The Joke's on Me: Improve Your Vocabulary and Elevate Your Linguistics through Humor [NOOK Book]

Overview

While debating Sir Winston on the House of Commons,
Lady Astor says, "Sir Winston, if I were your wife, I should poison your tea."
Sir Winston replies, "Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it."



In 1066, a Battle of Hastings ensued in England, eventually causing two languages to merge and form modern English. In The Joke's on Me, English language aficionado Jim ...

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The Joke's on Me: Improve Your Vocabulary and Elevate Your Linguistics through Humor

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Overview

While debating Sir Winston on the House of Commons,
Lady Astor says, "Sir Winston, if I were your wife, I should poison your tea."
Sir Winston replies, "Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it."



In 1066, a Battle of Hastings ensued in England, eventually causing two languages to merge and form modern English. In The Joke's on Me, English language aficionado Jim Purdy provides an entertaining tutorial of jokes, explanations, and associated vocabulary based on this historical transition.



Purdy bases most of his jokes on sex, politics, and religion, depending on the unexpected as he leads serious students of languages to the "other side" of English. While including jokes not intended for the easily offended, Purdy relies on the experiences he acquired during his frequent travels throughout Europe as he shares jokes as diverse as the world around us. Purdy spares no one from his humorous jabs, including Lady Astor and Sir Winston, the Lone Ranger, and the Pope.



The Joke's on Me is a step-by-step guide that will encourage both novice and experienced students of languages to gain a new appreciation of the American sense of humor while simultaneously enhancing their vocabulary and linguistics abilities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450295345
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,237,513
  • File size: 973 KB

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THE JOKE'S ON ME

IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY AND ELEVATE YOUR LINGUISTICS THROUGH HUMOR
By JIM PURDY

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Purdy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-9532-1


Chapter One

Disraeli and Gladstone

The Joke:

Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone had just finished an acrimonious debate in the House of Commons, when they happened to chance on each other while waiting for an audience with the King.

Gladstone, still irate from the debate, says to Disraeli:

"You, Sir, are going to die either on the gallows or of venereal disease."

Disraeli replies:

"That, Sir, depends on whether I embrace your political principles or your mistress."

Analysis:

This joke depends on the dual meaning of the word 'embrace'. This word can either mean a hug, or accepting someone else's ideas or beliefs as your own. If Disraeli accepts Gladstone's political ideas, he will hang on the gallows for treason. If he hugs and sleeps with Gladstone's mistress, he will die of venereal disease. This joke is a classic use of the French term double entendre.

Vocabulary:

Acrimonious – Filled with dissension or anger. Nasty.

Audience – An interview with a person of higher rank. A good example of this is Gladstone and Disraeli both waiting for an audience with the King of England.

Debate – A process during which two or more opponents say different things about the same issue. A good example of this would be a discussion over pro-choice and pro-life between two opponents with differing views on the subject of abortion.

Double entendre – This expression is French, and means a saying which can be taken more than one way. The word 'embrace' is a good example.

Gallows – A place where someone is hanged by the neck until he is dead. The game of hang-man is a good example.

Hurled – Thrown.

Invective – Insult, name-calling. Vituperation: abusive or venomous language.

Irate – Angry or mad.

Nasty – Full of nastiness, sarcasm, and hurled invectives.

Sarcasm – Witty language used to convey insults or scorn.

Scorn – Contempt or disdain felt toward a person or object considered despicable or unworthy.

Venereal disease – A disease which you catch from having unprotected sex with a person who is already infected.

Lady Astor and Sir Winston Churchill

The Joke:

While debating Sir Winston on the House of Commons, Lady Astor gets a little carried away, and says:

"Sir Winston, if I were your wife, I should poison your tea."

To which Sir Winston replies:

"Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it."

Analysis:

One-upmanship seems to be the name of the game here.

Vocabulary:

Carried Away – In this case, overly excited.

