The Corner on NRO blog had a reader yesterday who says this:
A friend in Atlanta: "Derb---The worst, or best, example of parody tone deafness that I've encountered are the Dutch. They have absolutely no concept of irony or sarcasm as humor. They always asked why I said something if I did not really mean it. To them, humor is very much a 'Three Stooges' type affair. Slip on a banana...hilarious, clever play on words...huh?
"This trait might also be shared by other Germanic/Scandinavian folks - I don't know. I just know the Dutch's sense of humor is nowhere near as sophisticated and clever as Anglo humor. No sense of idle chit chat either. Hell is being in a social environment with gorgeous Dutch girls who speak perfect English but it is not possible to engage in light, flirtatious banter...what a waste. After two years of talking past each other, I could not wait to get out of de Nederland."
Ok so that's nice - generally I thought it was the Prussians who had their sense of humour gland surgically removed at birth - but what the hell, Dutch, Germans, Prussians its all the same really, and maybe it has a slight basis in truth. I happen to have met quite a few Dutch people with an excellent sense of humour - including one who explained the Dutch problem to me as follows:
You see there are two sorts of Dutch people. Half of them, they take the sense of humour gland from and the other half get a second one implanted. The problem is working out in advance which one you are talking to before you tell a joke.
Still its not exactly an important thing so I was just going to let it pass, but then today I see that Zacht Ei demonstrates an excellent grasp of irony or sarcasm:
On the 6th of November, I wrote this item about a survey by a Dutch newspaper.
Today, a kind reader pointed out the existence of this article to me. Just scroll down a bit.
I guess I should be happy, since I'm writing this blog in English to improve my fluency in written English, so one day I would be able to get my stuff published in American and British outlets. Well, mission accomplished. Thing is, I always imagined my name would be there, too
QNED. Hypothesis disproven. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (€150)