People who carry humor to excess are considered vulgar buffoons. They try to be funny at all costs, and their aim is more to raise a laugh than to speak with propriety and to avoid giving pain to the butt of their jokes. But those who cannot say anything funny themselves, and are offended by those who do, are thought to be boorish and dour. – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book IV, ch. 8
Aristotle there, reducing the argument somewhat. He has a point though, most would agree that there is a time and a place for humour. I don’t advise that we attempt to be funny ‘at all costs’, it would be tedious if every moment in life came with a punchline, but can we not speak with propriety while also cracking a few jokes? I have posted this mostly because of the last line, which suggests that anyone who is offended by humour are thought to be boorish and dour. It seems to be half the country’s favourite past-time, taking offense at jokes, while the other half relish in pushing the boundaries of bad taste. Are we entitled to be offended? Should comedy ever be censored? Or are jokes just innocent little jokes?