Churchill (1874-1965) – Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. Educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he became (1894) an officer in the 4th Hussars. On leave in 1895, he saw his first military action in Cuba as a reporter for London's Daily Graphic. He served in India and in 1898 fought at Omdurman in Sudan under Kitchener. Having resigned his commission, he was sent (1899) to cover the South African War by the Morning Post, and his accounts of his capture and imprisonment by the Boers and his escape raised him to the forefront of English journalists.

Churchill was elected to Parliament as a Conservative in 1900, but he subsequently switched to the Liberal party and was appointed undersecretary for the colonies in the cabinet of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Under Asquith, he was initially (1908–10) president of the Board of Trade, then home secretary (1910–11), and championed innovative labor exchange and old-age pension acts. As first lord of the admiralty (1911), he presided over the naval expansion that preceded World War I.

Discredited by the failure of the Dardanelles expedition, which he had championed, Churchill lost (1915) his admiralty post and served on the front lines in France. Returning to office under Lloyd George, he served as minister of munitions (1917) and secretary of state for war and for air (1918–21). As colonial secretary (1921–22), he helped negotiate the treaty that set up the Irish Free State. After two defeats at the polls he returned to the House of Commons, as a Constitutionalist, and became (1924–29) Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government. As an advocate of laissez-faire economics, he was strongly criticized by John Maynard Keynes.

Churchill was not a financial innovator; he basically followed conventional advice from his colleagues. Nevertheless, Churchill's decision to return the country to the prewar gold standard increased unemployment and was a cause of the general strike of 1926. He advocated aggressive action to end the strike, and thus earned the lasting distrust of the labor movement.

Out of office from 1929 to 1939, Churchill wrote and remained in the public eye with his support for Edward VIII. He was involved in the abdication crisis of 1936 and with his vehement opposition to the Indian nationalist movement. He also issued warnings of the threat from Nazi Germany that went unheeded, in part because of his past political and military misjudgments. When World War II broke out (September, 1939), Neville Chamberlain appointed him first lord of the admiralty. The following May, when Chamberlain was forced to resign, Churchill became prime minister.

Churchill was one of the truly great orators; his energy and his stubborn public refusal to make peace until Adolf Hitler was crushed were crucial in rallying and maintaining British resistance to Germany during the grim years from 1940 to 1942. He met President Franklin Roosevelt at sea before the entry of the United States into the war, twice addressed the U.S. Congress (Dec., 1941; May, 1942), twice went to Moscow (Aug., 1942; May, 1944), visited battle fronts, and attended a long series of international conferences.

The British nation supported the vigorous program of Churchill's coalition cabinet until after the surrender of Germany. Then in July, 1945, Britain's desire for rapid social reform led to a Labour electoral victory, and Churchill became leader of the opposition. In 1946, on a visit to the United States, he made a controversial speech at Fulton, Mo., in which he warned of the expansive tendencies of the USSR (he had distrusted the Soviet government since its inception, when he had been a leading advocate of Western intervention to overthrow it) and coined the expression "Iron Curtain."

As prime minister again from 1951 until his resignation in 1955, he ended nationalization of the steel and auto industries but maintained most other socialist measures instituted by the Labour government. In 1953 Churchill was knighted, and awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature for his writing and oratory. He retained a seat in Parliament until 1964. He refused a peerage, but his widow, Clementine Ogilvy Hozier (married 1908), accepted one in 1965 for her charitable work.

Lady Astor (1879-1964) – Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor, HC, was the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons. Nancy Astor represented the Conservative Party and was the wife of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor. Lady Astor was born Nancy Witcher Langhorne in Danville, Virginia, in the United States. Her second husband, Waldorf Astor, was born in the United States but his father had moved the family to England when Waldorf was twelve and raised his children as English aristocrats.

Several elements of Lady Astor's life to this point influenced her first campaign, but the main reason she became a candidate in the first place was her husband's situation. He had enjoyed a promising career for several years before World War I in the House of Commons, but then he succeeded to his father's peerage as the 2nd Viscount Astor. This meant that he automatically became a member of the House of Lords and forfeited his seat of Plymouth Sutton in the House of Commons. So Lady Astor decided to contest the vacant parliamentary seat.

