Some writers are born funny. Others become funny. And still others have funny thrust upon them. Then there are others, like my long-time colleague Don Fry, who want to be funny so bad that they would sell their first-born. (I have been tempted to buy son Jason Fry -- who is funny.)

I want to argue that humor is strategic. And while there are no formulas, there are moves: including emphatic word order.

I've been thinking about humor a lot in recent days. I've just completed a manuscript on How To Write Short, and it turns out that some of the most memorable expressions of short writing depend on humor -- or at least wit.

The second reason is not funny. Sadly, the great Nora Ephron has died from leukemia, leaving behind a body of work in print and film that mark her as one of America's greatest humorists.

In this week's writing chat, I offered tips on incorporating humor into your writing and shared related examples. You can replay the chat here: