Category Archives: Humor

Humor uses threes as the completion to a joke. "The Rule of Three" is part of the formula. Many stories have you heard start out, "There was a priest, a minister and a rabbi … ." Three characters seems to work well when you are populating your own stories to make them funnier.

Microsoft error messages in haiku


Japanese office workers
Japanese office workers

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages.


Haiku poetry has strict construction rules – each poem has three lines and only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Here are 16 actual error messages from Japan.

Below, the essence of Zen:

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

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It’s a matter of perspective . . .

The Pope and The Rabbi


Several centuries ago, the Pope declared that all Jews had to leave Vatican City. Naturally, a great uproar ensued in the Jewish community. So, the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a representative of the Jewish community. If the Jewish representative won the debate, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won the debate, the Jews had to leave.


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Rule of Three multiplies effect of speech, humor

From the October 29, 1999 print edition
Say Something Funny

The Rule of Three multiplies effect of speech and humor

By Ellis Posey
humorist Doc Blakely
humorist Doc Blakely

If you want to talk funny, timing is everything.

Comic timing is one of those things all comedians and humorists insist is necessary to the successful performance of humor. But nobody seems to be able to explain exactly what comic timing is.

After extensive research and study, I have concluded comic timing is not just one simple rule or formula the budding humor practitioner must master. It’s more likely a number of things.

What humorist Doc Blakely calls “The Rule of Three” is part of the formula.

“It is generally accepted in humor that one general theme is overworked after it has been attacked at least three times with punch lines that are quite similar,” Blakely writes.

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