoper Jokes 'Not Funny'

Part of the 'Developers socially inept' threads has been the idea that developers make jokes that (others find) not funny.

I do this _often_.  In my life, I have met very few people who have my sense of humor - mostly in my family, software developers, or mathmeticians.

A couple of examples:

1) In college, a friend ran a Christian 'event' called "Such a time as this."  I kept asking "Such as time as what?", referring to the little problem that the name of the event didn't actually _mean_ anything.  Years later, I think the implication was that "We were placed on the earth for such a time as this" or "You are here for a reason" or something like that. 

2) At weddings, people often read that verse from galations "For this reason man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one."

My typical comment: "For WHAT Reason?  Really?  What's the reason?  I don't get it?"

3)  At one meeting a few years back, my boss congratulated us that we had "improved perceptions" about the quality of our software product.  I said that we could take it a step farther, and be proud that we actually improved the _reality_ of the product - that is, by fixing defects, we had actually improved the quality, not just the perception.

Do other people on the list "get" those three?  Do you have any that you've said that went over like a lead balloon?

Matt H.
Friday, April 30, 2004

Sorry Matt but I don't think they're funny either. Perceptive maybe. Interesting even. Just not funny.

Now if when at the wedding someone says "man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife", you yell out
"And let's face it, she has a hell of a cleavage!" and then mumble about having misheard, _that_ would be funny. Probably very unpopular though...

Or maybe, something about the cleavage of the stripper at the groom's stag night. Hmm...

Do you mind if I don't ask you to my wedding?
Friday, April 30, 2004

I don't get anything done in the name of religious extremism, Christian or otherwise.

atheist 5v3n
Friday, April 30, 2004


Right.  The intention wasn't to make people laugh out loud. Maybe I should say "Interesting in an intellectually stimulating way?"

Offhand, I can't think of something I've said that was supposed to be make people laugh out loud but didn't work - I do that far more often, but they aren't as memorable. :-)

Matt H.
Friday, April 30, 2004

'Maybe I should say "Interesting in an intellectually stimulating way?" '

Is it, though? I think this falls in the "developers take things too literally" (and interpreting information atomically rather than contextually) realm, and to many that can be annoying when presented under a guise of intellectual supremecy (despite, in a small way, being an intellectual deficiency). This is a very common issue among developers.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, April 30, 2004

Well, the social ineptitude seems to be striking again.  The man cleaving to his wife is an oblique reference to sex. As my minister explained it when I got married, the original doesn't beat around the bush and the verb translated as cleave doesn't leave a lot of room for misunderstanding.  Besides, you were going to be doing something else when you had a good grip on your wife?

Clay Dowling
Friday, April 30, 2004

Yes, the that meaning of "cleave" is quite clear to anybody "literate". That meaning as opposed to that which one would do with an ax.

njkayaker
Friday, April 30, 2004

I often like that non-humor.. you know, humor that isn't funny. Goofy stuff, but not overboard or really stupid. However in many places, it doesn't go over well.

And people who enjoy it sometimes overdo it. It needs to be part of a balanced humor diet.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, April 30, 2004

The last laugh-out-loud funny thing i said at work was that our customer (forturn 500 co.) resembled a fat child walking along dropping money of it's pockets.

nice.

FG
Friday, April 30, 2004

#3 could've been funny, in the right circumstance and with the proper delivery.

Not really laugh out loud funny, but "I can't believe I work in such a Scheiße hole"


Friday, April 30, 2004

If humor is how we reflect our own pain and defiencies, it's expected that developers will make jokes that take things too literally or out of context, and nobody else will get them.

Genesis 3:11 -- "Who told you that you were naked?" ... What are we doing in this Sheol? ... If OCT 31 == DEC 25 does that mean Christmas is the same as Haloween? ... Now aren't those things funny?

greim
Friday, April 30, 2004

"The last laugh-out-loud funny thing i said at work was that our customer (forturn 500 co.) resembled a fat child walking along dropping money of it's pockets."

Just as an aside, your manager should've ripped you apart for that; if the management team was there laughing, you might want to keep your eyes on the job market.

There's a lot of psychology and sociology wrapped up in this, but the shorthand is:
If you say it, then you believe it
If you believe it, your customer can tell

Such a lack of respect for the people paying your salary has a huge chance of coming around like a karmic boomerang and hitting you upside the head. Like, write a blog about what idiots they are and you end up getting fired kind of thing. ;-)

Incidentally, this also works for parents - talk about what a fat lazy dullard your kid is and your actions towards him/her will reflect your attitudes. They'll pick up on this and you're breeding animosity in the relationship.

[shrug] YMMV

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 30, 2004

Second the poster who mentioned delivery.  Most of your jokes are not funny or even amusing in an intellectual way.  The last one might be if delivered properly.  It is likely that your comic delivery sucks.

