Abstract The General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH) has dominated the discussion of humor theory for the last quarter of a century. It generated a great deal of interest in humor studies by scholars both within and outside the discipline of linguistics. Problems are resident in GTVH, however, which have been inherited from its predecessor the Semantic Script Theory of Humor (SSTH). Script Opposition and Script Overlap are not adequately defined, nor are they sufficient for the identification of a joke-carrying text. The resource of the Logical Mechanism posited by GTVH may have complicated rather than simplified the matter as the list of proposed mechanisms are too loosely defined and woefully incomplete. The Ontological Semantics Theory of Humor (OSTH) has promised to demonstrate the adequacy of the linguistic theories of humor by the ability of computers to process natural language input to discriminate between joke-carrying and non-joke-carrying texts. That promise, also decades old, remains to be fulfilled, and it is questionable whether it can be fulfilled if based on SSTH and GTVH platforms.

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