Have you ever said something which was accidentally funny? Or made a joke intended to be interpreted one way and someone laughs at a completely different side to it?

I’m sure there are lots of great definitions of humour, but for me it’s simply drawing attention to the difference between an imagined situation and the real situation.

That difference providing the basis for the humour often seems to originate by mistake.  Something you mispronounced, or was mis-heard, or mis-understood. When two or more more comedy writers bounce ideas off each other as part of the creative and collaborative process, I wonder how much of the really good stuff originates by accident and then gets polished.

In the European Football – or Soccer to our North American and Irish friends – Championships of 2012, Group C which featured Spain, Ireland and Italy was called the Group of Debt, a witty variant on the term Group of Death. I’d like to think this elegant play on words originated in Ireland where sometimes ‘debt’ and ‘death’ sound indistinguishable, but apparently it had been coined the year before by a Brit.

My mistake :-).

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