Tom2000:Some influential comedians, such as W. C. Fields have long regarded certain words in the English language as being inherently funny and have used these to enhance the humour of their routines. For example, the radio panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue includes an occasional round called "Straight Face", in which the panelists take turns saying a single word. A player is eliminated from the game if anyone in the audience laughs at their word ("even the merest titter"). The winner is the last player standing. It is part of the mythology of actors and writers that the consonant plosives (so called because they start suddenly or "explosively") p, b, t, d, k, and g are the funniest sounds in the English language. Alliteration also contributes to humour. Ken Levine's comment that Jack Bauer has not received so much as a "holiday ham" for his services to the country is funnier than "Christmas ham" or other non-alliterative variations. Additionally, the meaning of the word can play a factor. The local word for duck is considered to be funny in many languages, irrespective of pronunciation - this may be because ducks are seen as a silly animal, as shown by Richard Wiseman's Laugh Lab experiment. Additionally, taboos associated with certain words can make a word humorous in certain circumstances. It is not clear whether there are physiological or linguistic reasons for why these words are funny, nor whether the funny sounds are the same in other languages.
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