Flippancy is the sixth letter of The Screwetape Letters, in which Screwetape distinguishes between the "Joke Proper" and "Flippancy," is relevant here: "Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. . . . It is a thousand miles away from joy: it deadens, instead of sharpening the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it."