In a world where wit often takes a backseat, Chesterton argued, it is time to give it the credit it deserves. Wit, even in its simplest form of clever words, has been unjustly underrated and unfairly dismissed. It, nevertheless, stands as the true champion of intellectual prowess.

A joke always contains a thought. Serious writing can be surprisingly thoughtless. Consider this: when was the last time a dissertation or an academic paper made you chuckle? Probably not very often! Yet, a well-crafted joke or a clever pun can tickle your funny bone while engaging your mind. It takes intellectual effort to master the art of selection and combination, whether delivering a good pun or even a bad one.

Take the university professor (please!). This seeker of knowledge can get lost in the philosophical depths of a problem, ad infinitum. He delves into intricate matters without ever reaching a satisfying conclusion. Why, you might ask? Well, because he never comes to the point. Many professors are not required to entertain or convey any meaning; they simply wander, with academic jargon, in the labyrinth of ideas in vogue. Conversely, a pun or a riddle never deceives us in that sense. It always presents a challenge and demands a clever answer.

While real wisdom may surpass wit, there is far more false wisdom than false wit. In our modern age, it is easier for a so-called “thinker” to invent a hundred problems than to create a single intriguing riddle. Crafting a riddle requires the delicate art of posing an engaging question and constructing a satisfying answer. It resembles a mental puzzle that genuinely tests one’s intellect. Let us celebrate the genuine intellectual challenge that comes with wit.