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The word humour relates to all art, literature and situations that humans find amusing. We find humour in artististic works specifically designed to be comedic, but also in everyday situations. Humour can be unintentional.

Some humour has universal appeal, but generally speaking, humour has a highly cultural component. What makes people laugh can vary greatly from society to society, and even among groups in the same society. Humour can be topical, and lose its ability to make us laugh once its timeliness has passed. A joke is a good illustration of this; as a joke is verbal humour. Naturally, one must understand the language the joke is given in, but also its context, social reference, and any plays on words jokes based on word play often do not translate well, if at all. Erudite jokes are not understood by the uneducated; jokes based on common vernacular are not understood by the educated, or those of another social class.