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Thank goodness for fun, missus.

I HAVE friends who are fun to be with.

They have a great sense of humour, are good natured and make me laugh. Like Ken Dodd or Peter Kay.

But if I had been born in the 17th century I wouldn't have had any fun friends. The word fun hadn't been invented then. It's a sad thought to have lived in a world without fun.

Of course, that's not literally true.

People had a laugh, played japes, told silly stories and acted the goat. Ken Dodd with his tickling sticks would have been a court jester.

Dr George Redmonds, of Lepton, local historian and internationally renowned wordsmith, made the surprising discovery that fun only gained its modern meaning in recent history and has sent me the entry from the proposed glossary he is researching that deals with fun:"The noun has not been found earlier than a.1700 when it was used of a hoax or practical joke, although not long afterwards it referred to the amusement or pleasure caused by such diversions.

"It is thought to have derived from a verb 'to fon or fun' which meant to cheat or trick and it is recorded in this sense from 1685: 'She had fun'd him of his Coin' (Oxford English Dictionary).

"It is intriguing, therefore, to note the following by-name, possibly a nickname for a notorious trickster, from 1658: 'John Fun, otherwise Funn John of Bingley, labourer, convicted of one prophane oath'.

"The modern word fun still has different meanings. Something described as funny can be amusing or peculiar. Wikipedia described fun as enjoyment or pleasure.

"Fun is an experience - short-term, often unexpected, informal."

Fun is an essential ingredient of life. Everybody needs a daily dose of daftness and fun, it is part of the human spirit and condition.

We need to laugh. Like the lad from Barnsley who went to York races for the first time. A chap said to him: "Do you want the winner of the next race?" " "No thanks," he said."I've only got a little garden."

have

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2014
Words:342
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