Raising the Bar
When grammar and jokes meet
This is an entry in the Saturday series of Timeless & Timely called “Off the Clock,” where we focus on words, a quirk of history or literature, or something just plain fun.
“Were a language ever completely ‘grammatical,’ it would be the perfect engine of conceptual expression. Unfortunately, or luckily, no language is tyrannically consistent. All grammars leak.” — Edward Sapir, 1921
One of the shockers: “grammar,” he said, was “one of [his] least favorite subjects.”
However, he pointed out that he felt compelled to study it and to understand the different parts of speech in order to be more effective as an editor.
And, like him, while you may not be able to name parts of speech or grammar rules, you know them when you see them because are smitten with the written or spoken word.
For this week’s Off the Clock, I thought you might appreciate these references to various elements of writing, through the construct of the old “walked into a bar” style of jokes mixed with wordplay.
If you can make it through these, there’s a book recommendation at the end.
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