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January 1, 0001

HumourList Package #11 - Language Humour, Misc Lists

Howdy folks. Let me say a hearty welcome to the many new subscribers added to the list this week. I signed up subscriber #110 yesterday. Countries represented on the mailing list now include Germany, South Africa, Australia, etc. Keep it up - tell your friends about HumourList. The more submissions I get, the better the packages are going to be. Thanks and kudos to everyone who has mailed in a submission using the online form!!

Thanks also to the people who took the time to fill out my general survey… all three of them. Seriously, no word of a lie, the three of them were like politicians from three different political parties deciding on a new bill - none of them could agree: 1 vote for ‘packages are too long’ 1 vote for ‘packages are perfect length’ 1 vote for ‘packages are too short’ <– this one blew me away >

Unfortunately, the ‘perfect length’ submitter didn’t understand fully what the survey was for. You all remember Laura, don’t you? Package 6 Header? Special Edition Package 1? If not, go read them, and familiarize yourself with Laura.

Well, Laura has struck again, folks… Not understanding completely what the ‘Comments’ field was for, sent the following comment: “I am a single hottie, looking for one hunky guy with two cats……oh, wait this ISN’T the personals bulletin board!! Ooops,”

(I guess I’m the hunky guy, since I have two cats)

Well Laura, unfortunately, I don’t have any more material to make people think you’re a goof… But now that she knows that people from all over Canada, the USA, Australia, England, New Zealand, Germany, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Taiwan all know the kind of person she is, maybe that’s punishment enough.

That’s strike two… Heheh… (don’t worry folks, I gave Laura a lot more notice that I was going to poke fun at her again)

Opening header is Copyright 1997 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author.

In the News Today: American Express plans to lay off 3,000 employees. They will be notified with pink slips that say, “Don’t Leave Home”.

Also in the News: It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

Quote of the week: “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” - Rich Cook

From Dave Attel’s HBO Comedy Special: “What about eggnog? What is it? The guy who invented it, what was he thinking? ‘Well, let’s see. I want a drink… but I also want pancakes…’ “

This Past Week in History: March 10, 1982: All nine planets were aligned on the same side of the Sun. March 11, 1302: Romeo & Juliet were married, according to Shakespeare. March 13, 1991: Exxon Corp. paid a $1 billion fine for the cleanup of the Valdez Alaskan oil spill. March 14, 1950: The FBI’s “10 Most Wanted Fugitives” program began. March 15, 1869: The Cincinnati “Red Stockings” become the first professional baseball team.


An English professor wrote the following words on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly:

“Woman without her man is a savage”

The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is a savage.”

The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is a savage.”


Dear John: I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours? Gloria

Dear John: I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria


Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger and neither apple nor pine are 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 other language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Send a shipment by car 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? How can the weather be hot as h*ll one day and cold as h*ll another?

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.


These are from the New York magazine competition where they asked competitors to change ONE letter in a familiar non-English phrase and redefine it.

HARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS? - Can you drive a French motorcycle? EX POST FUCTO - Lost in the mail IDIOS AMIGOS - We’re wild and crazy guys! VENI, VIPI, VICI - I came; I’m a very important person; I conquered J’Y SUIS, J’Y PESTES - I can stay for the weekend COGITO EGGO SUM - I think; therefore, I am a waffle RIGOR MORRIS - The cat is dead RESPONDEZ S’IL VOUS PLAID - Honk if you’re Scottish QUE SERA SERF - Life is feudal LE ROI EST MORT. JIVE LE ROI - The King is dead. No kidding. POSH MORTEM - Death styles of the rich and famous PRO BOZO PUBLICO - Support your local clown MONAGE A TROIS - I am three years old FELIX NAVIDAD - Our cat has a boat HASTE CUISINE - Fast French food VENI, VIDI, VICE - I came, I saw, I partied. QUIP PRO QUO - A fast retort ALOHA OY - Love; greetings; farewell; from such a pain you should never know MAZEL TON - Lots of luck APRES MOE LE DELUGE - Larry and Curly get wet PORTE-KOCHERE - Sacramental wine ICH LIEBE RICH - I’m really crazy about having dough FUI GENERIS - What’s mine is mine VISA LA FRANCE - Don’t leave chateau without it CA VA SANS DIRT - And that’s not gossip MERCI RIEN - Thanks for nothing. AMICUS PURIAE - Platonic friend L’ETAT, C’EST MOO - I’m bossy around here L’ETAT, C’EST MOE - All the world’s a stooge


Two lawyers were going at one another as the trial started. One lawyer said to the other, “You are a complete and total fraud.” The other lawyer retorted, “You’re a penny-stealing ambulance chaser.” The judge cut in, saying, “Now that you’ve identified one another, shall we go on with the case?”


Top 10: Ten Signs You Picked the Wrong Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  1. Their company logo: Two tin cans and a chuck of string.
  2. You check out their address, and it’s a phone booth containing a Compaq portable and an acoustic coupler.
  3. Their chief technical officer lives in a 10-foot-by-7-foot shack in the woods.
  4. Their proud boast: “We’ve been on the Internet since it was CB radio.”
  5. Their promo materials use the words “information” and “superhighway” in the same sentence.
  6. You order an SLIP/PPP connection, email, and 2MB of server space for your personal Web site, and the voice on the other end of the phone asks “Would you like fries with that?”
  7. “As seen in Better Business Bureau special reports.”
  8. “Access speeds up to 2,400 BPS in most areas.”
  9. They hawk domain names AND Rolexes on street corners.
  10. They charge by the word.


