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My ANECDOTE of the day Options
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:43:21 AM
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I assume that few members or guests have a copy of The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes. I feel that it is my duty to share some of its delicious contents.

First, full credit: It was edited by Clifton Fadiman. It was published by Little, Brown and Company of Boston and Toronto. I have the 1985 edition.

Second, if anyone has to give a speech, you will probably find something in this book to help make your speech a big success.


Third, reading anecdotes is a wonderful way for my fellow learners to improve their English.


**********


No. 1


Max Reger (1873 - 1916) was a German musician.

One day Mr. Reger received a very bad review.

Mr. Reger wrote a note to the critic who had written that bad review.

The note read (I guess in German):

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me."


________


For beginning and intermediate learners: (1) "The smallest room" in a house = the bathroom / toilet. (2) Mr. Reger is telling the critic that he plans to use the paper (that contains the bad review) in order to .... (well, you know).

Donthailand
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:05:41 AM
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Funny.
whatson
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:13:57 AM
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Re Dotting: Dear Learners,
The four dots stand for "wipe his ass", not "well, you know".
TheParser
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2016 5:21:38 AM
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No. 2


Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), British politician and novelist.

People would often send him a manuscript (written copy) of something that they had written. They wanted his opinion of their writing.

Mr. Disraeli often replied with this note:

"Thank you for the manuscript; I shall lose no time in reading it."


*****

Dear beginning and intermediate learners: The sentence that I put in boldface is ambiguous. It can mean "I shall immediately read your manuscript" OR "I shall never read your manuscript."
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2016 10:33:17 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2016 7:48:23 AM
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No. 3

This anecdote illustrates how a few (?) very rich and powerful people lived in England during the 19th century.

One day a British politician was a weekend guest at the home of an important banker.

It was teatime.

This was the conversation between the butler (the No. 1 servant) and the guest:

Butler: Tea, coffee or a peach from off the wall, sir?

Guest: Tea, please.

Butler: China, Indian or Ceylon, sir?

Guest: China, please.

Butler: Lemon, milk or cream, sir?

Guest: Milk, please.

Butler: Jersey, Hereford or Shorthorn, sir?


*****

The book does not give more of the conversation. We do not know what kind of cow's milk was chosen by the guest!
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 5:13:17 AM
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No. 4


Henry Montagu Butler (1833 - 1918) was a beloved professor at Cambridge.

One winter morning he walked into a room, where some students were waiting to have breakfast with him.

Looking through the window, Dr. Butler said: "Well, we have a little sun this morning."

One of his students replied, "I hope Mrs. Butler is all right."


*****

Apparently, the student thought that Dr. Butler had meant "son."
TheParser
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2016 1:14:40 PM
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No. 5


Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) was the famous leader of the United Kingdom during World War II.

One day when he was in his 80s and retired, he paid a courtesy call to the House of Commons.

Of course, all the MPs (members of Parliament) stopped paying attention to the day's business and looked at the famous man.

One MP was upset by the attention being paid to Sir Winston and said to another MP: "They say he's potty." ["potty" = a little bit crazy]

Sir Winston quickly said, "They say he can't hear either."


_____


Be careful what you say about someone who is nearby. S/he may be able to hear what you are saying. Furthermore, just because someone is old does not mean that s/he no longer has feelings.
TheParser
Posted: Monday, January 02, 2017 5:23:23 AM
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No. 6


Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929) was the famous leader of France during World War I.

One day a friend rushed into his office. The friend was very upset. The friend told Mr. Clemenceau: "Your son has just joined the Communist party."

Mr. Clemenceau stayed calm.

He replied:

"Monsieur, my son is twenty-two years old. If he had not become a Communist at twenty-two I would have disowned him. If he is still a Communist at thirty I will do it then."


_____


It is said that when people are young, they are very idealistic. As they grow older and have more experiences with human beings, many of them change their political and social views.
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 9:55:26 AM
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No. 7


Joan Crawford (1904 - 1977) was a famous American motion picture actor. (The word "actor" is now used for both males and females.)

1. One beautiful day she decided to walk home instead of riding in her chauffeur-driven car.

2. Her chauffeur was alarmed. He said, "But, madam, you'll be mobbed [your fans will gather around you and you won't be able to continue walking]."

3. Ms. Crawford replied, "I should certainly hope so."


*****

Some celebrities complain that they are bothered by fans. Other celebrities feel as Ms. Crawford did: It's a good thing that they are bothered by fans. It means that they are still popular! In other words, it is a bad day when a celebrity is ignored.

TheParser
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2017 5:42:58 AM
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No.8


Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) had a grandson who was very careless with money.

One day he asked Queen Victoria to send him some more money.

Her Majesty did NOT send any money.

Instead, she wrong a long letter to him.

She told him to be a person who thinks hard about the many ways that a person can be successful.

Her grandson took her advice: He sold the letter for 25 pounds.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2017 7:11:46 AM
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No. 9


George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

When Mr. Shaw turned 90 years old, a friend complimented him with the words "You're a young-looking ninety."

