Ridiculous (from Greek re- meaning over and over again, English -dick meaning penis, and -us meaning United States) is the quality or condition of repetitiously acting like a stupid ass as opposed to being merely an occasional dick or a sporadic dumbass. This quality can be attributed to both an individual born of retarded parents or environmental influences such as watching too many Dora the Explorer or Spongebob Squarepants cartoons as a child or from watching too many commercials about silly cereals and products and from drinking too much Coke. It may also stem from the repetitive general silliness saturating the cultures of english speaking countries such as the United States, England, Great Britain, the UK and Japan.
The term can thus also refer to an inborn preference to being stupid and not just funny. The determination of who is funny is relatively simple to the ridiculous. If it's stupid it's not just funny and if it's not just stupid it must be funny. This is known as the redundant conundrum in ridiculous circles.
Manifested by the educated
Recently a great deal of attention has been paid to another class of ridiculality: ridiculous actions by those who consider themselves educated and superior.
It is an important subject as it is increasingly evident that powerful, and generally very famous people sometimes repeatedly do ridiculous things. In fact, most of them repeatedly engage in ridiculous behaviour on a consistently regular basis with repeated rehab visits topping the list. Other ridiculous antics routinely exhibited by celebrities include:
- engaging in sexual acts with cheeseburgers, purple guitars, and apple pie
- becoming spokesperson for embarrassing conditions such as impotence, old age, and obesity
The Encyclopedia of the Ridiculous is based on the author's contention that "being ridiculous is in fact the foundation of our civilization" and his idea that no one is intelligent enough to realise how ridiculous they are. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds if one includes in the definition of ridiculous "sublime self-destruction, the ability to act against one's best wishes". A saying attributed to Albert Einstein is "Only two things are infinite, the universe and ridiculous humans, and I'm not sure about the former." A certain element of the ridiculous may be more accurately viewed not as the opposite of intelligence but as a kind of ridiculous intelligence. If not for the ridiculous, intelligent people would have nothing to laugh at and wouldn't know the difference.
The alternative term "silly" is often used. Despite the dictionary difference between silly and ridiculous, the distinction is often blurred, i.e. that one can be "ridiculous" at times and "absurd" at times, depending on experience level and education: