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February 20th

Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. – Mary Jean Iron
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A man was very sick. Doctors feared the worst. He is at home one day, resting in his bed. He looks up and says, “Is my wife here?”
His wife replies, “Yes, dear, I’m here, next to you.”

The man goes, “Are my children here?”
“Yes, Daddy, we are all here,” say the children.

“Are my other relatives also here?”
And they say, “Yes, we are all here…”

The man sits up and says, “Then why in the world is the light on in the kitchen?”
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About 90 fifth-graders piled into the airliner I was flying, on their way home from a school trip. Once we were in the air, and the crew began serving drinks, I could hear them pleading with the children to settle down and let the other passengers get some sleep.

No amount of reasoning seemed to help, until I thought of the solution that actually worked.
I picked up the PA mike in the cockpit and announced,
“Children, this is the captain speaking. Don’t make me stop this airplane and come back there!”
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GRAMMAR RULES

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. They’re old hat.

6. Always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments. No comma splices, run-ons are bad too.

11. Contractions aren’t helpful and shouldn’t be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
14. One should never generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

16. Don’t use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like water on the back of a duck.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.

21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
23. Kill all exclamation points!!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is probably not the best way to propose earth-shattering ideas.

26. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
27. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
28. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

31. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.
34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
35. The spell chequer is knot always write.
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Late one night I stopped at one of those 24-hour gas station mini-marts to get myself a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. When I picked up the pot, I could not help noticing that the brew was as black as asphalt and just about as thick.

“How old is the coffee you have here?” I asked the woman who was standing behind the store counter.
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve only been working here two weeks.”
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VERY PUNNY…

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Robin.
Robin who?
Robin the piggy bank again.

“What’s your excuse for coming home at this time of the night?”
“I was golfing with friends, my dear.”
“What? At 2 AM?!?”
“We used night clubs.”

Letter to an advice column: “I’ve been engaged to a man for some time, but I just learned he has a wooden leg.
Do you think I should break it off?”
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This nice, old Jewish man really wanted to win the lottery. So, one week, he goes to synagogue and he says (good Yiddish accent mandatory), “Oy, Lord of heaven and earth, imagine how much good I could do with ze money I vould vin if I von the lottery! Imagine how much charity I could give! Help me vin the lottery and I will spent ze money visely!”

He doesn’t vin… err.. win the lottery.

The next week, he goes to synagogue again and says, “Oh, lord of heaven and earth, you must not have heard me last veek! Imagine how many lives I could make easier with ze money from ze lottery! Help me vin ze lottery!” Once again, he doesn’t win. The third week, he goes to synagogue again and prays in a similar vein.

Suddenly, he hears a voice from the heavens: “Help me, help me!”
He says, “Lord of heaven and earth, what can I do to help you?”
“Buy a ticket!”
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WORD OF THE DAY: usurious (yoo-ZHOOR-ee-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Charging excessive rates, especially for lending money.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin usus (use), past participle of uti (to use). Earliest documented use: 1610.

USAGE:
“The scenario he and many others feared was … the price would rise and rise until it began to rival the usurious rates that journals were charging, where for instance by 2011 a yearly subscription to the Journal of Comparative Neurology could cost as much as $25,910.”
James Somers; Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria; The Atlantic (Washington, DC); Apr 20, 2017.
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GOLDEN OLDIE…
One day a policeman stopped a motorist who had just gone through a four way stop sign and was about to give him a ticket when the motorist said. “Officer you can’t give me a ticket for that!’

“Why not” said the officer.
“Because although I did not stop I slowed right down and its almost the same.”

“But you did not stop” replied the officer, “and the sign says STOP.”
“But the way was clear and it was safe” replied the motorist.

The officer then pulls out his baton and starts hitting the motorist.
“What are you doing!” yells the motorist in surprise.

“Do you want me to slow down or stop?” says the officer.
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A very elderly gentleman, (mid nineties) very well dressed, hair well groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel smelling slightly of a good after shave, presenting a well looked after image, walks into an upscale cocktail lounge.

Seated at the bar is an elderly looking lady, (mid eighties). The gentleman walks over, sits along side of her, orders a drink, takes a sip, turns to her and says, “So tell me, do I come here often?”
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TRIVIA FOR TODAY: How did the ‘shotgun house’ get its name? First off, it actually has nothing to do with the shape of a gun. This type of house was the most popular style in the American South from just after the Civil War until the 1920s. They’re characterized by their narrow rectangular structure, usually no more than 12 feet wide, three to five rooms deep, all connected to each other with no hallways, with doors at each end. The term “shotgun” is usually said to come from the saying that one could fire a shotgun through the front door and the pellets would fly cleanly through the house and out the back door.

~ Who is the Nobel Prize named after? Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. He owned Bofors, a major armaments manufacturer, which he had redirected from its previous role as an iron and steel mill. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element Nobelium was named after him.

~ Should you refrain from winking in Oz? Winking at women, even to express friendship, is considered bad manners in Australia.
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QUIP:

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are
removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.
If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
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I slept and dreamt that life was Joy.
I woke and saw that life was Duty.
I acted, and behold, Duty was Joy.
— Rabinranath Tagore

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