Category Archives: Humor

An Oxford Comma Walks Into a Bar…

• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars. • A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly. • A bar was walked into by the passive voice. • An oxymoron walked… Read More »

Q&A: What is a “malaphor”?

A malaphor is an idiom blend: an error in which two similar figures of speech are merged, producing an often nonsensical result. Malaphor comes from the blending of the words malapropism and‎ metaphor. It was coined by Lawrence Harrison in an August 6, 1976 Washington Post opinion piece titled “Searching for Malaphors”. Malaphors are also known as Dundrearyisms, named… Read More »

Origin of the Angel atop the Christmas Tree

Not a lot of people know this. When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure. Then, Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.. He went to harness… Read More »

Celebration of the Winter Solstice Holiday

From us (the “wishors”) to you (hereinafter called the “wishee”): Please accept without obligation, explicit or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practice of your choice,… Read More »

Trivia for August 2019

A tree planted in memory of George Harrison, the lead guitarist of The Beatles, died after being infested by beetles. If the sum of the digits of a number is divisible by three, the number is divisible by three. Likewise, if the sum of the digits of a number is divisible by nine, the number… Read More »

Rudyard Kipling: “A Woman Is Only a Woman, But a Good Cigar Is a Smoke”

And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke. — Rudyard Kipling, “The Betrothed” in Rudyard Kipling’s Verse, Inclusive Edition, 1885–1918 The Betrothed “You must choose between me and your cigar.” Breach of Promise Case, circa, 1885 OPEN the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout, For things are running crossways,… Read More »

Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation (1836)

Peter piper, without pretension to precocity or profoundness, puts pen to paper to produce these puzzling pages, purposely to please the palates of pretty prattling playfellows, proudly presuming that with proper penetration it will probably, and perhaps positively, prove a peculiarly pleasant and profitable path to proper, plain and precise pronunciation.

He prays parents to purchase this playful performance, partly to pay him for his patience and pains; partly to provide for the printers and publishers; but principally to prevent the pernicious prevalence of perverse pronunciation.