Posted by: gdevi | September 19, 2011

Joke for linguists and grammarians

Corny and clever joke–very funny for us who teach all this stuff!


A consonant walks into a bar and sits down next to a vowelly girl.

“Hi!” he says. “I’ll alphabet that you’ve never been here before.”

“Of cursive I have,” she replies. “I come here, like, all the time. For me,
it’s parse for the course.”

The consonant remains stationery, enveloped by the vowelly girl’s
letter-perfect charm.

“Here’s a cute joke” he states declaratively. “Up at the North Pole, St.
Nicholas is the main Claus. His wife is a relative Claus. His children are
dependent Clauses. Their Dutch uncle is a restrictive Claus. And Santa’s
elves are subordinate Clauses. As a group, they’re all renoun Clauses.”

Then he lays on some more dashes of humor: “Have you heard about the fellow
who had half his digestive tract removed? He walked around with a

“Are you like prepositioning me?” asks the vowelly girl.

“I won’t be indirect. You are the object of my preposition. Your beauty
phrase my nerves. Won’t you come up to my place for a coordinating

“I don’t want to be diacritical of you, but you’re like, such a boldfaced
character!” replies the vowelly girl. “Like do I have to spell it out to
you, or are you just plain comma-tose? You’re not my type, so get off my

Despite his past perfect, he is, at present, tense.

“Puhleeze, gag me with a spoonerism!” she objects. “As my Grammar and other
correlatives used to say, your mind is in the guttural. I resent your
umlautish behavior. You should know what the wages of syntax are. I
nominative absolutely decline to conjugate with you fer sure!”

“You get high quotation marks for that one,” he smiles, “even if I think
you’re being rather subjunctive and moody about all this. I so admire your
figure of speech that I would like to predicate my life on yours.” So he
gets himself into an indicative mood and says, “It would be appreciated by
me if you would be married to me.”

“Are you being passive aggressive?” she asks interrogatively.

“No, I’m speaking in the active voice. Please don’t have a vowel movement
about this. I simile want to say to you, ‘Metaphors be with you!’ I would
never want to change you and become a misplaced modifier. It’s imperative
that you understand that I’m very, very font of you and want us to spend
infinitive together.”

“That’s quite a compliment,” she blushes — and gives him appositive

At the ceremonies they exchange wedding vowels about the compound subject of

Finally, they say, “I do,” which is actually the longest and most complex of
sentences — a run-on sentence, actually — one that we all hope won’t turn
out to be a sentence fragment.

Then the minister diagrams that sentence and says, “I now pronouns you
consonant and vowel.”

They kiss each other on the ellipsis and whisper to each other, “I love you,
noun forever.”

Throughout their marriage, their structure is perfectly parallel and their
verbs never disagree with their subjects.

After many a linking verve, comma splice and interjection, they conceive the
perfect parent thesis. Then come some missing periods and powerful
contractions, and into the world is born their beautiful little boy.

They know it is a boy because of its dangling participle.


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