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Oh-Pun Season!


picture of William Tell

Anyone who has read much of my blog knows I love puns. If there's a 12-step program to get me over it, please don't tell me! What is there not to enjoy about a well-crafted pun? I must admit, though, that I'm not as much a fan of long, contorted stories leading to a groaner of a punchline as I was in my younger days. I now prefer short puns that go fairly straight to the target ... like in today's post.

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the Swiss league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire, and we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated in algebra class because it was a weapon of math distraction.
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Back to School!


picture of back-to-school stuff

What do you / did you like best about starting back to school? When I was a child, I think that my favorites were the smell of new pencils and erasers, new paper in my notebook outfitted with dividers for that year's classes, putting book covers on that year's textbooks, and new back-to-school clothes. As a teacher I still love back to school, but for very different reasons. I love seeing my students from previous years who are still in the university — especially if they're in my classes. I love meeting my new students, looking forward to forging some friendships that will go into the future.

I woke up this morning at 5:05, awake as I am now, so I decided to get up and post a special first-day-of-classes iv. I'm sure I'll pay for this this evening when I struggle to stay awake till bedtime.... :-)

This year it will be fun to watch the reactions of returning students to the new furniture in our classroom, generously provided by the school's alumni. It looks so fresh and roomy — we went from a crowded room with 59 desks to just 35 seats. Ah, room to move around! Here are two pictures of the classroom in which I teach French.
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Watch Out!


picture of an warning sign

Does it seem to you as if we are constantly assailed with warnings? The news is filled with reports of the latest scam, severe weather alerts, travel advisories, and so forth. One week we're warned about eating a certain food, and then the next week the "experts" tell us how dangerous it is to eliminate that very same food from our diet, pronouncing it essential to our good health.

Today's iv is two short stories where the central character would have been well served if he had received a timely warning.
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Funny French Signs


I love funny signs, and I know that many of my readers enjoy them also. At the beginning of my 38th year (!) of teaching French, I decided to share some French humor. I'll try to do it in a way that all can enjoy, even if they've never studied French.

In a post called Unhelpful Road Signs I poked fun at the following combination of signs:

picture of French sign

I still miss the logic of one sign's saying Toutes Directions, indicating all directions, right next to another sign saying other directions. If all means all, how can there be other?! And yet you see that pairing of signs all over France!

This next pairing is even more illogical.
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Pachydermic Prediction of Professions


Are you good at guessing a person's work just by his or her appearance or manner? Some of you might be old enough to remember the old TV show What's My Line? where a panel of four people asked yes and no questions to try to determine the line (occupation) of contestants. My young mind always wondered what "the line" was of several of the panelists, namely Arlene Francis and Dorothy Kilgallen. All I knew about them was their participation on that game show.

picture of irrelephant

In real life, it's an interesting challenge to try to figure out the line of work of people we see. Clothing is sometimes helpful, but not always. Remember when people wore surgical scrubs, not because of their work, but because scrubs were the rage in casual fashion? Our dentist dresses in a T-shirt and jeans in the office, and has done so for years. Frequently dress and other externals are totally irrelevant.

With hunting season just around the corner in some parts of the country, I'm posting a humor classic on determining a person's profession by how he or she hunts an elephant.

How to Tell a Person's Profession by the Method Used to Hunt an Elephant

Mathematicians hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant and catching one of whatever is left. Experienced mathematicians will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step one as a subordinate exercise.

Professors of mathematics will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.

Theoretical mathematicians catch elephants in a cage by building a cage, going inside, closing the door and — defining the outside as inside.
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