The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of . In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”
Joseph Heller’s World War II novel Catch-22 is a great example of satire. Joseph Heller had flown bomber missions in WWII, just like his main character Captain John Yossarian, and was tortured by the experience. He found the wartime bureaucracy and logic to be incredibly hypocritical. The most famous example of satire in the book comes from the title, the concept of the Catch 22. This is one of those bureaucratic nightmares in which something can only be done when the thing that precludes it from happening happens. Yossarian eventually discovers that the catch doesn’t even exist, but because everything thinks it does it still has the same effect. And, unfortunately, because it doesn’t exist it can’t be repealed. This is a good metaphor for the entire lack of logic in bureaucracy.