Profile picture
Piyush Tainguriya @simplyceaser
, 21 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
1/ One Liners Are Like Your Mom - Insightful: A Thread.
There's no universally agreed upon definition of comedy but I think we can agree that the best comedy is about observations that either no one's made or observations that we all have made but haven't been able to verbalize.
2/ Such observations can be verbalized in many forms including storytelling, monologues, rants, sketches and one liners.

One liners have many clear advantages over other forms of comedy such as -
3/ MEMORABILITY: Try and forget George Carlin's one liner - "fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity". Spoiler alert - you can't. One liners are small, rhythmic, vivid and surprising. All the qualities of the best mnemonics.
4/ IMPACT: While monologues and rants leave an emotional impact while their contents leak out of the audience memory quickly, one liners have the benefit of being emotionally AND intellectually impactful e.g. "the last thing I want is to hurt you but it's still on the list".
5/ COMPRESSION: We use language to model the world around us. Models are by definition inaccurate. The most perfect model of the solar system would be the solar system itself. A model, e.g. a planetarium will have to forego many details to convey the salient features.
6/ Therefore a model is always torn between explanatory power and scale. A good model packs the largest amount of explanatory power at the smallest scale. One liners are smallest scale models of our world.
7/ Now, not all one liners will pack large amounts of explanatory power. Most will be silly wordplay. But when they do, the COMPRESSED explanatory power will combine with MEMORABILITY and IMPACT creating the 4th property -
8/ STICKINESS: Stickiness is different from memorability because memorability is survival of the observation in the individual mind but stickiness is survival of the observation over time across many minds through discussion, repetition and confirmation.
9/ A powerful example of the above assertion is proverbs. All proverbs are one liners. We have ancient surviving mythologies, epics, plays and books but in sheer numbers and reach they have nothing on the stickiness of proverbs.
10/ If this sounds like too academic an argument, try this Chinese proverb - "the longer the explanation, the bigger the lie". Try and forget it (you can't) and test it for accuracy (near 100%). Highly memorable, impactful, sticky, compressed and...
11/ USEFUL: The best insights are the ones that you can use. Law enforcement agencies use the equivalent of the above Chinese proverb to detect lies. Proverbs are one liners you can use. Here's proof -
12/ To use terminology coined by @nntaleb, one liners are Lindy as fuck. To get a better understanding of the Lindy effect check out the screenshots attached.
13/ This applies to not just comedy but many other disciplines. Science can be described as the effort to model the universe in shortest, most highly explanatory, memorable, impactful and Lindy compatible mathematical language. My favorite math one liner is e^iX=CosX + iSinX.
14/ Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain it to a 6 year old, you don't understand it well enough. The best way to explain things to a 6 year old is through either one liners or stories. Stories are impactful through other mechanisms but that's another thread 😊.
Just realized this thread should be called
One Liners Are Like Your Mom: Comedy Gold.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Piyush Tainguriya
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!