Vocabulary:

Poison – A substance that causes injury, illness, or death, especially by chemical means. To use such a substance.

Sir Winston and the Labour M.P.

The Joke:

While Sir Winston is at a party during the evening, a Labour Member of Parliament approaches him and says:

"Sir Winston, you're drunk."

Sir Winston peers more closely at his assailant, and replies:

"And you, Madam, are very ugly – but tomorrow I shall be sober."

Analysis:

Sir Winston is saying that there is a cure for his drunkenness, but there is no cure for ugliness. Tomorrow, he will be sober, but she will still be ugly.

Vocabulary:

Assailant – Someone who confronts someone else. Usually with something he or she considers to be a defect.

Churchill – See above for a full description of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill.

Labour – A political party in England. Sir Winston is a member of the Conservative Party. Therefore, he and the lady are on opposite sides.

Peers – Looks at, or sees.

Churchill and Attlee

The Joke:

Sir Winston arrived at a London hotel for a function when he decided to stop by the men's room. No sooner did he find a position to relieve himself than who should enter the men's room but his old political rival Clement Attlee. To Churchill's surprise, Attlee came and stood right next to him. So, Churchill nervously moved a few places away.

"My, my, Winston," Attlee exclaimed. "Are we being modest?"

Winston replied, "Not at all, Clement. It's just that every time you see something that is large, privately owned, and working well, you want to nationalize it."

Analysis:

Clement Attlee was Prime Minister of the Labour Party in England. His party was responsible for nationalizing large parts of the British economy.

Vocabulary:

Churchill – See above for a full description of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill.

Function – In this case, an official ceremony or a formal social occasion.

Par Excellence

The Joke:

An elementary school teacher says:

"OK, children, we are going to study sex education. As your first homework assignment, go home and find out what a penis is."

Little Johnnie hurries home, and finds his father watching TV in the living room. He asks:

"Dad, what is a penis?"

His father says:

"I can see it's time for your sex education to begin. Follow me."

He leads little Johnnie to the bathroom, drops his trousers and his underpants, and says:

"Now this, son, is a penis. As a matter of fact, this is a penis par excellence."

The next day, little Johnnie is on his way to school with Mary. She asks:

"Did you find out what a penis is?"

Johnnie answers in the affirmative, so she says:

"Tell me."

Johnnie says:

"I can't tell you, but I can show you."

She answers in the affirmative, so he says:

"OK, come with me behind the bushes."

She comes with him, and he drops his trousers and underpants. He says:

"Now this, Mary, is a penis. And if it were two inches shorter, it would be par excellence."

Analysis:

Par excellence is actually borrowed from the French, and literally means by preeminence. English has many cognates with both French and German.

A little history is in order here. After the Romans abandoned England in 410 A.D., the Saxons and then the Angles invaded various parts of England, killing innocent women and children as they went. The Angles and the Saxons were two Germanic tribes, and even today the English are sometimes referred to as the Anglo-Saxons. Eventually, the Angles and the Saxons conquered all of England, displacing the Celtic and Gaelic populations that were already there.

As an aside, Celtic and Gaelic languages are still spoken in Ireland, Scotland and Wales today.

In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded the South of England, and defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. William was Duke of Normandy in France, and invaded from there. The French got very lucky during the Battle of Hastings. A cross-bow bolt flew through the air and struck King Harold between the visor and the rest of the helmet, striking him in the eye. Although he did not die immediately, his command of the Housecarls and the Anglo-Saxon forces was seriously impaired. The French won the battle. To this day, no one knows exactly where King Harold is buried, because William was afraid his body would be used as a rallying point for his opposition. He refused the request of Harold's mother for the body for this reason.

Thus, English can be considered basically a German language with an overlay of French. Over the years, the two languages merged to form modern English.

Vocabulary:

Aetheling – A prince who was eligible to become king.

Affirmative – Yes. Used by the military to prevent confusion in communications. See negative below.

Amateur – Unpaid. Not professional.

Angles – A Germanic tribe which invaded England.

Anglo-Saxon – An earlier version of the English language. The name is taken from the two Germanic tribes which used the language.

