When friends have parties, and someone whips out a camera, it is inevitable that pictures will be taken. You group together, arms around each other, and the photographer simply states: “Say cheese!”.

Cheese. CHEESE? Cheese.

Out of all the words in the world, the person who started this tradition picked a dairy product. I understand that a pro of saying “cheese” is the widespread smile, you get from the “ee” sound, but why that word in particular? I guess saying “bees” would make people freak out, but still. So I decided to do a little research.

I Googled it. And went to Yahoo! answers. And discovered a story.

Apparently, in an attempt to get their subjects to laugh, photographers in olden times would say “Did you hear about the photographer who cut the cheese?”. The random question that was a fart joke almost always got a laugh, unsurprisingly. Who doesn’t love a good fart joke (We all know we do)?

However, like all good traditions, people became lazy and cut corners in the phrase, eventually leading to the modern day one-word phrase. Today, a lot of people probably don’t know this story, so saying “cheese” has become cliche, and many times can’t get a smile. Thankfully, there are many other ways that people can get a smile. I usually go with “Think of something funny, like my face!”, because a good self-deprecation gets the giggles. Or, I’ll spit out something completely random, along the lines of “Fluffy purple elephants”. Absurdities make for some great laughs.

Of course, there are many more phrases to say, but I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: This traditional single-word laugher has gotten to be just a little too cheesy for modern times.

Ba-dum, chhhh.

-A

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