Linguistic humour

Friedrich von Schlegel, quote.pngDear All,
The quote above by Friedrich von Schlegel calls upon bringing together the world of science and humanities. Indeed, some of the greatest discoveries were made at the intersection of disciplines. For example, radio galaxies were found through the combined analysis of radio and optical data.

What can unite sciences and humanities? The answer is: hard work, perseverance, and … humour. It is certainly important to maintain excellence in research through hard work and perseverance, but sometimes it is also important to distance oneself from research and to smile. This helps to see the whole picture better in addition to particular details and thus, to advance research and to make it even more successful.

Below are a few linguistic jokes. I am going to add this list as I come across more linguistic jokes and anecdotes. If you know more, share them in the comments! Thanks!

You are tense, moody, irregular? You must be a verb (Linguist Llama Blog, 2015)!

Do not touch morpheme with bare hands. Risk of inflection (Linguist Llama Blog, 2015).

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus (OD, 2016)!

– Did you know that my puppy has a degree?
– Ha, ha, ha! No, I didn’t.
– He is a dogtor.
– LOL, medical or PhD?
– He is a petiatrician!
– True!
– You pet!

Чи ви знали, що у мого цуценяти є професія? Він – видатний кусьменник. У нього є хвіст, цебто хист!

Dr. Smith: Put aside the test-tube.
Dr. White: Ok.
Dr. Smith: Prepare the electrolyte.
Dr. White: K.
Dr. Smith: Then add the electrolyte into the test-tube.
Dr. White: Potassium.
Dr. Smith: How is potassium related???
Dr. White: “K”.

Saint Nicholas: HO-HO-HO!
Scientist: Holmium (Ho), a chemical element with atomic number 67.

Ted: Hey John!
John: Helium (He) + Yttrium (Y). Hi Ted!
Ted: Hydrogen iodide (HI) John!

A real-life anecdote: a famous musician has a T-shirt with the following inscription: “Education is important, but playing guitar is importanter”.

Enjoy the balance of your week!*

*This joke is, probably, most suitable in accounting; however, since the humour is achieved through linguistic (stylistic, to be more concise) means, it has been added to the list. The humour here is based on using a professional term in this unexpected, everyday context.

Linguist Llama Blog (2015).  Retrieved November 20, 2016, from
Oxford Dictionaries (OD) (2016). Retrieved July 10, 2016, from


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