I thought

Nov. 23rd, 2010 03:58 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Does anyone know if there's a name for jokes that are roughly of the form "I thought [X] was a [Y] until I discovered [Z]"?

The humour normally turns on X having two homophonous interpretations -- either the first is innocent and the second is innuendish (in which case Z was traditionally "Smirnoff"), or there's an ironic contrast between the two meanings, or else the homophony is just wackily inventive... there are probably other sub-forms too.

Anyone got any good examples?

(Edited to correct spelling of homophonous!)

I thought

Nov. 23rd, 2010 03:58 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Does anyone know if there's a name for jokes that are roughly of the form "I thought [X] was a [Y] until I discovered [Z]"?

The humour normally turns on X having two homophonous interpretations -- either the first is innocent and the second is innuendish (in which case Z was traditionally "Smirnoff"), or there's an ironic contrast between the two meanings, or else the homophony is just wackily inventive... there are probably other sub-forms too.

Anyone got any good examples?

(Edited to correct spelling of homophonous!)
undyingking: (Default)
I guess you're all probably familiar, if only by repute, with the traditional song that starts:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Inverness;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty less.
It will not have escaped the sharp-eyed, though, that the second line contains what some consider a grammatical solecism.

I suggest the following improved version:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Invermuir;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty fewer.


Alternatively:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Invergordon;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty more o'dem.
(although arguably that one doesn't make much sense…)

Any more for any more? I guess it doesn't necessarily have to begin with 'Inver', probably any town somewhere in the Highlands would do.
undyingking: (Default)
I guess you're all probably familiar, if only by repute, with the traditional song that starts:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Inverness;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty less.
It will not have escaped the sharp-eyed, though, that the second line contains what some consider a grammatical solecism.

I suggest the following improved version:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Invermuir;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty fewer.


Alternatively:
Four-and-twenty virgins came down from Invergordon;
And when the ball was over, there were four-and-twenty more o'dem.
(although arguably that one doesn't make much sense…)

Any more for any more? I guess it doesn't necessarily have to begin with 'Inver', probably any town somewhere in the Highlands would do.
undyingking: (Default)
That'll do for now! So a quick poll, if you'll indulge me:
[Poll #1527090]
undyingking: (Default)
(Also known as, closing some tabs.)
  • Democracy Club -- an organization formed to help make the next UK general election more open and accountable, by crowdsourcing info. Affiliated with mySociety and other such. I've signed up -- recommend you do so too, if you are concerned about our political system and want to do more than just whinge.
  • Emails from Crazy People -- what it says. Some are funnier than others.
  • FlickrPoet -- enter the text of a poem (or any text really), it grabs images form Flickr to illustrate it. Can be quite thought-provoking, or at least mildly distracting. A neat implementation of a simple idea.
  • LJ statistics -- I think only for people with paid-for accounts. A useful set of charts showing people viewing your journal (for real or via their friends' page), comments, RSS readers and so on. Not something I'd hugely missed before, but still nice to have it now.
  • Great Christmas decoration -- on Snopes, so you may have already seen it a squillion times. But I laughed.
  • Drench -- a clever, well-implemented Flash game. Warning: can be quite addictive. The design of the "gameishness" of it is not quite right, but the actual play is very good.
  • Dean Ashton retires -- a couple of weeks ago now, but I'm still brooding on it. Feeling sorry for him, but (selfishly) more so for West Ham, who have been robbed of a player who seemed likely to become a club great. A strong and wily targetman, deadly finisher from close and from medium range, and an extremely good provider / manufacturer of scoring opportunities for his teammates too. All he was lacking really was pace over the ground. I just hope we get sacks full of compensation from the FA, as it was in training for an England game that Shaun Wright-Phillips crocked him.
  • Boozecats -- what if cats were booze, or possibly vice versa? A strange idea, but it turns out to be quite visually appealing.
  • Visualizing and predicting prime numbers -- this is a really great data visualization, via the excellent Infosthetics blog. The idea of using it to predict primes is a bit hokey (compare the Wheel of Primes), but it looks terrific.
  • CYOA -- another one from Infosthetics, it includes a number of very visually appealing ways of diagramming a Chose Your Own Adventure, and a discussion of their structures.
  • Harry Keeler on plotting -- Keeler was a rather interesting mystery author of the mid-C20, responsible for such titles as The Case of the Two-Headed Idiot, I Killed Lincoln at 10:13!, The Crimson Cube and The Man with the Magic Eardrums. This article outlines his particular method of constructing what he called web-work plots, and the diagrams thereto. You can read some of his actual fiction here.
  • Oscar Wilde on The Soul of Man under Socialism -- a thought-provoking essay, reminding one that Wilde wasn't just an entertainer. Some questionable reasoning, but very readable of course.
  • Wordnik -- there are heaps of online dictionaries, but this is something different -- it includes recent tweets and Flickr postings, and lots of usage examples. OK, not really very useful, but great fun to browse.
Lots of fairly random stuff there! -- it'd be interesting to know which (if any) of it you found interesting yourself. Do please comment and say!
undyingking: (Default)
I know lots of people have linked to this story about the Welsh road sign translation already, but it is very funny. A modern equivalent of those features on maps of remote areas that are later found to be called the native-language for I Don't Know, Just a Mountain.1


