Clever use of language thread

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Perhaps since there is a thread on "misspoken bits," I propose a thread on clever use of language.

    I'll start the ball rolling with two incidents that tickled me.

    The first: a survey of English literature course at college, taught by Townsend Rich, the archetypal tweedy English professor. He was always sharp, on-point, and funny. The 50 people jammed into the classroom had no trouble staying awake, always on the alert for the next mirthful aside.

    In contrast to Prof. Rich was "John," an awkward lad who viewed the world from an angle none of us understood. Once a week John would raise his hand and ask a question that found a connection that was opaque to human reason. When John's hand went up, we groaned. Two weeks from the end of the semester, we were studying John Donne's poetry. John's hand went up: "Does this have anything to do with the Mayan sacrifice rites of the third dynasty?"

    Prof. Rich thought for a moment, then said, "No, but I can see where someone like you might think something like that."


    The second took place at a Tom Rush concert at the RPI student union a number of years ago. Tom was only a few songs into his set when a young man, obviously "in his cups," began yelling "Play Black Mountain Rag" after every song. This went on for quite a while.

    Finally, after he yelled it again, Rush turned, looked right at the guy, and said: "I'll tell you what; this next song isn't Black Mountain Rag . . . but it has a lot of the same notes in it!"

    Cheers, Jock
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  2. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I was reading a newspaper article about Liam Gallagher of Oasis fame this morning. It features a famous quote from his brother, Noel, which goes like this, "Liam's rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He's the angriest man you'll ever meet. He's like a man with a fork in a world of soup."

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  3. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    "Like a man with a fork in a world of soup." Outstanding! I'm gonna steal that one.

    Cheers, Jock
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  4. hannahntilly

    hannahntilly SC Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    One of my favourite P.G. Wodehouse passages of an exchange between Jeeves & Bertie Wooster :-

    ‘Very good, sir.’
    He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled, so I tactfully changed the subject.
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  5. Petach

    Petach SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Lawyer for defence: "Officer, it was 11pm and you state you saw the defendant smash the car window and steal the bag from the passenger seat. You were 200 yards away. You must have impossibly good eyesight!

    Officer: "Well sir, on a clear night.....I can see from here all the way to the moon"

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  6. dincz

    dincz New to SC

    Feb 6, 2017
    Brno, Czech Republic
    In response to an opposition member's statement "I'm a country member", then Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam replied "Yes, we remember".
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