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A READER'S JOURNAL

I Think, Therefore I Laugh
by
John Allen Paulos

Published by Columbia University Press in 1985
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©1987
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The title translates (thanks to Prof. Stephen L. Pearce) to: Cogito ergo rideo in Latin. Ridere is the root of risible, which means laughable or to laugh. I wonder if "to ride someone" originates from ridere?

Entomology(1) (and, of course, etymology) aside, Paulos wrote Mathematics and Humor, which I added to my humor collection several years ago (seriously). A wonderfully insightful writer, he brings humor to otherwise dreary subjects. The story from Leo Rosten about the kid who shot first and then drew bullseyes around them he says explains the organization and contents of this book: a miscellany of potshots with meaningful bullseyes drawn around them - examples:

He: Hello, do you like noodles?
She: <startled> Why, no.
He: Do you have a brother?
She: No.
He: If you had a brother, would he like noodles?

Let's leave laughing with a comment on "man's inhumanity to man." "That's what communism is all about," you say? I agree, but with Western governments, it's the other way around, up until now.

----- Footnote -----

Footnote 1.
Like in, "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup."
"Yes, I see it. It's doing the breast stroke."

Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
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Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne

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