Worst Analogies

Winners of the Washington Post’s “Worst Analogies Ever Written” Contest:

  • He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
    (Joseph Romm, Washington)
  • She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
    (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
    (Russell Beland, Springfield)
  • McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup.
    (Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring)
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and “Jeopardy” comes on at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7:00.
    (Roy Ashley, Washington)
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
    (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
  • Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
    (Russell Beland, Springfield)
  • Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.comaaakk/ch@ung but gets T:flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.
    (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
    (Jack Bross, Chevy Chase)
  • The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
    (Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring)
  • Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”
    (Russell Beland, Springfield)
  • Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
    (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
  • The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr. Pepper can.
    (Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.)
  • They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
    (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
    (Russell Beland, Springfield)
  • The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
    (Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria)
  • His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
    (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
  • The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

Just a Simple Question Here….

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed and dry cleaners depressed? Laundry workers could decrease, eventually becoming depressed and depleted! Even more, bedmakers will be debunked, baseball players will be debased, landscapers will be deflowered, bulldozer operators will be degraded, organ donors will be delivered, software engineers will be detested, the BVD company will be debriefed, and even musical composers will eventually decompose. On a more positive note though, perhaps we can hope politicians will be devoted.

Our Crazy Language

  • Did you know that “verb” is a noun?
  • How can you look up words in a dictionary if you can’t spell them?
  • If a word is misspelled in a dictionary, how would we ever know?
  • If two mouses are mice and two louses are lice, why aren’t two houses hice?
  • If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?
  • If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?
  • If you’ve read a book, you can reread it. But wouldn’t this also mean that you would have to “member” somebody in order to remember them?
  • In Chinese, why are the words for crisis and opportunity the same?
  • Is it a coincidence that the only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable?
  • Is there another word for a synonym?
  • Shouldn’t there be a shorter word for “monosyllabic”?
  • What is another word for “thesaurus”?
  • Where do swear words come from?
  • Why can’t you make another word using all the letters in “anagram”?
  • Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?
  • Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
  • Why do people use the word “irregardless”?
  • Why do some people type “cool” as “kewl?”
  • Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?
  • Why do we say something’s out of order when its broken but we never say in of order when it works?
  • Why does “cleave” mean both split apart and stick together?
  • Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?
  • Why does flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?
  • Why does the Chinese ideogram for trouble symbolize two women living under one roof?
  • Why does X stand for a kiss and O stand for a hug?
  • Why doesn’t “onomatopoeia” sound like what it is?
  • Why don’t we say “why” instead of “how come”?
  • Why is “crazy man” an insult, while to insert a comma and say “Crazy, man!” is a compliment?
  • Why are a wise man and wise guy opposites?
  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • Why is dyslexic so hard to spell?
  • Why is it so hard to remember how to spell MNEMONIC?
  • Why is it that no word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple?
  • Why is it that the word “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary?
  • Why is it that we recite at a play and play at a recital?
  • Why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
  • Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
  • Why is the plural of goose-geese, and not the plural of moose-meese?
  • Why isn’t “palindrome” spelled the same way backwards?
  • Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Things to Think About

  • If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?
  • If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?
  • If you mixed vodka with orange juice and milk of magnesia, would you get a Philip’s screwdriver?
  • If a pig loses it’s voice, is it disgruntled?
  • If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
  • When someone asks you, “A penny for your thoughts” and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
  • Why is the man who invest all your money called a broker?
  • Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.
  • When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?
  • Why is a person who plays the piano call a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
  • Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposite things?
  • If horrific mean to make horrible, doesn’t terrific mean to make terrible?
  • Why isn’t 11 pronounced onety-one?
  • “I am.” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language.
  • Could it be that “I do.” is the longest sentence?
  • If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen are defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked and dry cleaners depressed?
  • Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as 4’s?
  • Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint, you will have to touch it to be sure?

Let’s Have Male and Female Nouns

It has often been suggested that English should have male and female nouns. Here are a few candidates for consideration as useful male and female nouns:

  • Swiss Army Knife
    Male – because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.
  • Kidneys
    Female – because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.
  • Penlight
    Male – because it can be turned on very easily, but isn’t very bright.
  • Tire
    Male – because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.
  • Hot Air Balloon
    Male – because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it… and, of course, there’s the hot air part.
  • Sponges
    Female – because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.
  • Web Page
    Female – because it is always getting hit on.
  • Shoe
    Male – because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.
  • Copier
    Female – because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Also, because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Also, because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.
  • Ziploc Bags
    Male – because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.
  • Subway
    Male – because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
  • Hourglass
    Female – because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
  • Hammer
    Male – because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around and it’s good for killing bugs.

