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Laugh Lines

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

Today's post comes from the many articles I have published on handwriting analysis in my columns Write On! and Handwriting@Work. This one is on humor and reminds us that there is good stuff happening all the time and every where!

A sense of humor is the mental ability to recognize and appreciate the illogical, the absurd, or the impropriety in ideas, events or situations. A sense of humor always involves a violation of the expected.

Did you hear about the supervisor who had no sense of humor? It happened at the M&M company. A worker was assigned to inspect the candy as it came down the assembly line and throw out any of the bad ones. The supervisor fired the worker for throwing away all the W’s. - Source unknown

In handwriting, the humor stroke is identified as an initial flourish that blends softly with the following downstroke. It can appear before any letter but is most often used with capital m’s and n’s. Although other strokes and combinations can reveal a writer’s comedic side, this one is specific. Its placement at the beginning of a word suggests a writer’s light-hearted approach to life. If it appears only in the signature, the writer may poke fun at his/her own mistakes or challenges. Actor Meryl Streep has a clear humor stroke on the capital M in this signature.

Humor is like a smile,” says Grace Bly, a participant in a research project on humor. “A smile is a gently curved line that sets a lot of things straight” and has a softening effect in the personality.

Scientific studies have proven the healing power of laughter in relieving stress, overcoming pain, and relaxing the body. The physical act of laughter strengthens our immune system by lowering the level of stress hormones and temporarily lowering blood pressure. Under stress, our breathing tends to become shallow. A hearty belly laugh can bring tears of joy to our eyes and oxygen rich air to our lungs. No wonder we love to laugh; it literally does our body good.

So humor is being taken seriously. Just ask the members of The International Society for Humor Studies - a scholarly organization dedicated to the advancement of humor research celebrating 30 years in 2018. This year's annual International Humor Conference will be held in Tallinn, Estonia, from June 25 to 29 where they will share the latest research and probably a laugh or two. A little humor can go a long way to lighten our load. Next time life gets you down, head out on a search for some comic relief. Rent those movies that always crack you up, call your best joke-telling friend, and find new and healthy resources to tickle your funny bone. As the often-quoted Anonymous once said, “He who laughs, lasts.”

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