A woman is sitting at her deceased husband’s funeral. A man leans in toward her and asks, "Do you mind if I say a word?"

A woman is sitting at her deceased husband’s funeral. A man leans in toward her and asks, "Do you mind if I say a word?".
"No, go right ahead", the woman replies.
The man stands, clears his throat, says "Plethora", and sits back down.
"Thanks", the woman says, "that means a lot"

This is a dad joke. It is also definitional. The humor in it is absurd. There are two parts of the joke that are funny - the first one is that the man in the joke said the word "plethora" at this funeral. That is the absurd bit.

Normally, when someone asks to "say a word", they mean that they want to talk about something, not that they literally want to say a single word, but in this case, the man literally said a single word. This alone would be a weak punchline, but there is more where that came from:

The word plethora means "a large or excessive amount of something". That is an entirely inappropriate thing to say in this situation. If his word were "Condolences", then the entire exchange would be a little weird, but hardly noteworthy, but the fact that he said "Plethora" is certainly absurd.

Now, the woman's response should be confusion, however, instead, she says "That means a lot", which colloquially means "I appreciate that". "That means a lot" would be a completely normal thing to say if the man had said something normal, but in this case, it is an absurd response.

Now, here is the punchline: after the man said plethora, the woman defined the word plethora back to him, so the absurd conversation they just had would have been normal under different circumstances.

This joke might make more sense if the woman were, in fact, an English teacher. Then her defining the word might seem like it was just a habit.

I don't know if that would make it better or worse, however.



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