新概念第三册《Lesson 29 Funny or not?》中说：“Whether we find a joke funny or not largely depends on where we have been brought up. The sense of humor is mysteriously bound up with national characteristics.” 我们觉得一则笑话是否好笑，很大程度取决于我们是在哪儿长大的。幽默感与民族有着神秘莫测的联系。因此，幽默带有浓厚的民族文化的烙印。
English humor is subtle.——“Subtle”意为：.精细的；巧妙的，精巧的，敏感的，敏锐的，微妙的，难于捉摸的，睿智的，难解的，狡猾的，阴险的，等。由于英语的幽默具有这些特征，所以没有这一文化背景的人是比较难以欣赏这种幽默，甚至对这种精巧含蓄隐秘的幽默视而不见、无从感悟。
She explained that Rastus was very dear to her. Considering the amount she paid, he was dear in more ways than one!
These Peculiar forms not only seemed designed to shock people emotionally, but to give them electric shocks as well!
The skeleton is called Sebastian. 塞巴斯蒂安，死于公元287年1月20日，罗马人，是天主教教士，身材伟岸，被迫害，钉在十字架上，万箭射死。
The other side of the picture is quite the opposite. Life on a desert island is wretched. You either starve to death or live like Robinson Crusoe waiting for a boat which never comes.
Mary had a little lamb
'We'll get used to that Bill,' said the vicar. 'Thirteen is not as good as one, but it's better than nothing. Now let's go downstairs and have a cup of tea.'
They caught lobster and fish every day, and, as one of them put it 'ate like kings'. When a passing tanker rescued them five days later, both men were genuinely sorry that they had to leave.
George was not too upset by his experience because the lady who owns the sweet shop heard about his troubles and rewarded him with a large box of chocolates.
Some plays are so successful that they run for years on end. In many ways, this is unfortunate for the poor actors who are required to go on repeating the same lines night after night.
Wanted: a large biscuit tin
标题文中没有出现tin的概念，只是告诉大家，世界上有了最大的饼干，还需要配上最大的饼干罐头。类似的还有：A noble gangster贵族歹徒，或，高贵的歹徒。
Imagine their dismay when they found a beautifully-cooked wallet and notes turned to ash!
A few minutes later, I was able to hurry away with precious chalk marks on my baggage.
We have got quite used to them. Some so-called 'modern' pieces have been on display for nearly 80 years.
Thirteen equals one
Dogs, it seems, love to chew up money!
As a result, humans have learned to respect feline independence.
The big clock which used to strike the hours day and night was damaged many years ago and has been silent ever since.
When they got home, Jane cooked their dinner in the microwave oven and without realizing it, cooked her fiancé's wallet as well.
Cats never fail to fascinate human beings.
Suddenly, I saw the Officer's face light up. He had spotted a tiny bottle at the bottom of my case and he pounced on it with delight.
My nephew, George, has a money box but it is always empty. Very few of the sixpences I have given him have found their way there.
Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white collar workers.
Electric currents in modern art
These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. Sparks were emitted from small black boxes and red lamps flashed on and off angrily. It was rather like an exhibition of prehistoric electronic equipment.
Despite her great age, she was very graceful indeed.
Our vicar is always raising money for one cause or another, but he has never managed to get enough money to have the church clock repaired.
One of the thieves was struck by a heavy statue, but he was too busy helping himself to diamonds to notice any pain.
These young people, who love the peace of the mountains, always receive a warm welcome at St. Bernard's monastery.
Customs Officers are quite tolerant these days, but they can still stop you when you are going through the Green Channel and have nothing to declare.
Even really honest people are often made to feel guilty. The hardened professional smuggler, on the other hand, is never troubled by such feelings, even if he has five hundred gold watches hidden in his suitcase.
The Officer went through the case with great care. All the things I had packed so carefully were soon in a dreadful mess. I felt sure I would never be able to close the case again.
Hawkwood made large sums of money in this way. In spite of this, the Italians regarded him as a sort of hero.
Both planes were going to take off on July 25th, but Latham failed to get up early enough.
When he landed near Dover, the first person to greet him was a local policeman.
Latham made another attempt a week later and got within half a mile of Dover, but he was unlucky again. His engine failed and he landed on the sea for the second time.
He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as &100 for a single appearance. Despite this, he was so extravagant that he was always in debt.
如：Lesson 13 It’s only me 理查兹夫人出人意料地“装神弄鬼”的故事本身就是幽默的故事，再如，Lesson 16 Mary had a little lamb迪米特里找到被染色的羊的故事，以及，Lesson 22 By heart狱卒急于想了解他的同事是否记熟了台词的故事。
幽默的重要特征就是用以上比较间接的方式来表达一些不易直接表达内容。因此，幽默在各方面起着重要的作用。幽默具有交际、美学 、心理平衡等等功能 。然而学生对幽默语言的理解，不能脱离它的语境。因此，研究语言的幽默，对人们的语言交际具有一定的实用性。当然，幽默与民族的性格特征神秘地结合在一起。正如《新概念英语》中一篇文章所指出的那样，A Frenchman, for instance, might find it hard to laugh at a Russian joke. In the same way, a Russian might fail to see anything amusing in a joke which would make an Englishman laugh to tears. 法国人很难感到俄国笑话可笑；同样，一个俄国人可能对一个使英国人要笑出眼泪的笑话感到无任何可笑之处。尽管“幽默”存在着民族差异，但其作用还是具有普遍感染力的。因此，分析英语幽默类型和功能，可增加我们对英语作品的理解，更正确地领会英语作品的意境及其幽默的趣味性，进一步提高我们欣赏英文作品的水平。
4. 朗文外研社《新概念英语3》，L.G. Alexander, 何其莘，1997.10）