Why do we laugh? 我們為什麼會笑?

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什麼能讓你發笑?能讓我們笑出聲的原因有很多,其中一個主要原因是為了建立和維持社會聯絡,你覺得和朋友在一起的時候更容易笑嗎?本期 “隨身英語” 討論為什麼要笑,笑對我們有哪些好處。

字彙:laughter 笑聲

What things make you laugh? There are many things that make us chuckle or burst into laughter. This natural show of emotion gives off signals that we are happy, we find something humorous or even that we’re just a barrel of laughs! Gelotologists have been looking at why we do it and what the benefits are.

Laughter is a very primitive way of making a sound. When we do it, we make very strange noises – from wheezes and squeaks to gasps and snorts – and each sound simply reflects the muscles in the chest squeezing out air from our ribcages under very high pressure.

Most of the time our laughter is involuntary and contagious, particularly between friends. Neuroscientist, Sophie Scott, told the BBC that it’s “a social emotion. It’s better to laugh with people we like.” She defines two types of laughter – spontaneous laughter, where we laugh instantly and uncontrollably, and conversational laughter – where we laugh together with friends. Research found, on average, people laugh seven times for every ten minutes of conversation.

The BBC World Service programme Crowd Science examined the science of laughter. It wanted to know what caused this highly infectious repetitive action. It found we use laughter to show others that we’re being playful and non-threatening, and this serves to make and maintain social bonds. Also, people outside of our social group can understand the relationship between the laughers by the sound of our chuckles.

While our health is no laughing matter, research has found a good guffaw can help our body and mind – it can make us feel good and relax our bodies. It also helps us manage pain and improve our immune system. That’s why laughter therapy is being used as an alternative to conventional treatments. But generally, our ability to laugh is out of our control. When you start doing it, just go with the flow and others will join in.

詞彙表

chuckle 輕聲笑,暗自笑
burst into laughter 突然開始大笑
humorous 幽默的,滑稽的
a barrel of laughs 有趣,開心果
gelotologist 笑學家
primitive 原始的
wheeze 呼哧呼哧的喘氣聲
squeak 吱吱聲,短促的尖叫聲
gasp 喘息,倒抽氣
snort 鼻息聲,哼哼聲
involuntary 不由自主的
contagious 具有感染力的
spontaneous laughter 自發的笑
conversational laughter 交談中的笑
infectious 有感染力的
non-threatening 不具威脅性的
social bond 社會關係
no laughing matter 不是開玩笑的事,正經事
guffaw 哈哈大笑,狂笑
laughter therapy 笑聲療法

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is happening physically in our bodies that makes us laugh?

2. What happens when we laugh spontaneously?

3. According to one survey, how many times do we laugh on average in a ten-minute conversation?

4. In which ways can laughter improve our health?

5. True or false? Other people feel threatened if they hear you laugh.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. We were very _______ and booked a cheap package holiday. We’re leaving tomorrow!

humorous                  spontaneous                 infectious                       contagious

2. I like going out with my brother. He’s always a _______.

laughing barrel          barrel of laughing          barrels of laughs            barrel of laughs

3. Her sense of humour is _______; we always end up laughing with her.

humorous                  contagious                    conversational                guffaw

4. I had to _______ when I saw the actor get his words mixed up.

wheeze                      snort                             chuckle                           primitive

5. Losing your job is _______.

a laughing matter                                            no laugh matters

laughing not matters                                       no laughing matter

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is happening physically in our bodies that makes us laugh?
Laughter is caused by the muscles in the chest squeezing out air from our ribcages under very high pressure.

2. What happens when we laugh spontaneously?
We laugh instantly and uncontrollably.

3. According to one survey, how many times do we laugh on average, in a ten-minute conversation?
Research found, on average, people laugh seven times for every ten minutes of conversation.

4. In which ways can laughter improve our health?
It can make us feel good and relax our bodies. It can even help manage pain and improve our immune system.

5. True or false? Other people feel threatened if they hear you laugh.
False. We use laughter to show others that we’re being playful and non-threatening.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或片語來完成下列句子。

1. We were very spontaneous and booked a cheap package holiday. We’re leaving tomorrow!

2. I like going out with my brother. He’s always a barrel of laughs.

3. Her sense of humour is contagious; we always end up laughing with her.

4. I had to chuckle when I saw the actor get his words mixed up.

5. Losing your job is no laughing matter.