Top 10: Twelve things you’ll never heard an employee tell their manager

  1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 5:00 and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is always refreshing.
  2. If it’s really a “rush job,” run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it’s going. That greatly aids my efficiency.
  3. Always leave without telling anyone where you’re going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.
  4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books or supplies, don’t open the door for me. I might need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors is good training.
  5. If you give me more than one job to do, don’t tell me which is the priority. Let me guess.
  6. Do your best to keep me late. I like the office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do.
  7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. Leaks like that could cost me a promotion.
  8. If you don’t like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversation.
  9. If you have special instructions for a job, don’t write them down. If fact, save them until the job is almost done.
  10. Never introduce me to the people you’re with. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.
  11. Be nice to me only when the job I’m doing for you could really change your life.
  12. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it’s nice to know someone is less fortunate.


Top 10: Ten Gravestone Epitaphs

  1. Here lies Casanova - at last he sleeps - alone.
  2. What are YOU looking at?
  3. I’ve been down here all this time and all you can bring me is flowers?
  4. The guy in the coffin next to me isn’t dead.
  5. That’s my face that you’re stepping on, moron.
  6. Kill the dog that peed on my tombstone.
  7. Complete recovery - yeah, right!
  8. I do not recommend the fish.
  9. I told you I was sick.
  10. Here lies an atheist, all dressed up and nowhere to go.


An elderly couple is walking down the street and run into their friend, Bill. The old man says “Bill, we just finished taking this fantastic course that improves your memory, and I must say it has opened up a whole new world for me! It really works.” Bill says, “Sounds great, what’s the name of the course?” The old man pauses and says “… What’s the name of that flower…you know…the one with the long stem and thorns?” “You mean a rose?” says Bill. “Yeah that’s it a rose!”

The man turns to his wife and says “Hey Rose, what was the name of that memory course we took?”


This guy was stranded on a desert island with Cindy Crawford. He was cool, and he didn’t make any moves towards her for several weeks. Finally one day he asked her if maybe they could start up a physical relationship, so as to attend to each other’s needs. Cindy said she was game, and a very nice relationship began.

Everything was great for about 4 months. One day the guy goes to Cindy and says, “I’m having this problem… It’s kind of a guy thing, but I need to ask you a favor.” Cindy replied “Okay,” and he says, “Can I borrow your eyebrow pencil?” Cindy looks at him a little funny, but answers, “Sure, you can borrow my eyebrow pencil.” The guy then says, “Do you mind if I use the eyebrow pencil to draw a mustache on you?” Cindy is getting a little worried, but says, “Okay.” And so the guy draws a moustache on her.

Then the guy said, “Can you wear some of my guy clothing, I need for you to look more like a man?” Cindy is getting a little disappointed at this point, but says, “I guess so,” and puts on some of his clothes.

Then the guy says to Cindy, “Do you mind if I call you Fred?” Cindy is now getting very dejected, and says, “No, I guess not, you can call me Fred.”

So then the guy reaches out and grabs Cindy by the arms and shouts:

“Fred!! You won’t believe who I have been sleeping with these past 4 months!!!”


Leola Starling of Ribrock, Tenn., had a serious telephone problem. But unlike most people she did something about it.

The brand-new $10 million Ribrock Plaza Motel opened nearby and had acquired almost the same telephone number as Leola.

From the moment the motel opened, Leola was besieged by calls not for her. Since she had the same phone number for years, she felt that she had a case to persuade the motel management to change its number.

Naturally, the management refused, claiming that it could not change its stationery.

The phone company was not helpful, either. A number was a number, and just because a customer was getting someone else’s calls 24 hours a day didn’t make it responsible. After her pleas fell on deaf ears, Leola decided to take matters into her own hands.

At 9 o’clock the phone rang. Someone from Memphis was calling the motel and asked for a room for the following Tuesday. Leola said, “No problem. How many nights?”

A few hours later, someone from Dallas called. A secretary wanted a suite with two bedrooms for a week. Emboldened, Leola said the Presidential Suite on the 10th floor was available for $600 a night. The secretary said that she would take it and asked if the hotel wanted a deposit. “No, that won’t be necessary,” Leola said. “We trust you.”

The next day was a busy one for Leola. In the morning, she booked an electric appliance manufacturers’ convention for Memorial Day weekend, a college prom and a reunion of the 82nd Airborne veterans from World War II.

She turned on her answering machine during lunchtime so that she could watch the O.J. Simpson trial, but her biggest challenge came in the afternoon when a mother called to book the ballroom for her daughter’s wedding in June. Leola assured the woman that it would be no problem and asked if she would be providing the flowers or did she want the hotel to take care of it. The mother said that she would prefer the hotel to handle the floral arrangements. Then the question of valet parking came up. Once again Leola was helpful. “There’s no charge for valet parking, but we always recommend that the client tips the drivers.”

Within a few months, the Ribrock Plaza Motel was a disaster area.

People kept showing up for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Sweet Sixteen parties and were all told there were no such events.

Leola had her final revenge when she read in the local paper that the motel might go bankrupt. Her phone rang, and an executive from Marriott said, “We’re prepared to offer you $200,000 for the motel.”

Leola replied. “We’ll take it, but only if you change the telephone number.”

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