If Biblical Headlines Were Written Today

  • On Red Sea crossing:
    Pursuing Environmentalists Killed
  • On David vs. Goliath:
    Psychologist Questions Influence of Rock
  • On Elijah on Mt. Carmel:
    400 Killed
  • On the birth of Christ:
    Animal Rights Activists Enraged by Insensitive Couple
  • On feeding the 5,000:
    Disciples Mystified Over Behavior
  • On healing the 10 lepers:
    “Faith Healer” Causes Bankruptcy
  • On healing of the Gadarene demoniac:
    Local Farmer’s Investment Lost
  • On raising Lazarus from the dead:
    Will Reading to be Delayed

More Church Bulletin Typos

These sentences actually appeared in a church bulletin or were announced in a church service:

  • Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
  • Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.”
  • Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 pm in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • “Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.”
  • The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
  • The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus”
  • Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  • Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
  • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
  • Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.
  • Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.
  • The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.
  • Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
  • The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
  • Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
  • The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sabbath.
  • The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, “Break Forth Into Joy.”
  • A songfest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.
  • Our next song is “Angels We Have Heard Get High.”
  • Evening Massage – 6 p.m.
  • Ushers will eat latecomers.
  • The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which, as usual, fell upon her.
  • On a church bulletin during the pastor’s illness: GOD IS GOOD. Pastor Hargreaves is better.
  • Don’t miss this Saturday’s exhibit by Christian Martian Arts…
  • Glory of God to all and peas to his people on earth.
  • Lift up our Messianic brothers and sisters in Israel who are suffering during our prayer time.
  • This Sunday morning following services we will have our monthly feelowship.
  • We have received word of sudden passing of Rev. Smith this morning duringthe worship service. Now let’s sing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
  • The agenda was adopted…the minutes were approved… the final secretary gave a grief report.
  • Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.

How to Write Good

by Sally Bulford
  • Avoid alliteration. Always.
  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  • Employ the vernacular.
  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  • It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  • Contractions aren’t necessary.
  • Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  • One should never generalize.
  • Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  • Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  • Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • Be more or less specific.
  • Understatement is always best.
  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice is to be avoided.
  • Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  • Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Who needs rhetorical questions?
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Actual Newspaper Headlines

  • Grandmother of eight makes hole in one
  • Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing
  • Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
  • House passes gas tax onto senate
  • Stiff opposition expected to casketless funeral plan
  • Two convicts evade noose, jury hung
  • William Kelly was fed secretary
  • Milk drinkers are turning to powder
  • Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted
  • Quarter of a million Chinese live on water
  • Farmer bill dies in house
  • Iraqi head seeks arms
  • Some become unintentionally suggestive:

  • Queen Mary having bottom scraped
  • Is there a ring of debris around Uranus?
  • Prostitutes appeal to Pope
  • Panda mating fails – veterinarian takes over
  • NJ judge to rule on nude beach
  • Child’s stool great for use in garden
  • Dr. Ruth to talk about sex with newspaper editors
  • Soviet virgin lands short of goal again
  • Organ festival ends in smashing climax
  • Grammar often botches other headlines:

  • Eye drops off shelf
  • Squad helps dog bite victim
  • Dealers will hear car talk at noon
  • Enraged cow injures farmer with ax
  • Lawmen from Mexico barbecue guests
  • Miners refuse to work after death
  • Two Soviet ships collide – one dies
  • Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter
  • Once in a while, a botched headline takes on a meaning opposite from the one intended:

  • Never withhold herpes from loved one
  • Nicaragua sets goal to wipe out literacy
  • Drunk drivers paid $1,000 in 1984
  • Autos killing 110 a day, let’s resolve to do better
  • Sometimes newspaper editors state the obvious:

  • If strike isn’t settled quickly it may last a while
  • War dims hope for peace
  • Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency
  • Cold wave linked to temperatures
  • Child’s death ruins couple’s holiday
  • Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn’t seen in years
  • Man is fatally slain
  • Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say
  • Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation

Using the “F” Word

We all know that it isn’t polite to use the “F” word! There are only ten times in history the “F” word has been acceptable for use:

10. “What the f__was that? – Mayor of Hiroshima, 1945

9. “Look at them f__ing Indians!” – Custer, 1876

8. “Any F___ing idiot could understand that..” – Einstein, 1938

7. “It does so f__ing look like her!” – Picasso, 1928

6.”How the f__did you work that out?” – Pythagorus, 126BC

5. “You want WHAT on the f__ing ceiling?” – Michelangelo, 1566

4. “Where the f__are we?” – Amelia Earhart, 1937

3. “Scattered f__ing showers….My Ass! ‘ – Noah, 4314BC

2. “Aw c’mon. Who the F__’s going to find out? ” -Bill Clinton, 1999

And number #1….

drum roll…..

1. “How f__ing mad can they get?? ” – Saddam Hussein , 2003