Is there a word to describe a person who constantly points out logical inconsistencies, misapplication of concepts and such stuff in jokes while completely missing the point?


  • 2
    I don't know of a word to describe the person, but I know of a phrase that describes the action: the person is taking the joke too seriously.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:14

4 Answers 4


"Pedantic" is probably the most applicable term, or among the most applicable.

overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching.

The term describes someone who is overly concerned with fine details that should not matter. The word is very frequently used in applications besides teaching, despite what the definition might say. In this case, the person is concerned with details that normally should not impact the humor of the joke.

Depending on the circumstances, "ostentatious" or "pretentious" might also be applicable, if the person is making their minute grammar or logical corrections in an attempt to seem smarter than everyone else present.


"Clueless" would be appropriate, altho it has a far broader application than just people who don't get jokes, so using it to describe someone wouldn't automatically characterize the subject as one who misses jokes.


I agree that "pedantic" (the noun form is "a pedant", BTW) is probably the most correct term.

There is also the more casual/slangy term "killjoy", which is just generally used to refer to somebody who has a tendency to take all of the fun out of something which was intended to be enjoyable.


Many people with Asperger's syndrome or Autism take jokes and concepts overly literally. Many of them don't "grok" what is funny about a joke.

Thus, "aspie" is a current slang term for the kind of person that arax asks about. "Aspie"'s primary meaning is a noun, and refers to the person in question. "Aspie" can also be an adjective. When used in these ways, "aspie" is derogatory and informal.

Oddly, all of the definitions currently listed in The Urban Dictionary are either positive, or were meant to be critical of non-aspie people. Several of the definitions state that "aspie" is an informal, affectionate term invented by aspies and their relatives.

  • No longer getting or seeing the humor in jokes is an early sign of Alzheimer's. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:00
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    The use of "aspie" as a pejorative will only encourage its further use as a pejorative. While your statements involving Aspergers are broadly correct, this is roughly equivalent to suggest that we call any male exhibiting flamboyancy a "fag." Also, you used the word "grok" incorrectly. How's that for Asperger's? ;)
    – Crazy Eyes
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:25
  • @CrazyEyes -- I vaguely remember that when Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land "grokked" jokes, he thought they were horrible, because they were always laughing at someone's pain.
    – Jasper
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:43
  • @Jasper Hmm, I guess that is a more niche usage than I remember. I don't generally consider jokes as requiring a higher level of understanding, but I suppose in the context of Heinlein's novel it makes sense.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:08
  • Also, not getting jokes does not mean Asperger's or any other condition. It could simply be ignorance. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:09

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