Mr. Shaw replied: "I look exactly like a man of ninety should look. Everyone else looks older because of the dissolute lives they lead."


*****

Learners: A "dissolute life" means something like the fact that one drinks too much liquor, one eats too much , one just sits around all day watching TV and surfing the Net, and perhaps one has a lot of meaningless adventures in the area of "romance."
TheParser
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 8:24:23 AM
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No. 10


Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865 - 1923). He was a brilliant electrical engineer. Many companies wanted his services.


One day the "Electrical Wizard" reported to work for the first time at a certain company.

In his office was a sign that read: "NO SMOKING."

Mr. Steinmetz left a note that read: "NO SMOKING -- NO STEINMETZ."

The company decided to make an exception in his case.


TheParser
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 7:00:10 AM
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No. 11

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), American author.


A ruthless (heartless and cruel) businessman once told Mr. Twain: "Before I die, I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments."


Mr. Twain replied: "You could stay home in Boston and keep them."


*****

Dear Learners: We have a word for individuals like that businessman: hypocrite. One meets hypocrites everywhere -- at school, at work, on the Web, etc.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 9:24:51 AM
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No. 12


Victoria (Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837 - 1901).




Her Majesty was once aboard a ship headed for Ireland.

A gigantic wave hit the ship.

Her Majesty was almost knocked off her feet.

She told one of her assistants to go to the captain and "tell him he's not to let that happen again."






TheParser
Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2017 8:20:07 AM
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Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) was the famous prime minister of the United Kingdom during World War II.

He explained why he liked to read about the characters in the novels written by Jane Austen (1775 - 1817):


"What calm lives they had, those people! No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic Wars."



(This anecdote does not appear in the book that I mentioned in the first post of this thread. Credit goes to the January 5, 2012, issue of the London Review of Books. Although I do not read novels, I have read that some people have criticized Ms. Austen for ignoring current events in her novels written in the early 1800s. Sir Winston, however, seems to disagree with those critics.)
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2017 10:11:30 AM

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TheParser





Replace 'I' with 'you' except the one at the bottom line.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 7:51:01 AM
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No. 14


"Prior to [before] World War I, German emperor Wilhelm II bragged to Dutch queen Wilhelmina that his guardsmen were seven feet tall. The queen, reading between the lines [she knew that he was telling her that tall German soldiers could easily invade her country], answered, 'But when we open our dikes, the waters are ten feet tall.' "



-- Reader's Digest, May, 2017.


coag
Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:31:31 PM

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I learned the word "dike" from TheParser's joke and I would like to post a note to fellow English learners.

In American English it's:
dike = ditch, trench
dyke (an offensive slang term) = lesbian

I would suggest using "dike" carefully in conversation. Some people might intentionally misinterpret it and try to be funny.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 6:23:42 PM
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Thanks so much, Coag, for your helpful comments.

I am sure that our fellow learners really appreciate them.


Have a nice day!
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:05:30 AM
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No. 15


When General John J. Pershing and American troops arrived in Europe during World War I, the powers-that-be decided to give this code name to General Pershing's headquarters: MASTERBASE.

The powers-that-be quickly changed that code name!



Source: Mark M. Lowenthal in William Safire's Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella (2001), page 214.
isaaac
Posted: Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:39:06 AM
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Stop the Vanilla,what happen to none PC Jokes....Brick wall
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:04:43 PM
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No. 16


Paavo Nurmi (1897 - 1973). Many people consider him to be the greatest long-distance runner of all time.


"In his later years Nurmi suffered from thrombosis in the brain, a heart attack, partial paralysis on his left side, and blindness in his left eye. Almost to the day he died he walked eight miles a day."
whatson
Posted: Saturday, May 13, 2017 4:32:26 PM
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This is NOT an ANECDOTE.
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:29:03 AM
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No. 17


Henry Taylor Parker (1867 - 1934), American music critic



Mr. Parker attended a symphony concert. Unfortunately, he was seated next to some rude people who were talking during the concert. Losing his patience, Mr. Parker said, "Those people on the stage are making such a noise I can't hear a word you're saying."
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 4:28:10 AM

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was often bored by the tedious small talk that was required of him at social functions. He often felt as if those with whom he conversed were seldom paying attention to what was said. To prove his point, sometimes Roosevelt would begin a conversation by saying, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." Often these words were met with polite approval. On one occasion, however, an attentive listener gave the witty reply,

"I'm sure she had it coming to her."


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:25:50 AM
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No. 18


Johnny Weissmuller (1904 - 1984) was the American actor who played "Tarzan" in the movies.

In 1959, he and some friends were visiting Cuba.

On the road, some rebels (who were fighting to overthrow the Cuban government) stopped Mr. Weissmuller and his friends.

The rebels pointed their rifles at the group.

What should Mr. Weissmuller do or say? Maybe the rebels did not understand English.

So Mr. Weissmuller stood straight, beat his chest, and let out the famous yell.

The rebels were, at first, stunned (shocked) and then they yelled: "Tarzan! Tarzan! Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba!"
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