1 Joke © T Pratchett.
undyingking: (Default)
  • Went the other night to see Burn after Reading, the new Coen brothers film. We thought it was pretty good fun: just a fairly shallow piece of fluff really, but there's nothing wrong with that. The galaxy of stars (Malkovich, Swinton, McDormand, Pitt, Clooney) all put in entertaining turns. It kind of cops out and runs out of steam at the end, but it wold be harsh to resent it for that.
  • The Plantbot moves autonomically around in search of light for its precious cargo. Excellent idea! I think ideally you'd want it to also rotate so the heaviest part of the plant was facing away form the light, so it grows evenly, but maybe its drunkard's walk will achieve evenness anyway. (Via [livejournal.com profile] curiosity_ips.)
  • Last night we were at a get-together of children's book illustrators organized as part of the National Year of Reading, with which T's involved. Michael Foreman, Anthony Browne and Nick Butterworth were the headline names, but plenty of lesser luminaries too, plus some publishers, writers, etc. They mostly talked about the industry, which was interesting for me but may have been deathly for the kids who were present. Also, a bit strange that the three main speakers were all middle-aged blokes, when there are plenty of young people and women in the field. They were all engaging enough guys, but there was definitely a tone of "these young art-school types today, never been taught to draw properly, we had to come up the hard way" etc.
    It was in Suffolk's Council Chamber, which is pretty new and had a rather snazzy mike system, like a sort of automated "speaking object" for those of you who were ever at OUSFG discussions or similar. If you want to speak, you press the button on your mike, but that doesn't interrupt the current speaker until they press their own button to signal they've finished: so only one mike is live at any given time. The good bit though is that there are three big projection screens on the walls of the room, fed by a handful of ceiling of cameras that are slaved to the mikes -- so as the "live mike" changes, the live camera switches to the one with the best view of that mike, which pans and zooms as required, and the projections all automatically go with that so as to display the current speaker most effectively. Maybe this arrangement is commonplace these days, but I hadn't seen it before and thought it was pretty neat.
  • I expect everyone's seen this reinterpretation of A-Ha's Take on Me video by now, but just in case you haven't -- you should, it's very very funny.
undyingking: (Default)
A few things that have caught my eye recently:
  • BgPatterns is a terrific resource for generating background graphics. Choose your motif, colurs, canvas texture, rotation, scaling, opacity and basically every tweak you might reasonably need. Preview it live on the site, then save it locally as a jpg for your own use. Really nice implementation.
  • The Nietzche Family Circus is a small and silly idea, but an effective one. Pair a random Family Circus cartoon with a random Nietzche quotation, step back and admire. This is my favourite so far.
  • Essex have introduced what they grandly term Essex Cricket Television. The only clips up so far depict various Essex players humiliating hapless Yorkshiremen last Wed with bat and ball on a screen too small and low-res to identify players, devoid of context such as the current score, and in my case at least the sound wouldn't work. Well, it's a start I guess.
  • Rather better are Tim Hunkin's short films about the workings of slot machines in general, and his Under the Pier Show in particular.
undyingking: (Default)
I was amused by the latest from the great Lore Fitzgerald Sjoberg:

