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Measuring the Humor in Nonsense Words

Subjects were presented pairs of nonsense words, and asked to rate them on a scale not-funny to funny. Words that scored the highest were those with higher entropy or weirdness. The results illuminate the enduring humor and charm of Dr. Seuss and other masters of nonsense.

And while it’s probably not surprising that people found weird words funny, the interesting thing is that there was a pretty linear relationship between how unusual the word was, and how humorous it was…This concept is something that the king of nonsense words—Dr. Seuss—seemed to intuitively understand. (The Atlantic)

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