Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Grace of Humor


These days, because of Covid-19 we are familiar with non-face-to-face classes and meetings. A college professor writes about the importance of humor at this time in a column of the Catholic Peace Weekly.

She met an  acquaintance in person after some time, with the words: "You look good". The  acquaintance's reaction was unexpected. When she saw her not saying anything while touching her face, she felt she said something that wasn't proper. Even if it was meant well it was interpreted as evaluating her appearance. 
We don't like to be judged by another. "You look good." "You look like you lost weight." "You look pale."Careful attention should be paid to such greetings.
For media with multiple targets, careful attention to the language used is essential. Many are the cases in which the cast of the broadcasting program received administrative censure from the Korea Communications Standards Commission for making remarks that mock other people's appearance. The negative effect on viewers is magnified by subtitles, sound effects, and background music when used.
The Korea Communications Standards Commission is asking for caution in the use of language reproduced in broadcasting and video content with the "Broadcasting Language Guidelines." 
In detail, entertainment programs stipulate that "even considering the characteristics of programs to induce laughter, the use of expressions that demean the other's appearance, personality, age education, occupation, disability, class, region, race, and the like are pointed out. It is often necessary to check our society's perception of humor.
Therefore, even if the purpose of the statement is to induce laughter, if the content is to mock or disparage the appearance or character of others, it will be an attack on the other party, not humor.

Broadcasters who are sensitive to ratings are likely to be sensitive to the language that viewers usually use. In particular, it may be a survival strategy to borrow so-called YouTube and Netflix  grammar, speech methods, abbreviated words  that speak to the viewers. Good broadcasts are also made by good viewers. Let us all experience the grace of humor through good language and dialogue in everyday life.

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