Learn to Laugh, People!

One professor asked his students to use LOVE and SEX in a sentence.

Girls wrote:

“When mutual understanding between a boy and a girl increases so much that they can’t live without each other, implies they are in LOVE and when this LOVE reaches extreme that both feel bodily the same, they engage themselves in a body to body pleasureful combat that what we call SEX.”

Boys wrote:



One day, I posted that joke in my English group on Facebook. Turned out, it gained a lot of attentions from the members. Most members (native English speakers and ESL speakers) thought it was really funny. However, some members took it way too seriously. They gave serious comments on it. One member said, “True love never depends on sex.” Another member said, “What about old lovers? Do they love each other for sex??” I replied to them, “Wanna bet on it?”

“Be serious with your group and add serious people in your group, ma’am”, said one member to me after the comments heated up. So I told her to loosen up a bit, “Don’t be too serious. Serious people are boring.”

That is the problem that might come up when we throw jokes to ESL speakers/learners. They tend to take the jokes too seriously. What was supposed to be a crackup joke leads to a disputable argument. OK, I will be serious for a moment. If you want to learn another language – English to be particular – you learn the culture that comes with it. Like it or lump it! There’s a saying in English “All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy”.

Language and culture are like conjoined twins. They cannot be separated. If you try to separate them, they will surely die. When you learn another language, you learn the culture that comes with it. There is no avoiding that. This does not mean that you have to agree with everything. This does not mean that you have to alter your personal standard or anything. However, if you try to superimpose your own culture to the language you are learning, to the extend that it impedes learning, then you need to have another big think.



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