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Laughter

  • We should remind ourselves that laughing together is as close as you can get to another person without touching, and sometimes it represents a closer tie than touching ever could.

  • ... laughter is always fatal to feeling ...

  • He who laughs, lasts!

  • Assuredly it would be a pity if laughter should ever become, like rhetoric and the arts, a habit.

  • She chuckled now and again at a joke, but it was the amused grim chuckle of a person who looks up to discover that they have coincided with the needs of nature in a bird.

  • ... where there is laughter there is always more health than sickness.

  • There can never be enough said of the virtues, the dangers, the power of shared laughter.

  • Evil and laughter cannot co-exist.

  • Love cannot exorcise the gifts of hate. / Hate cannot exorcize what has no weight, / But laughter we can never over-rate.

    • May Sarton,
    • "An Intruder," A Grain of Mustard Seed ()
  • I'm beginning to feel that the real endangered species on planet earth are not the whales and the elephants but those of us who can laugh at the world and ourselves. ... I fear the dry turn of the American mind, this focus on the literal, as much as I fear our capacity for self-destruction. We've become hagridden by facts, obsessed with product instead of process. Where's the energetic wit, the looney outlook, the frivolity, the lightness of comforting laughter? It has become fashionable to know and unfashionable to feel, and you can't really laugh if you can't feel.

  • I am old enough to know that laughter, not anger, is the true revelation.

  • ... humor is the only free emotion. I mean, you can compel fear, as we know. You can compel love, actually ... But you can't compel laughter. It happens when two things come together and make a third unexpectedly.

  • We have to laugh. Because laughter, we already know, is the first evidence of freedom.

    • Rosario Castellanos,
    • "If Not Poetry, Then What?" (1973), in Maureen Ahern, ed., A Rosario Castellanos Reader ()
  • ... you must be gay; only thus can life be endured. I speak from experience for I have had to endure much, and have only been able to endure it because I have always laughed whenever I had the chance.

  • One loses so many laughs by not laughing at oneself.

  • I have often observ'd the loudest Laughers to be the dullest Fellows in the Company.

  • Applause is nothing compared with laughter. Anyone can clap hands, and the mind be miles away. A laugh comes right from the center. No wonder comedians love their audiences.

  • A good time for laughing is when you can.

  • One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.

  • ... how impossible it is not to laugh in some company, or to laugh in others.

    • Maria Edgeworth,
    • 1809, in Augustus J.C. Hare, ed. The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, vol. 1 ()
  • ... there is always a secret irritation about a laugh in which we cannot join.

  • It has been wisely said that we cannot really love anybody at whom we never laugh.

  • Just as we are often moved to merriment for no other reason than that the occasion calls for seriousness, so we are correspondingly serious when invited too freely to be amused.

  • Laughter springs from the lawless part of our nature, and is purifying only in so far as there is a natural and unschooled goodness in the human heart.

  • Though her capacity for emotion was dead, some diabolical sense of humor had sprung up like fireweed from the ruins. She could laugh at everything now, but it was ironic laughter.

  • Lucy laughed her most silvery laugh, the laugh that had made several men believe that she understood what they said.

  • An Englishman is never afraid of being laughed at. He just thinks the other fellow is a fool. But Americans still can't risk anybody laughing at them.

  • Laughter is the great antidote for self-pity, maybe a specific for the malady, yet probably it does tend to dry one's feelings out a little, as if by exposing them to a vigorous wind ...

  • A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes ...

  • ... it was the kind of laughter that caught like briars in her chest and felt very much like pain.

  • A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.

  • ... laughter, that distinctively human emotion, laughter which springs from trust in the other, from willingness to put oneself momentarily in the other's place, even at one's own expense, is the special emotional basis of democratic procedures, just as pride is the emotion of an aristocracy, shame of a crowd that rules, and fear of a police state.

  • Laughter is man's most distinctive emotional expression. Man shares the capacity for love and hate, anger and fear, loyalty and grief, with other living creatures. But humor, which has an intellectual as well as an emotional element, belongs to man.

  • Hostility is expressed in a number of ways. One is laughter.

  • I have a great desire to make people smile — not laugh. Laughter is too aggressive. People bare their teeth.

  • ... Eva gurgled like a stomach.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Polite Conversation," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • There comes a time when suddenly you realize that laughter is something you remember and that you were the one laughing.

  • ... the boys had learned that laughter stilled anxiety. It cleared away mystery. If you could laugh at something, it erased its importance.

  • In an environment in which tragedy is genuine and frequent, laughter is essential to sanity.

  • If you go into a home and there is no laughter, you know there's a real problem.

  • Laughter may instruct but it may also conceal, defending the joker against anger and retaliation: a game is only a game.

    • Margaret Atwood,
    • "Erica Jong: Half-Lives," Second Words: Selected Critical Prose ()
  • A laugh is a terrible weapon ...

  • ... the laughter of adults was always very different from the laughter of children. The former indicated a recognition of the familiar, but in children it came from the shock of the new.

  • Laughter is by definition healthy.

  • The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.

  • Wit is the key, I think, to anybody's heart. Show me the person who doesn't like to laugh and I'll show you a person with a toe tag.

  • Laughter is the lightning rod of play, the eroticism of conversation ...

  • It's possible to forgive someone a great deal if he makes you laugh.

  • Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward.

  • In this political climate, people are so shut down to other ideas — I call it a hardening of the categories — that if you can get them to open up and laugh, there is a possibility of improvement, and a possibility of change. I think humor sneaks up on people, and before you know it, you're laughing at something you might not agree with.

  • Laughter takes the tyranny of the lies we are told and told and told and it blows them apart.

  • Really, sex and laughter do go very well together, and I wondered — and still do — which is the more important.

  • Laughter is serious: more complicated, more serious than tears.

  • What good it does one to have a hearty, uncontrollable fit of laughter.

  • The heart / That laughs must ache.

  • It is easier for some to stand before a bullet than before a laugh.

  • [On husband Paul Newman:] Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat!

  • Next to sex my favorite thing is laughing — it's part of sex. Make me laugh — I'll love you.

    • Penny Marshall,
    • in Denise Collier and Kathleen Beckett, Spare Ribs: Women in the Humor Biz ()
  • He laughs, / but like a belly whose man has disappeared.

  • All I can say is that laughter is my music; I would deeply suspect an argument which hadn't laughter.

    • Alice B. Sheldon,
    • 1954, in Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon ()
  • I think you learn more if you're laughing at the same time.

    • Mary Ann Shaffer,
    • in Mary Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ()
  • Studies show that children laugh an average of four hundred times a day. In contrast, adults laugh an average of fifteen times a day. Pathetic, isn't it? As a manager, you can help boost these statistics by lightening up yourself and encouraging those who work for you to work hard at getting more 'smileage' out of life.

    • Connie Glaser,
    • in Connie Glaser and Barbara Steinberg Smalley, Swim With the Dolphins ()
  • Laughter is an orgasm of the mind.