Pun of the Weak: Lesson Learned

An entomologist strapped an insect trap to the back of a farmer’s horse. After the horse had been out in the pasture a few days, the entomologist went back to check the trap. To his sorrow, he found that a strolling roan gathers no moths.   Advertisements

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Gleanings from the Past #85

Consonants and Vowels In normal speech there are four times as many consonants as vowels, corresponding to the relation between breathing and blood circulation (eighteen breaths to seventy-two pulsebeats). — Noah Jonathan Jacobs, Naming Day in Eden: The Creation and Recreation of Language, 1958 Natural Vanity Lord Houghton’s vanity is amusingly natural. Something was said […]

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The Longest Twelve-Word Telegram

At the end of the nineteenth century, an English journal offered a prize to anyone who can write the longest twelve-word telegram. The telegram must be written must be comprehensible (well, as comprehensible as a telegram message can be) and it should be short enough to be considered a standard length. More than 450 people […]

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Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Romania

  This is a guest post by Marta Gajin. Romania is a “great unknown of Europe.” The harsh decades of communism past made this county struggle to keep up with the rest of Easter Europe let alone the rest of the developed world. But, through the ashes of the demolished economy risen the new Romania […]

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Ambiguous Phonetics

I see this one on a newsgroup many years ago… “Information? I need the number of the Caseway Insurance Company.” “Would you spell that, please?” “Certainly. C as in sea. A as in aye. S as in sea. E as in eye. W as in why. A as in are. Y as in you.”

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Test Your Pronunciation Skills with This “Announcer’s Test”

WQXR, a New York radio station, used to give an “Announcer’s Test” that goes like this: The old man with the flaccid face and dour expression grimaced when asked if he were conversant with zoology, mineralogy, or the culinary arts. ‘Not to be secretive,’ he said, ‘I may tell you that I’d given precedence to […]

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Mathematicians And Demagogues

Here’s a little wordplay I came up with: There’s nothing special about it though a few people who heard it though that it’s amusing.

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Pun of the Weak: Representing Numbers Without Numbers

Little Johnny somehow finished his education and is now attending a job interview. The interviewer did a background check on Johnny and he concluded that he wouldn’t want to hire him. So, he devised a test which he’s sure that Johnny would fail. “Before we can hire you, you have to pass my test,” the […]

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Chaos in English Pronunciation and Spelling

Dutch writer, poet, traveler, and teacher Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870 – 1946) wrote a remarkable poem aptly titled “The Chaos”. The poem demonstrates several of the most famous (and infamous) irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation.  Trenité managed to collect about 800 of those irregularities and versified them into this chaotic, albeit amusing poem. “The Chaos” […]

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