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Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a ''joke.''

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) American newspaperman and short-story writer.

His hilarity was like a scream from a crevasse.

Graham Greene (1904-1991) English writer.

A pun does not commonly justify a blow in return. But if a blow were given for such cause, and death ensued, the jury would be judges both of the facts and of the pun, and might, if the latter were of an aggravated character, return a verdict of justifiable homicide.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) American author and poet.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Where be your jibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) British poet and playwright.

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) British poet and playwright.


Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer.

My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer.

If all else fails, the character of a man can be recognized by nothing so surely as by a jest which he takes badly.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German scientist, satirist and anglophile.

Jokes are grievances.

Marshall Mcluhan (1911-1980) Canadian communications theorist and educator.

'Tis no extravagant arithmetic to say, that for every ten jokes, thou hast got an hundred enemies; and till thou hast gone on, and raised a swarm of wasps about thine ears, and art half stung to death by them, thou wilt never be convinced it is so.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) British writer.