Wit (#) is an individuals sense of humor (#) enhanced by their knowledge (#) and wisdom (#) pertaining to current events or whatever they may be having a conversation about with others. Wit is a person’s ability to display style (#), creativity (#) and individuality (#) usually with an ironic (#) twist. Wit is an asset for those who embody common sense (#) and cunning. Some of the time wit is utilized to relieve tension and awkwardness in a situation, but on the other hand can also cause tension and awkwardness.
People in general have a need to laugh. In situations where they find themselves the center of attention they usually turn to their wit to help them out of an uncomfortable moment, hopefully with dignity intact. This does not always occur the way it is intended to.

Many who do not understand others, need to use wit in every day situations. Certain people are just not mentally or even intellectually capable to comprehend the irony in every day events. These types of people are not necessarily ignorant or dull, but incapable of seeing the silver lining to the bad situations they encounter. “Wit is central in my life, humorless people baffle me,” Janelle Allen says when I ask her the importance of wit in her life. I agree with her, not only because she is my mother and I developed my sense of humor from her. She quotes the Far Side and Monty Python frequently, which are classics in displaying wit. “The lack of wit in my everyday interactions would mean that I am living in an increasingly dull and thick society,” said Cody Duncan when asked the same question as Janelle Allen.

The question is, do Montanans like to laugh, or is life just not funny? After putting a lot of thought into this very question, though I cannot ask every person in this town let alone this state, I do have twenty-five years of life experience to recall on. So I have come to a conclusion that yes, typically we like to laugh and we like to laugh a lot. Having met all kinds and varieties of people from all walks of life, I can only recall maybe a handful of instances where my wit was not appreciated, this was usually due to lack of my own tact or poor timing. I have had countless times where I have made others laugh whether at themselves, myself or a situation. So, since I have not been able to poll all Montanans I can only rely on my personal encounters that the majority wins. Wit is valued strongly in our intermountain society, beings that it is central part of humor and interactions with others.

Other factors of local events that confirm my convictions are the stand-up comedy shows available at the Billings Hotel, improvised comedy skits performed weekly at the Railyard by Projectile Comedy, and the occasional satirical or comedic plays performed at Venture Theatre, The Alberta Bair Theatre and Billings Studio Theatre. All of the entertainment offered locally is widely attended and supported by many if not most of Billings adult inhabitants. I will even venture to say that comedy shows and local theatres are Billings main culture, and that wit is prominent throughout Montanans' lives. Wit, in my opinion, is a value due to the fact that so many use it along with humor to ease or celebrate events in their lives.
During times of desperation, hopelessness, stress or even during times of happiness, wit is the easiest way to find reprieve and/or celebrate.
Wit is by no means easy to display fluidly. Here are a few ways to help you utilize wit.


  • READ and expand your overall knowledge. From reading the newspaper to a book that catches your eye helps.
  • UNDERSTANDING the English language and it's nuances.
  • IMAGINE and find humor in seemingly boring ideas.
In order to utilize wit effectively and appropriately one would have to embody and emphasize other values within themselves. Such values would be that one cannot be witty if they do not express and share a sense of humor (#). A person could fulfill their potential, speak the truth (#), and prove their wisdom (#) by embracing wit in their everyday lives. In conclusion wit is an important value, it is the subsidiary value to most values that enhance quality of life and happiness.
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