A joke is something spoken, written, or done with humorous intention. Jokes may have many different forms, e.g., a single word or a gesture (considered in a particular context), a question-answer, or a whole short story. The word "joke" has a number of synonyms, including wisecrack, gag, prank, quip and jest. To achieve their end, jokes may employ irony, sarcasm, word play and other devices. Jokes may have a punch line, i.e. an ending to make it humorous. A practical joke or prank differs from a spoken joke in that the major component of the humour is physical rather than verbal (for example placing salt in the sugar bowl). Jokes are typically for the entertainment of friends and onlookers. The desired response is generally laughter; when this does not happen the joke is said to have "fallen flat" or "bombed". However, jokes have other purposes and functions, common to comedy/humour/satire in general. Jokes have been a part of human culture since at least 1900 BC. According to...
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