Battle of Hastings – This battle is considered a turning point in the history of England, since after the battle the Norman French ruled and the subjugated Anglo-Saxons were politically powerless. The battle actually took place primarily on Senlac Hill, approximately 6 miles to the Northwest of Hastings. The Anglo-Saxons occupied the top of the ridge or hill, going on the defensive against the invading Norman French and their allies. They had only infantry. Even those who rode to the battle dismounted and fought on foot. The Anglo-Saxon army was composed of Housecarls (See Housecarls below) and people from the landed gentry who were charged with providing their own armor and arms. While the Housecarls were professional soldiers, the members of the landed gentry were part-time amateurs.

In contrast to the Anglo-Saxons, the Norman French employed archers (both longbow men and crossbow men), cavalry, and infantry. Moreover, the Normans were a polyglot force. In addition to the half of Normans, they included soldiers from Brittany and Flanders, other parts of France, and even as far away as southern Italy. They were at a disadvantage, moreover, because they had to charge uphill to reach the Anglo-Saxons. At first, the battle did not go well for the Normans. The barrages of arrows shot at the Anglo-Saxons stuck in their shield wall. The Norman infantry were decimated by the stones, javelins, and maces thrown by the Anglo-Saxons. As a result, the Normans committed their cavalry much sooner than they had planned. After about an hour of fighting, the division on the Norman left from Brittany retreated in a rout. Unable to resist the temptation, the Anglo-Saxons chased after the fleeing Bretons. The two brothers of Harold, Leofwyne and Gyrthe, were killed in a Norman cavalry counter-attack. This was a double misfortune for the Anglo-Saxons. Not only did they lose these two tactical commanders, but they were also deprived of any experienced successor in the event that King Harold II was killed.

A horse was killed beneath the leader of the Normans. It was not until William stood up and threw off his helmet that his men were convinced that he was not dead after all, and the Normans stopped their retreat.

About this time, the bolt from a crossbow struck King Harold in the eye, and William discovered that the shield-wall was broken. The French went on to win the battle.

Battle of Stamford Bridge – Although this was a great victory for King Harold II and the Anglo-Saxons, it may have contributed to the Anglo-Saxon defeat at the Battle of Hastings. Both Tostig Godwinson and King Harald Hardrada of Norway were killed in this battle.

