Archive for the 'Jokes and Humor' Category
Just wanted to write you all a quick note to announce that, contrary to (the opposite of) what some of you may be thinking, I will not – repeat, not – be participating in the 2010 Olympic Games that begin tomorrow in Vancouver, Canada (a little country north of the U.S., I think). It was a difficult decision, but I decided that since I cannot skate, ski, snowboard, bobsled, luge, “skeleton” sled, curl, play hockey, or shoot a gun (it’s part of the biathalon…seriously!), there was no point (no need, it didn’t make sense) for me to try to represent the U.S. of A. in Vancouver this year.
Perhaps next time they’ll have a sport I can participate in…like watching the Olympics on TV.
Yesterday, I offered a little ditty to help us all get through Monday. Today, I have a little joke for you. If we get past Monday and Tuesday, then we should be able to get past hump day, right? Hump day is what we informally call Wednesday. A hump is a round area that is higher than the area around it. If you encounter (meet) a hump in a road, you’ll need a little extra gas to get over it. (A hump is also what’s on the back of some animals, like camels (see photo).) If we can get past Wednesday, the hump, than the rest of the week will be a cinch (something easy to do).
Here’s a little language joke, which also helps to explain why Cody was looking for Jeff and how he knew about ESL Podcast.
There was a mother mouse who was scurrying (running quickly) across the kitchen floor with her six little mice in tow (following). All of a sudden (suddenly), she came eye-to-eye with a very large and very mean-looking cat. Mother mouse was terrified (very afraid)! But she pulled herself up to full height (stood up as tall as she could) and said at the top of her lungs (as loudly as possible), “Bow Wow!”
The cat nearly jumped out of his skin (was very shocked, very scared) and in the blink of an eye (immediately; very quickly) ran up a tree two blocks away. Meanwhile, mother mouse gathered her little ones around her and explained, “Now, my dears, you see what I’ve always told you about the importance of learning a second language!”
* “Bow wow” or “woof woof” is the way we represent in English the sounds a dog makes when “speaking.” Of course, it’s different in every language.
I wish you a good and easy Tuesday!
I’m not sure these are, in fact, the best one-liners (short jokes or funny/clever remarks), but I thought these were pretty good when I saw them recently in a magazine.
“If you can’t say something good about someone, come, sit right here by me.”
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
(She was the oldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt. This is a takeoff (different version) of the popular saying, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”)
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
(She is a historian at Harvard University.)
“The reward for conformity (doing what is expected of us socially) is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
Rita Mae Brown
(She is an American novelist.)
“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
– Dolly Parton on her signature (unique; distinctive) look
(She is a very well known country singer, most popular in the 1970s and 1980s.)
“A facility (ability to do something easily and well) for quotation covers the absence (being without) of original thought.
Lord Peter Wimsey
(He is a character in Dorothy Sayers’ classic mystery novels from 1930s and 1940s.)
Yesterday’s ESL Podcast 376 was about business hours. The store in ESL Podcast 376 has funny (strange) hours, but it’s nothing like this one:
This is actually a novelty (inexpensive toy) sign that you can buy for your business, but if you do, I hope you customers have a good sense of humor!
I’m sure that we could all use (would all benefit from) a little joke. A standard (common) form of a joke begins with the question, “What’s the difference between…” Here’s a joke I found on the Internet that uses this formula:
What’s the difference between men and pigs?
Pigs don’t turn into (become) pigs after they drink too much.
The key to this joke is that the word “pig” is both an animal and a term we use for a man who behaves very badly or crudely, especially toward women. If a man drinks too much, he can sometimes begin to act badly, especially toward women.
Here’s another one:
What’s the difference between one yard and two yards?
Yard can refer to the area outside of your house, usually with grass. Yard is also a unit of measurement equal to 36 inches (or 91.44 centimeters for the rest of the world). When you first read the question, you think that the person is asking about the unit of measurement, but the answer is about the area around your house. A fence separates the yards of neighbors, and so creates two separate yards.
Are jokes funny if they have to be explained? I don’t know. You tell me!
Instead of forwarding this to all of you via (by) email, here is your quotation of the day:
“What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.”
— (Richard Harkness, New York Herald Tribune, June 16, 1960)
unwilling = not eager to do something; don’t want to do something
unfit = not qualified; does not have the skills or ability to do something
unnecessary = not needed
Puns are jokes that use different meanings of the same or similar sounding words. English spelling allows different words with the same sound to be spelled differently, so there is more opportunity in English for puns. Puns are very difficult to understand unless you know both meanings of the words. Although there is an expression in English, “If you have to explain the joke, it is no longer funny,” I will try anyway.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The pun here is on the words seconds and four/for. Seconds has two meanings: a measure of time (60 seconds in 1 minute), and a second helping or serving of food. For example, if you are eating at home and your spouse asks you if you want “seconds,” s/he means “Do you want another serving of the food you just ate?” Four is a number (4), and for is a preposition. To go back for seconds means to go get more food. To go back four seconds means the clock reverses in time four seconds. So this is a “double pun,” in that we are “punning” on the words seconds and four.
Don’t worry if you don’t think the joke is funny. I liked it, but I really like puns!
I thought I would comment on a joke I found, since everyone enjoys a good laugh now and then (occasionally). I put a general explanation on the left side of the page which you can read to give you some background information. Read that first, then read the joke. Finally, read “The Joke Explained” on the bottom, right side of the page to see if you understood it correctly.
It’s been a hectic (busy) few weeks and I needed a good laugh. I came across these sayings that tickled my funny bone. To tickle is to touch someone else lightly to make them laugh. To tickle someone’s funny bone is to make them laugh. (Did you know that it’s impossible to tickle yourself? This is one explanation why.)
These tickled my funny bone. Do they work on you?
- There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.
- The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 (equal) chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability (likelihood; chance) you’ll get it wrong.
- How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you’re on.
- Buy one for the price of two and get the second one free!
- Junk (useless things) is something you’ve kept for years and throw it away three weeks before you need it.
- If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
- Education is what you get from reading the small print (details, usually in a contract or document). Experience is what you get from not reading it.
In today’s Cafe, we talk about how to become a lawyer in the United States. Lawyers do not have the best reputation in many countries (including the U.S.). There are many jokes about lawyers and how greedy (wanting to have more money) or dishonest they are. Of course, there are good lawyers and bad lawyers, just as there are good and bad members of any profession (occupation).
The dislike of lawyers is not a new thing. In Shakespeare’s play, Henry VI, there is a character who says, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The character is talking about what would be an ideal (perfect) place, one in which there were no lawyers. That was more than 500 years ago, so I guess things have not changed too much!
Here are two of the thousands of lawyer jokes that you can find in English:
Q: What do you have (what do you call a situation) when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?
A: Not enough sand.
Q: Why did God make snakes just before lawyers?
A: To practice.
*A snake represents the lowest, most evil kind of animal. The idea is that God made snakes to practice how to make lawyers, since lawyers are also evil.