A post by Thierry Mortier
Why did the chicken cross the road?… Because it didn’t see the sign!
Dear Semiofest2016 participant,
How great to see you in Tallin soon. As you know, this year’s theme is “Semiotics and Cultural innovation”. Personally, I believe there is no human activity with a greater potential to bring about cultural innovation and cultural cohesion than humor. It is also one of the most difficult things to do as a deliberate action… especially when sitting behind a desk. It’s much easier in conversation or in context. We’ve all done it; made somebody laugh. An impromptu insight with a twist, a spur of the moment inspiration for the right word pun at the right time…
With that in mind, I would like to ask you for your participation in a collaborative work: inventing, constructing or adapting jokes about semiotics.
The question before you is simple: come up with a joke,that is set within the Semiotic Umwelt a joke about semiotics, by semioticians, for semioticians and send it to me before May 28, 2016. If you find yourself on a roll and come up with more, do send them all, there’s no maximum of contributions per participant!
All the contributions will be collected in a small pdfbooklet for all to download at the end of Semiofest2016 … bound to make us a smash hit at our next conferences!
As the question is simple, the work might not be: our working language is English and I’m primarily asking to come up with a joke in English which isn’t necessarily your native tongue. If you find a brilliant joke in your mother language, do send it in too, but please provide a translation or explanation in English.
To get you started on your research into how jokes work, there exist a couple of formats you can play around with to get the ball rolling:
- Why did the chicken cross the road? jokes
- Knock, knock! Who’s there? … . … who? … jokes
- Two signs meet; says the first sign… jokes
- Saussure, Greimas and Peirce step into a bar. Saussure says:”…”, Greimas says“…”, Peirce says “…” jokes
- Wordpun jokes
- …If you know a great joke about Engineers that can be adapted to a great joke about Semioticians; Adapt! & share it please.
The details I’ll need for the collection:
- online presence
- Your joke! (with translation if not in English)
- classification: Original, Adapted or Adapted Format
- Original: you’ve just invented a brilliant joke!
- Adapted: you’ve adapted a brilliant joke into a brilliant joke about semiotics!
- Adapted Format: you used an existing format to construct a brilliant joke!(Chicken cross the road; Knock, knock; …)Please send your contributions to email@example.com with “Semiofest2016 joke” in the subject, before May 28th, 2016 … and I’ll take care of the rest!HAVE FUN! See you in TALLIN!
Thierry Mortier, semiotic architect