C.S. Lewis on Flippancy – a dangerous dalliance

A friend once told me that puns were the lowest form of humor. It was just after I’d told him one. I think he’s wrong, and apparently I’m right because C.S. Lewis has identified the worst of humor –  or as his protagonist the senior devil Screwtape puts it:

Flippancy is the best of all. … It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it.

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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16 Responses to C.S. Lewis on Flippancy – a dangerous dalliance

  1. lauradroege says:

    Oh, puns are so punny! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) My husband’s quite the pun-teller and some of them have become inside jokes between us and our daughters.

    But flippancy has a way of alienating the listener, rather than bringing him/her closer to the joke-teller, and sometimes makes the listener feel that she’s the butt of the joke. That’s never a comfortable feeling.

  2. Adriana says:

    Puns are so puny.
    Glad I have a more sophisticated sense of humor. 😉

  3. Jeannie says:

    I was going to make a flippant comment, or one that included a pun. But I can’t think of anything. Sorry — I hate it when my comments on your blog Fall short.

  4. Aimee Byrd says:

    I LOVE puns–especially on birthday cards. My favorites :
    Each day I love you a little mower (which was the picture on the front of the card).
    Another year older? (picture of a giant pickle): Open (wait for it…) Big Dill!

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