You can tune a guitar and you can tune a piano but can you Tuna Fish?At first he looked at me with a look that said "What is my crazy Dad talking about"? Then the light bulb went on and a great big grin broke across his face with a giggle.
Several years ago I got to hear James Burke speak at a conference in Denver. Burke is a technology historian who has done a book/audio/video series called Connections which traces the evolution of inventions from early history through today.
In that speech, which was at a computer related conference, he talked about how they have not yet developed great speech recognition software because the way we have a computer do things and the way a human brain works is quite different.
They typical way a computer processes speech is to hear a word, look it up, associate a meaning, then proceed to the next word, assembling the meaning as it hears the word.
Burke said that scientists think that the way our brain works is to hear a word and immediately build a decision tree (similar to the one below), eliminating branches of possible meanings as it hears the next word (my phone does this with letters in words if I put it into iTap mode). He also said (and this is where I tie it together), that the scientists believe that what makes a joke funny is that it takes a path not on that decision tree, causing the humor.
(*** This is Kyle and I approve this post ***)