There is nothing like a good laugh! To see someone creased up, holding their sides, tears running down their cheeks as they gasp for air, overcome with hilarity; it is contagious. The smile that creeps across your face grows to a grin and then, there’s no going back. You laugh!
I’m a stickler for basic spelling and punctuation. You know, the likes of “your” and “you’re”, or “their”, “there” and “they’re”. Recently the apostrophe has become a standing joke in our house. Or rather, the misuse of it.
The current spate of hilarity started whilst reading “Eats, shoots and leaves“, a humorous book on grammar and punctuation. The chapter on the apostrophe contained amusing, if not concerning, real life examples of the abuse of this much maligned mark. The sign announcing, “Puppy’s for sale” prompts the question, “Puppy’s what for sale?” or the Department for Education’s use of “childrens'”. Oh, then there’s the dilemma of it’s or its… or should it be its’!?
When proofreading my work Candy will say, “Don’t you want an apostrophe there?” My usual response is something like, “Put one either side of the s, just to make sure. It’s’. Yes, that’s much better.” We laugh, it does us good.
Laughter is more than good, it’s important.
A good laugh is healthy. Amongst other things, it:
- enhances your air intake, stimulating lungs, heart and other muscles,
- stimulates better circulation,
- reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol,
- aids muscle relaxation reducing physical symptoms of stress,
- increases resistance to pain,
- increases your endorphins (the “feel good” chemicals).
Laughter is beneficial for your relationships.
Good relationships are built on shared experiences. Experiencing things together builds trust and draws you closer. Laughter causes the body to release oxytocin (often called the “bonding hormone”). A shared experience of laughter is one with double the bonding power.
A word of caution – there is a big difference between laughing at and with someone. Don’t laugh at your spouse’s expense. Hurtful comments spoken in jest leave deep scars. Discern a good joke from a hurtful one. The best rule – if in doubt, don’t.