It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

I am often delightfully surprised by synchrony in the blogosphere.

You could write a thesis about it if you were that way inclined. It could be titled ‘an analysis of subliminal, conscious and spontaneous influences on the development of literary and artistic themes within short time periods among bloggers on the internet’ or some such thing 😉

But who has the time or inclination for such folly.

Anyhoo, I was meditating recently on what I perceived as the current synchronous blog theme and it was:


Yes incongruity. I love incongruity. I love it as a literary device. Hell, I love it (don’t we all) as a device for jokes and humour in general.

Apparently incongruity is king in the book of humour theory (and I suppose relief and superiority are the prince and princess of humour theory).

We like to laugh at things that seem surprising, out of place; the collision of two things that should not go together.

The following joke is an example of incongruity:

Two fish in a tank.
One turns to the other and says:

“Do you know how to drive this?”

But it’s not just about jokes is it? It’s about stories and life in general.

We love incongruity and more importantly we love incongruity followed by resolution. We are partial to the production of an Aha moment or what is known as the Eureka effect – the sudden understanding of what was previously a mystery; the coming together of little blobs of paint until the whole picture becomes apparent when standing at a distance.

So what was incongruous in the blogosphere these past few weeks.

Well first there was a haiku from Brisbane-based poetic guru Graham Nunn which you can find here.

Over at Square Sunshine Martin Hodges tells us stories about cursing and the incongruity that is a swear word from a teacher’s mouth.

Then there was a very intriguing combination of haiku and photography from NSW-based author Nigel Featherstone which can be found here.

Both haiku seemed like riddles to me; and what is a riddle if not rooted in incongruity.

But don’t get me started on riddles.

I will end this blog post with an incongruous incident which I often retell.

I attended primary school run by catholic nuns (yes, a convent) and one day a strange thing happened. The nun that was teaching us English suddenly lost the plot and threw a guitar across the classroom and started to yell and rant hysterically. The guitar hit the wall and she ran out the door.

Homework:         Please discuss the incongruity in this situation and provide examples of your own 😉