Battleaxe – An axe used in hand-to-hand combat. Also used to designate a very unpleasant woman. Calling a woman an old battleaxe is not a compliment.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE JOKE'S ON ME by JIM PURDY Copyright © 2011 by Jim Purdy. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................xiii
Introduction....................xv
Some Definitions to Start....................xvii
About the Author....................xxi
Disraeli and Gladstone....................1
Lady Astor and Sir Winston Churchill....................3
Sir Winston and the Labour M P....................6
Churchill and Attlee....................7
Par Excellence....................8
An American Tourist in London....................16
How to Get To Heaven....................17
The Lone Ranger....................19
The Pope's Car....................21
The Man Who Attained Heaven....................23
The Nun and the Liquor Store....................25
Eighty....................27
A Boy and His Goose....................28
The 12-point Buck Deer....................30
A Small Plane Is Lost....................32
Married For the Third Time....................33
Who Has the Smartest Dog....................34
The Violation....................35
Calling a Spade a Spade....................36
The Three Bulls....................37
Twenty-four Hours to Live....................39
The Vasectomy....................40
The Virgin Birth....................41
Three Doctors....................42
The Dutch Air Ace....................43
The Vicar and the Little Girl....................44
Outdoor Plumbing....................46
The Specimen....................48
Father Clancy's Sermon....................50
The Houses on the Street....................52
The Price Is Right....................54
The 12-inch Pianist....................55
The Quickie....................56
The Psychiatrist....................57
The Turn Signal....................58
Call the Elevator....................59
The Carabinieri Payroll....................60
The Gay Couple....................61
The Guest on the TV Show....................62
How the Angel Got Atop the Christmas Tree....................63
Can't Get Back Up the Chimney....................65
He Ignores Her Until ....................66
The Hasidic Jew....................67
The Composer....................69
The Diff erence between Heaven and Hell....................70
The Funeral Cortege....................71
The Double Negative....................72
The Rattlesnake in the Desert....................73
The Potato in the Bathing Suit....................74
The Newlyweds....................76
An Interfaith Conference....................77
The Camel Train....................78
The Naughty Parrot....................79
Adultery Confession....................80
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up....................82
On A Train between London and Manchester....................83
Now That I'm Eighty Years Old....................84
The Mermaid....................85
The Married Woman....................86
The Priest and the Rabbi....................87
The American Wrestler....................89
The Car Stopped....................91
The Conversion....................93
The Good Golf Game....................95
The Lost Golf Ball....................97
Arnold Palmer....................99
The Methodist Minister....................101
Green Side Up....................102
Hold the Water....................103
Harry Had a Heart Attack....................104
Three Wishes....................105
The Wooden Leg....................107
The Hunting Dog....................108
The Marooned Man....................110
Give Him Two Dollars....................112
The Case of Priapism....................113
His Friend Is Blind....................114
A Bird Is Late....................116
Broccoli....................118
Ignorant, Ignorant, Ignorant....................119
I Have To Have Some Right Now....................120
The Grand Dame of the Confederacy....................121
Two Drinks, Please....................123
In a Grocery Store....................125
The Kid Learned Everything....................126
The Flirting Lady....................127
The Ventriloquist....................128
The Head Is Larger Than the Shaft....................129
The Column of Smoke....................130
Expands Twelve Times....................132
The Case of Tennis Elbow....................133
Send Me Some Water....................135
The Mohel....................136
Wales....................138
The British Lady on the Train....................139
A Half Head of Lettuce....................141
The German Shepherd and the Pekinese....................142
Three Convicts....................143
The Little Green Rat....................145
The Simultaneous Arrivals....................146
Constipation....................147
The Religious Parrot....................149
Jump!....................151
Congratulations....................152
The Helper....................153
The Ex-Schoolteacher....................155
The Baseball Game....................157
His Friend Is Dead....................159
What Do You See?....................160
The Ugly Baby....................161
Looking Good....................162
Help Me Decide....................163
I Want a Whore with Syphilis....................164
The Not So Intelligent Dog....................165
The Collateral....................166
The Grandmother....................168
First Blow Job....................169
The Horse and Buggy....................170
The Jar Full Of $20 Bills....................172
There Is No Sound and No Smell....................174
It Has To Come Off....................175
Same Old, Same Old....................176
The Breakfast Together....................177
There Are No Fish Here....................179
Doggy Fashion....................180
Savoir Faire....................181
The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived....................182
The Polish Salesman....................184
The Genitals Have Been Blown Away....................186
Name Calling....................187
He Snores....................188
No Sex Tonight....................190
The Lion Tamer....................192
Gay Spiders....................194
Straight Down the Fairway....................195
Graphic Art....................197
The Virgin....................199
Aids or Alzheimer's Disease....................200
What Do You Think I Am....................201
The Green Circles....................203
The Bollocks of the Bull....................204
My Dad Has Two of Those....................205
That's for Pearl Harbor....................206
Baseball in Heaven....................207
The Gorilla Hunter....................208
Custer's Last Stand....................209
The Gunfighter....................211
The Golfing Couple....................215
The New Minister....................216
The Mexican Bordello....................218
A Hundred and Eleven....................219
I Want To Buy a Skoda....................221
Ten Years from Now....................223
Ode to Obama, Reid and Pelosi....................224
Dirty Ditties....................225
Short Takes....................228
Paraprosdokian Sentences....................250
The Value of a Drink....................260
At a bar....................263
A Few Political Short Takes....................265
Confucius Say....................266
Quotes Worth Remembering....................267
One-Liners....................270
Vocabulary (One-Liners):....................281
Conclusion....................305
Appendix I: French Expressions and Words....................307
Appendix II: American / British Expressions and Words....................323
Appendix III: Colloquialisms....................327
Acknowledgements....................335
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