Sense of Humor, Sense of Seriousness

One must have a sense of humor

and a sense of seriousness

to distinguish what is supposed

to be taken literally or not.

An even more keen sense is needed

when humor is used to make a serious point.

Psychologists have studied how humor

is intended to be taken as having seriousness,

as when court jesters used humor

to convey serious information.

Conversely, when humor is not intended

to be taken seriously, bad taste

in humor may cross a line

after which it is taken seriously,

though not intended