Archive for the 'Jokes and Humor' Category
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!
Nothing is more nerve-wracking (causing you to be nervous or under stress) than applying for a job. It’s even worse when you realize you’ve made a mistake or typo (typing mistake) on your cover letter (letter to apply for a job) or resume (document showing your education, work experience, etc.)
Here are a few mistakes that people have made in the past. An applicant is someone applying for a job and oops is what we say when we’ve made a mistake. See if you can spot (find) the mistake before you read the explanation.
• “I worked for six years as an uninformed security guard.”
[Oops: There is an extra letter "n." It should be "uniformed" meaning wearing a uniform or special clothes for a job, NOT "uniNformed," which means someone who is not knowledgeable.]
• “My last job was as a plumbing and hating specialists.”
[Oops: This time, this person is missing the letter "e." It should be "heating," which refers to a machine or system in a building that makes the temperature warmer, NOT "hating," which is to dislike something very much.]
• “The academic scholarship I earned came with a plague.”
[Oops: This applicant spelled this word with a "g" instead of a "q." A "plague" is a disease that affects a lot of people, and a "plaque" is a flat thing made of wood, metal, or something else that is displayed to remember an event or person.]
• “My career goal is to shave my talents with a growing company.”
[Oops: This applicant used the wrong word. It should be "show" and not "shave," which is what many men do every morning to remove the hair on their faces.]
• “After graduating from college, I worked in a clothing store for seven moths.”
[Oops: I believe this applicant worked at the store for seven "months" and not for seven "moths," which are small, brown flying insects.]
• “My volunteer experience includes delivering hot males to senior citizens.”
[Oops: I think this applicant means "meals" (food) and not "males" (men), though senior citizens (older adults, usually over 65) may also appreciate getting some males, too.]
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.
In today’s English Cafe 124, Jeff talks about the 9-1-1 emergency telephone system in the U.S. As Jeff mentioned, the emergency number should only be used for life-threatening (very dangerous) emergencies. These are some actual reasons people called 9-1-1. You decide if they are life-threatening emergencies:
- A man broke up with (ended a romantic relationship with) his girlfriend and wanted police to go over to her house and to tell him the owners of any cars, other than hers, in her driveway in front of her garage or house.
- A call came into 9-1-1 emergency because two couples were going to share a hotel room and there weren’t enough towels.
- Someone called 9-1-1 to report that their parrot (talking bird) got out of its cage and is in a tree outside.
- A drunk (person who had too much alcohol) called 9-1-1 to order a pizza.
And these are supposed to be actual 9-1-1 calls, but I’m dubious (doubting; not convinced it’s true). A dispatcher is a person who answers emergency calls and who sends the police, fire department, or an ambulance (a truck that takes sick or injured people to the hospital) to help.
Caller: Yeah, I’m having trouble breathing. I’m all out of breath. I think I’m going to pass out (to faint; to lose consciousness).
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I’m at a pay phone (public telephone) at North Avenue and Foster Street.
Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing?
Caller: Running from the police.
Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What’s the nature of your emergency?
Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions (pains a woman feels when her baby is about to be born) are only two minutes apart.
Dispatcher: Is this her first child?
Caller: No, you idiot (very stupid or unintelligent person)! This is her husband!