The only joke I have ever heard that is funny in spite of the quality of delivery is the one that Eddie Murphy tells his audience so they can be funny without trying to do his act and ruining all his jokes.

name withheld out of cowardice
Friday, April 30, 2004

Am I missing something?

"Such a time as this" = now

What's not to understand?

Rich Fuchs
Friday, April 30, 2004

"Maybe I should say "Interesting in an intellectually stimulating way?""

Uh, no.  That doesn't work here either. 

I know your kind.  You're the kind of guy where people run, hide, fake conversation with the stranger standing next to them, play dead, etc., all in an effort to avoid getting trapped in a conversation with you.

stay away
Friday, April 30, 2004

"I know your kind.  You're the kind of guy where people run, hide, fake conversation with the stranger standing next to them, play dead, etc., all in an effort to avoid getting trapped in a conversation with you."


Haha.  I nearly laughed out loud at this one because I did it about 2 minutes ago to my office mate.

KC
Friday, April 30, 2004

> The only joke I have ever heard that is funny in spite of the
> quality of delivery is the one that Eddie Murphy tells his
> audience so they can be funny without trying to do his act
> and ruining all his jokes.

I haven't heard that one--please do share!

Michael Eisenberg
Friday, April 30, 2004

You probably have heard it but here it is:

A bear and a rabbit are taking a dump in the woods and the bear turns to the rabbit and asks "do you have a problem with the shit sticking to your fur?"

"No" the rabbit replies.

So the bear wiped his ass with the rabbit.

name withheld out of cowardice
Friday, April 30, 2004

now THATS funny.


Friday, April 30, 2004

>I know your kind.  You're the kind of guy
>where people run, hide, fake conversation
>with the stranger standing next to them,
>play dead, etc., all in an effort to avoid
>getting trapped in a conversation with you

Thanks.  I appreciate your keen insight.  Now, how does that actually help with anything?

Matt H.
Friday, April 30, 2004

I reckon your jokes go down like a lead balloon because they seem to be calculated to make the people you're talking to look stupid, and to make yourself look smart. 

"That thing you said is dumb - it doesn't mean anything.  And look how clever I am that I spotted that and shoved it in your face."

That's not humour, it's mockery.

JP
Friday, April 30, 2004

Jokes 1 and 2 just seem to be a case of you not really understanding the multiple uses of the word "this" in English, and trying to make a joke out of the fact that you aren't being explicitly told what the pronoun is referencing.  Both uses are entirely appropriate, and all that your "jokes" show is that you are unable to understand the context of what is being said.

http://www.bartleby.com/61/22/T0172200.html

Emperor Norton
Friday, April 30, 2004

Yes, what JP said.

Alyosha`
Friday, April 30, 2004

If you want to laugh out load, read Douglas Adams.

fool for python
Friday, April 30, 2004

Philo, describing a Fortune 500 company as a fat child waddling along dropping money of its pockets strikes me as funny. If that's what the company is like, far better to say it than live some lie and force it on staff.

We all know companies that force stupid fictions on their staff. We talk about them all the time on JOS.

Your extension of the situation to children is not appropriate. We are responsible for our children and can guide them as to how they behave, instead of making snide remarks.

We can't guide Fortune 500 companies though. In fact, one of the reasons for the snide remarks is probably the fact that the Fortune 500 company is arrogant and refuses to listen to our advice.

JB
Friday, April 30, 2004

Matt, I thought #3 was very funny and is the sort of cynical thing I like to say myself. The first two I thought came across as just pedantic and not amusing, so if you mean them to be funny, you should work on delivery or phrasing or something so as to come across as a funny guy and not a nitpicker.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, May 01, 2004

"""3)  At one meeting a few years back, my boss congratulated us that we had "improved perceptions" about the quality of our software product.  I said that we could take it a step farther, and be proud that we actually improved the _reality_ of the product - that is, by fixing defects, we had actually improved the quality, not just the perception."""

Unfortunately, your remark is not only not funny, it displayed your ignorance to your boss.  It's the *perception* of quality that gets you paid.  The reality may or may not help with creating the perception.  You can have a great product with a lousy perception of quality, and guess what?  You'll lose to lousy products with great market perception.

Definitely not funny.

Phillip J. Eby
Sunday, May 02, 2004

> It's the *perception* of quality that gets you paid

Only until people see through the deception.


Monday, May 03, 2004

In which case, it's still their perception.  Did the product change?  No.

By the way, I didn't say anything about deception.  There are many ways to improve quality, but only some of them improve *perceived* quality.

For a ridiculously simple example, consider performance.  I can make a process go 20 times faster, but if it was already only taking 1/10th of a second, then the customer will not perceive the difference.  I could make a 30-minute process take 15, but the customer will not notice because they were already in the habit of running that process when they leave for lunch or at the end of the day.

So, did I improve the "quality"?  Sure.  Did I improve the *perception* of quality?  No.

Phillip J. Eby
Monday, May 03, 2004

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