Fun and Games

English is a Crazy Language

Let’s face it English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins were not invented in England or french fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

Now I know why I flunked my English. It’s not my fault — the silly language doesn’t quite know whether it’s coming or going.

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Questions Asked at National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park:

  • Was this man-made?
  • Do you light it up at night?
  • Is the mule train air conditioned?
  • So where are the faces of the presidents?

Everglades National Park:

  • Are the alligators real?
  • Are the baby alligators for sale?
  • Where are all the rides?
  • What time does the two o’clock bus leave?

Mesa Verde National Park:

  • Did people build this, or did Indians?
  • Why did they build the ruins so close to the road?
  • Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?
  • What did they worship in the kivas–their own made-up religion?
  • Why did the Indians decide to live in Colorado?

Carlsbad Caverns National Park:

  • How much of the cave is underground?
  • So what’s in the unexplored part of the cave?
  • Does it ever rain in here?
  • How many Ping-Pong balls would it take to fill this up?
  • So what is this–just a hole in the ground?

Yosemite National Park:

  • Where are the cages for the animals?
  • What time of year do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
  • What happened to the other half of Half Dome?
  • Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?

Denali National Park:

  • What time do you feed the bears?
  • What’s so wonderful about Wonder Lake?
  • Can you show me where yeti lives?
  • How often do you mow the tundra?
  • How much does Mount McKinley weigh?

Yellowstone National Park:

  • Does Old Faithful erupt at night?
  • How do you turn it on?
  • When does the guy who turns it on get to sleep?
  • We had no trouble finding the park entrances, but where are the exits?
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Keeping Your Sanity (or Insanity) at Work

  • At lunch time, sit in your parked car and point a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
  • Page yourself over the intercom. (Don’t disguise your voice.)
  • Insist that your e-mail address is or Elvis-the-King
  • Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
  • Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.
  • Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “IN.”
  • Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.
  • Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
  • Reply to everything someone says with, “That’s what you think.”
  • Finish all your sentences with, “…in accordance with the prophecy.”
  • Adjust the tint on your monitor so that the brightness level lights up the entire work area. Insist to others that you like it that way.
  • Dont use any punctuation
  • As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  • Specify that your drive-through order is “to go.”
  • Sing along at the opera.
  • Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don’t rhyme.
  • Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you’re doing. For example: If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom.
  • Put mosquito netting around your cubicle.
  • Call the psychic hotline and just say, “Guess.”
  • When the money comes out of the ATM, scream, “I won! I won! Third time this week!!!”
  • When leaving the zoo, start running toward the parking lot yelling, “Run for your lives, they’re loose!”
  • Tell your boss, “It’s not the voices in my head that bother me, it’s the voices in your head that do”
  • Tell your children over dinner, “Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.”
  • Every time you see a broom, yell, “Honey, your mother is here.”
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Animal Thoughts

Dog: “Why do they keep putting the lid down on the big water bowl?”

Goldfish: “Just because I have a three-second memory, they don’t think I’ll mind eating the same fish flakes … Oh boy! Fish flakes!”

Dog: “Man, why do they keep rubbing my nose in it? I already KNOW whose it is!”

Goldfish: “The wimpy knight never comes out of the castle to fight me for dominion over the fish tank. So I must continue patrolling, for I am lord and master!”

Parrot: “Tease, tease, tease! But do those greedy clowns ever really give me a cracker? NO!”

Cat: “Why are these people in my house?”

Goldfish: “Oh, tap-tap-tap! There’s a new one!”

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The Vacuum

A Goober was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. She rolled the dice and she landed on “Science & Nature.”

Her question was, “If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?”

The Goober thought for a time and then asked, “Is it turned on or off?”

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  • Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
  • Can fat people go skinny-dipping?
  • Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
  • Is it possible to be totally partial?
  • What’s another word for thesaurus?
  • If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?
  • If you’re cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?
  • If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?
  • If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
  • Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  • Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?
  • What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
  • Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?
  • Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow? Only to be troubled and insecure?
  • Is there another word for synonym?
  • When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their signs?
  • When you open a bag of cotton balls, is the top one meant to be thrown away?
  • Why do they report power outages on TV?
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Great New Exercise Program

Here’s the exercise program I’m using to stay in shape this year. You might want to take it easy at first, then do it faster as you become more proficient. It may be too strenuous for some.





























Okay, that’s enough for the first day! (whew)

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Does Spelling Matter?

See if you can read this:

Olny srmat poelpe can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch sudty at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

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Lesser Known Laws

You’ve heard of Murphy’s famous Law: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Well, there are many other related Laws. Here are some:

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
–Lorenz’s Law of Mechanical Repair

Identical parts aren’t.
–Beach’s Law

Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner.
–Anthony’s Law of the Workshop

Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
–Tussman’s Law

If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
–Lowery’s Law

The solution to a problem changes the problem.
–Peer’s Law

There is no mechanical problem so difficult that it cannot be solved by brute strength and ignorance.
–William’s Law

Handy Guide to Modern Science:
1. If it’s green or it wiggles, it’s Biology.
2. If it stinks, it’s Chemistry.
3. If it doesn’t work, it’s Physics.

Machines should work. People should think.
–IBM’s Pollyanna Principle:

The most ineffective workers will be systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage – management.
–The Dilbert Principle

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.
–Ehrlich’s Law

It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.
–Ralph’s Observation

If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
–Cannon’s Comment

Thinly sliced cabbage.
–Cole’s Law

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Family Feud Answers

Here are some actual answers from contestants who have appeared on the game show Family Feud:

  • Name something a blind person might use: a sword.
  • Name a song with moon in the title: blue suede moon.
  • Name a bird with a long neck: a penguin.
  • Name an occupation where you need a torch: a burglar.
  • Name a famous brother and sister: Bonnie and Clyde.
  • Name an item of clothing worn by the Three Musketeers: a horse.
  • Name something that floats in the bath: water.
  • Name something you wear on the beach: a deck chair.
  • Name something red: my cardigan.
  • Name a famous cowboy: Buck Rogers.
  • Name a famous royal: mail.
  • Name a number you have to memorize: 7.
  • Name something you do before going to bed: sleep.
  • Name something you put on walls: roofs.
  • Name something in the garden that’s green: a scarecrow.
  • Name something that flies that doesn’t have an engine: dishes.
  • Name something you might be allergic to: skiing.
  • Name a famous bridge: the bridge over troubled waters.
  • Name something a cat does: goes to the toilet.
  • Name a continent: Italy.
  • Name something you do in the bathroom: decorate.
  • Name an animal you might see at the zoo: a dog.
  • Name something associated with the police: pigs.
  • Name a sign of the zodiac: April.
  • Name something slippery: a con man.
  • Name a kind of ache: a pancake.
  • Name a food that can be brown or white: potato.
  • Name a potato topping: jam.
  • Name a famous Scotsman: Jock.
  • Another famous Scotsman: Vinnie Jones.
  • Name something with a hole in it: window.
  • Name a non living object with legs: plant.
  • Name a domestic animal: leopard.
  • Name a part of the body beginning with ‘N’: knee.
  • Name a way of cooking fish: cod.
  • Name something you open other than a door: your bowels.
  • Name something you clean: your sister.
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