This was one of the example paragraphs in the textbook for the reading class I teach... I thought I'd share:
"Everyone has heard a few 'Your mama is ugly' jokes. 'Your mama is so ugly that when she entered an ugly contest, the judge said, 'Sorry, no professionals.' 'Your mama is so ugly that when she went to a haunted house, she came out with a paycheck.' 'In the dictionary, your mother's picture is next to the word 'ugly.' There are several reasons why 'your mama' jokes are popular. First of all, humor usually contains something surprising or even shocking. We aren't expected to make fun of someone's mom, so a 'your mama' joke has the element of surprise. Secondly, humor is a way we deal with taboos, or things that are forbidden. Insulting anybody is bad enough, but insulting somebody's mother is really out of line. Finally, 'your mama' jokes are generally told between close friends as a way to express friendship and affection. Mothers aren't really being insulted. Instead of getting angry, the friend on the receiving end of the joke usually laughs."
What... a hoot.
In case you were wondering the purpose, this was a practice paragraph where students are supposed to be able to figure out which sentence expresses the main idea. I will give you a clue. Look for words that indicate a list is soon to follow. What's that? Several reasons IS an indicator. If you said sentence five, then you are correct, My Friend!
Enjoy this wrinkle in your brain.
Book: Ten Steps to Building College Reading Skills by John Langan, Fourth Edition.