Monday, August 27, 2012

Q&A: When is it OK to Laugh?

Thank heaven the Internet is here to help solve the little insecurities we face each day...

Q: When I watch TV with my little sister, we laugh at different parts of the show. My sister makes fun of me and says, "Your timing is off!" At the time I just got angry and said, "No, you're off!" ...but, there isn't a standard for when to laugh at a TV show, right? We're free to laugh at whatever part we want, right?
When I think about it, my sister usually laughs at about the same time as the celebrity guests on the show.

It doesn't make me feel good to be told that my timing is off or that I'm out of sync. I'm 18 and my sister is 16.

Looking forward to your responses.

A: My sister and I laughed at different parts of shows, too.
She'd start laughing when nothing was happening and I'd say, "Why are you laughing now?!" and look at her and end up laughing myself.
And sometimes she laughed at me the same way.

Now I live with my husband, but we don't always laugh at the same parts either.
Everyone has a different laughing point, so there's no standard for this kind of thing. I really understood that when I started watching stand-up comedy DVDs with my husband.
Even successful comedians have their critics, or people who don't think they're funny. Perception of actions or words differs by person.

So I think you should just laugh when you feel like laughing.
Don't take it so seriously!

Today's Translation Notes:
「ずれてる!」 → "Your timing is off!" / "You're out of sync!"
確かに → "When I think about it," (lit. "Certainly," "If I recall correctly,")
回答お願いします → "Looking forward to your responses."
     (This took some thought. The Japanese doesn't feel harsh enough to use "Please respond," though I'd considered it. If you think of any alternate translations for this well-used expression, please share them in the comments section!)
逆に笑われる事もありましたし。 → "And sometimes she laughed at me the same way."
     (lit. "Conversely, she laughed at me as well.")
笑うツボ → "laughing point"
     (ツボ indicates a "trigger point;" this word is also used in acupuncture for "pressure point.")
行動や言動、見るところは人によりけり。 → "Perception of actions or words differs by person."
     (Another tough one! Suggestions are welcome. :) )

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