Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recognising a gifted sense of humour

One of the anecdotal ways for recognising a gifted child is the ability to notice how things are related in a more abstract way than most. However, relating behaviour to the appropriate system is often perceived, rather than logical. It accounts for the intuitive leaps in thinking made by creative individuals who have their minds open to alternatives. Frequently there is room for humour. A keen sense of humour is a characteristic of giftedness.
The Washington Post runs an annual contest asking readers to take any word from the dictionary, and then to alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter and supplying a new definition. This is a great challenge for able students... challenge your student to create a new dictionary!
Examples :
Remaindeer (n) (re-mayn-deer)
Members of santa’s force who are not needed at Christmas
Coffer (n) (coff- er)
The person who coughs over everyone
Coffee is the person coughed on.
Once you have laughed at these, however, look for the logic that underpins the perceptions ! Nobody ‘s feelings are hurt by such parodies because everyone laughs at the joke, not at a victim. Gifted children often make links to the ‘grey areas’ of language such as innuendo and allusion. Being able to do this takes a good knowledge base, intuition and the ability to reason.

Test your own ability to relate information to the appropriate system...
Give 6 four-letter words ending in –OUR
Give 5 four-letter words ending in –OIL
Give 4 four-letter words ending in –ORD
Give 3 five-letter words ending in –ENSE
Give 2 five-letter words ending in –LOTH
Give 1 four-letter word ending in –ENY
No ... I’m not supplying answers. Accept the challenge and keep trying !
For more ‘Tools 4 Talent Development ‘ see my publications under this name at

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