Archive for the ‘Random Linguist Humor’ Category



December 5, 2007

Ladies, Gentlemen, and people who prefer non-gendered identifications;

Gather ’round as I share with you a great tale. A tale that demonstrates to you the special kind of mind needed to be a linguist! You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll bemoan “Oh, god that’s SO true”.

Sadly, this is not really my tale to tell (though I’m sure I’ve got one like it somewhere in my past), but rather my friend and fellow linguist, foleyartist1‘s. She is letting me share it all with you because it is just that fabulous a tale.

So seigyoku and I went to Disneyland this past weekend, and one of the rides we checked out was the Christmas version of It’s a Small World After All. Now, basically this ride is a hellish combination of the title song and various Christmas carols which you listen to as you sit in a little boat passing underneath signs that say “Merry Christmas” in various languages.

As we pass underneath a sign that says ‘Mele Kalikimaka’…

foleyartist1: See, you can tell that this language doesn’t allow codas in its syllables, because it imported the phrase making sure no syllable ended in a consonant. You know, kinda like Japanese, but more hard-core.
seigyoku: I see.
foleyartist1: Based on that, I think it’s probably Hawaiian.
seigyoku: I think it’s Hawaiian too.
foleyartist1: Oh? Why?
seigyoku: Because the sign is surrounded by animatronic hula dancers.

I’m sure I would have noticed them eventually.


Random Linguist Humor

December 15, 2006

Great joke just posted on linguaphiles

Q: How many Lojbanists does it take to change a broken light bulb?

A: Two: one to decide what to change it into, and one to figure out what kind of bulb emits broken light.


Mmmm, Satire

May 5, 2005

I found myself enjoying this article on Language Log.

I enjoy satire very much, particularly with a linguistic twist.



January 29, 2005



A grammatic belief people just can’t rid themselves of.

December 6, 2004

Found this on a community:

Original here


Just because the man is awesome.

July 11, 2004

It just seemed an appropriate result for a linguist like myself.

British Pronunciation

Which Eddie Izzard Quote Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Gendered nouns in English?

June 27, 2004

Okay, I grabbed this off a post on , but since the poster isn’t the guy who came up with these, I’m not gonna worry about the crediting. Plus, I really like the Style Invitational and miss getting delivery of the Washington Post here in the LinguaCave.

From the Washington Post Style Invitational in which it was postulated that English has male and female nouns, and readers were asked to assign a gender to nouns of their choice, and explain their reason.

The best submissions:

Detective Novel — f., because you’re not supposed to peek at its end the minute you pick it up.

Swiss Army Knife — m., because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.

Kidneys — f., because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.

Penlight — m., because it can be turned on very easily, but isn’t
very bright.

Hammer — m., because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around and is good for killing spiders.

Tire — m., because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

Hot air balloon — m., because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it. And, of course, there’s the hot air part.

Web page — f., because it is always getting hit on.

Web page — m., because you have to wait for it to reload.

Shoe — m., because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.

Copier — f., because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.

Magic 8 Ball — m., because it gives monosyllabic answers that usually indicate it did not pay attention to your question.

Ziploc bags — m., because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.

Sponges — f., because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.

Critic — f. What, this needs to be explained?

Subway — m., because it uses the same old lines to pick up people.

Hourglass — f., because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

Cars — f., most of the time they’re ok, but if you mistreat them or don’t service them often enough, they soon break down and/or turn into a wreck.