"Both good and bad news. The good news is that we have discovered an actual Frummosh-dynasty-spiked, poisoned pit trap in the dungeon! The bad news is that Bill's bodily fluids have tainted the find. I will be adding a stern reprimand to his posthumous evaluation."
undyingking: (Default)
How Chinese children learn English (via Language Log).
undyingking: (Default)
This is one of the most interesting sites I've stumbled across in quite a while. If I ever grow up and go slightly peculiar(er), this is the kind of site I want to have. And it all reads so nicely and lucidly, too.
  • The Kadir-Buxton Jump Start - "All I then had to do was wait until I came across a dead body, and the rest is history."
  • The Kadir-Buxton Fertility Treatment - "I was with a girl friend, and we thought it would be worthwhile to see if it was feasible to unblock fallopian tubes. When we entered the womb via the cervix, which had to be done very slowly, we found that the womb needs lubricating to avoid immense pain." [NSS! -- ed.]
  • Alleviating Menstrual Cramps - "With this method no one need know of the discomfort being suffered, and the pain soon goes. Do not try this whilst driving or operating heavy machinery." [This sounds quite plausible actually...]
  • The Kadir-Buxton Method - "You will find that the Kadir-Buxton Method is also effective against comas and senility, amongst other things." [The best of the lot, you really have to read the whole item.]
As well as the above and more, our esteemed host is responsible for bringing Eastern Europe to democracy, and for inventing charity credit cards, microsurgery, bottle banks and Economy 7. And he has "campaigned against Political Assassination since 1974". With the success that we've all witnessed.

What would your eccentric vanity site be about?
undyingking: (Default)
I thought this clip from a German TV show was very funny. It explains the setup right at the beginning, so no harm doing so here: a cloakroom with a mirror, except it isn't a mirror, it's plain glass with an exact mockup behind it, and a set of well-choreographed identical twins. It's the way they all plaintively say things like "Sehen Sie mich im Spiegel?"... and the woman with the glasses who eventually concludes that she must come from another planet. Good thing there's no-one else working in my office.

Ah well, it's nearly time for a coffee.

Miscellanea

Jun. 6th, 2007 06:40 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Pollscraper )

Trolleyjammer )

Logobitcher )

Pinkdisser )

Flagbrander )

Birdwatcher )

Brainstormer )

Boynamer )

Boynamer II )

Lasteviller )

Pelicanner )
undyingking: (Default)
Not sure now who pointed me to this, but thanks, it's intermittently very good: [livejournal.com profile] thecitydesk , a whimsical local history column from the newspaper of an imaginary American city. Aspires to Borgesian heights, and occasionally gets close.
Extract )
ION, there's going to be a Helen Love covers album, and the label are soliciting fan versions of Yeah Yeah We're Helen Love (mp3) to be part of it. "All we need you to do is to record your vocals and send them to us. We will then get a top pop producer behind the mixing desk and create the ultimate tribute song fan sing-along."
undyingking: (Default)
Just a roundup of a few things which caught my eye / attention, and which other people might find similarly diverting.
  • Word Strips, a Flash game of spotting cobinations of lettert aht form words, quickly. There are loads of games like this about, but this is a nice realization and the scoring mechanism is pleasingly straightforward. Also, it's too difficult to be a real time-eater. My best is about 300...
  • The Slingshot -- "the Great British Paper for Young Chaps. Its watchwords are Patriotism, Clean Living and Fair Play... Immerse yourself in the healthy, hearty pages of The Slingshot and you will soon understand why it is that the sun never goes down on the British without asking permission first." Very much in the tradition of Ripping Yarns. Not truly brilliant, but with some good bits, especially the adverts.
  • When cake-icing software goes wrong. Poor Aunt Elsa, I bet she ends up getting the slice with the code fragment.
  • Did you know that Unicode incluides the Hebrew Alternative Plus Sign, for people who find the normal one looks a bit too much like a cross? I didn't.
No Black in Barack )

Orientalism )
undyingking: (Default)
This is priceless:
"Adults take note: Pony comes unassembled in box with head detatched. You may wish to not open the box around your children if they may be frightened by a box with a decapitated horse inside."
Reveal the full horror )

(via Improbable Research)

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