There’s nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer’s Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Is there anything funny about comedy and comity? I mean, one involves humor, while the other is all about social harmony. So yeah, I guess these two terms can both coexist with a joke or three. Know any?

(7 Comedy Writing Techniques.)

OK, here’s one:

Question: What do you get when you give a writer a deadline?
Answer: A really clean house.

I’m sorry; it’s Monday. Soooo in this post, we’re going to look at the differences in comedy and comity and when to use each.

Comedy vs. Comity

Comedy is a noun that refers to one of the following: a narrative style in which humor is involved throughout and most characters are happy at the end; funny event or occurrence; and/or comic element. Comedy, when done well, tends to make people laugh.

(A List of Funny Words to Help You Write Funnier Stories.)

Comity, on the other hand, is a noun that refers to either social harmony or the avoidance of converting or attempting to convert members of another religious denomination (for instance, Baptists not trying to convert Methodists). It is also used in law to indicate the shared recognition of governmental laws and actions. A place with a good deal of comity offers a friendly and tolerant environment, or, at the very least, respectful of each other’s authority. As such, it may be a nice place to share a non-offensive joke (or to break the comity with an offensive one, I suppose).

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of comedy and comity:

Correct: Most people laughed at his fart jokes, but that’s just not my kind of comedy.
Incorrect: Most people laughed at his fart jokes, but that’s just not my kind of comity.

Correct: Despite their personal differences, the principal and education board projected comity when it came to the school calendar.
Incorrect: Despite their personal differences, the principal and education board projected comedy when it came to the school calendar.

At the end of the day, comedy is funny, and comity is harmonious. And that makes me think of “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding,” by Elvis Costello & the Attractions.

There’s nothing funny about comity, but peace, love, and understanding can lead to comedy.

*****

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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