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Submitted on
October 26, 2013


109 (who?)
Just for fun I thought I'd do a rundown of the most common forms of humor, their definitions, and examples. This is not a complete list by any means, but they are a list of many forms of humor and literature discourse which often get confused of mixed up.

An imitative work created to mock, comment on or trivialize an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

Example: The movie "Airplane" is a parody of 1970's disaster movies. Many of Weird Al's music videos are parodies of other more famous music videos.

A work of visual art, literature, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.

Example: The movie "Super 8" is a pastiche of 1980's adventure films, specifically imitating the style of Stephen Spielberg's early career, because it celebrates and embraces the style unironically.

Pastiche and Parody are often confused because they both involve imitation, but the easiest way to distinguish the two is this: Pastiche embraces the imitation through general affection for the source material, whereas Parody is meant to mock and make fun of the source material.

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

Example: The movie "Starship Troopers" is a satire of fascism and fascist war propaganda. Likewise the movie "Sucker Punch" is a satire of the supposedly empowered female sex symbol in geek culture. Both address specific ideas and attempt to say something about them in a rather critical fashion.

Poe's law (named after its author Nathan Poe), says that an Internet adage reflecting an idea without a clear indication of the author's intent, makes it difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism. I believe this is why satire is so difficult for people on the internet to grasp, because a lot of satire revolves around being seeped in a specific mindset that, while designed to mock or say something more about the given subject, is often seen at face value and the broader subtext is ignored.

The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Example:The Titanic was promoted as being unsinkable, but the ship sank on its maiden voyage.

An inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism. An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others

Example: You can be cynical about the successfulness of the US Congress to actually achieve a goal.

The use of language which, on the surface appear to be appropriate to the situation, but are meant to be taken as meaning the opposite in terms of face management. The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflections.

Example: Do I REALLY need to give you an example?
  • Mood: Bemused
  • Listening to: Escapist Podcats
  • Reading: Game of Thrones
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: King Arthur's Gold
  • Eating: Hamburgers
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea
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DTJB Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So would Tarantino be an example of pastiche?
HorrisR34 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
I almost feel like this was a somewhat subtle way of telling us all what satire was, by mixing it in with the rest. I mean, I enjoyed reading this, don't get me wrong, but the emphasis placed on satire kind of makes it seem like the main point. 
SteampunkedKAT Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
handy, thanks :)
zananos Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
aaaand bookmarked XD
YagamiYoshi Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And now all the comments seem sarcastic...
Maplestrip Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Perhaps it should be important to note that parody is in no means hateful per se. Your description makes it sound as if parody is pure mockery, and I guess it is, but often you can make fun of something you love. The creators of Scary Movie must have loved the genre a lot, right?

You're description is not wrong, but seems lacking. Now I think of it, does that mean that something can be both parody and pastiche simultaneously?
TomPreston Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Of course things can be more than one thing at a time!
Maplestrip Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Hehe, I guess things are less black and white than definitions of words sometimes make them out to be. Thanks!
Passin Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
snowskeeper Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Parody isn't necessarily a form of humour, or for that matter an attempt to trivialize or mock someone else's work. The term 'parody' is also used to describe something that parallels someone else's work, but that isn't a clone.
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