Posts tagged ‘Easter’

Math Jokes for Easter — Who Knew?

PopeToday is Holy Thursday, which my mother always used to call Maundy Thursday. Yet she could never tell me what Maundy meant. (In her defense, Google didn’t exist back then.) Maundy refers to the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor, especially in commemoration of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet on the day before the Last Supper.

This, of course, is only relevant to Christians. But since there are over two billion Christians on the planet, and since I pander to large groups, here are some math jokes to get all of us ready for Easter.

Rome is lousy with the papalcy.
In Vatican City alone, there are two popes per square kilometer.

Some say the pope is the greatest cardinal. But others insist this cannot be so, as every pope has a successor.

Which is better, eternal bliss or a ham sandwich?
The ham sandwich, of course. Nothing is better than eternal bliss, and a ham sandwich is better than nothing; therefore, a ham sandwich is better than eternal bliss.

And finally…

A great logician (some say it was Betrand Russell; others say it was Andrew North Whitehead) once claimed that he could prove anything if it is assumed that 1 + 1 = 1. An audience member then asked, “Can you prove that you’re the Pope?” He thought for a moment and then proclaimed, “I am one. The Pope is one. Therefore, the Pope and I are one.”

March 28, 2013 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

Tall Tail, and Other Funny Phrases

Tonight, I used the phrase “a tall tale” while talking to my sons, and I realized immediately that I had confused them. I spent the next several minutes trying to explain the difference between tale and tail. “There’s T‑A‑L‑E,” I said, “which is a type of story. A tall tale is a story that isn’t true.”

“And T‑A‑I‑L is a short tail,” Eli offered.

That made me laugh. Eli wasn’t really trying to offer a distinction between tale and tail. Rather, I think he was positing that since tall is associated with tale, then short must be associated with the other tail.

This got me to thinking — there are a lot of English idioms that would be a whole lot funnier, if one of the words were to be replaced by a synonym. (A synonym, according to Burt Bacharach, is a word you use when you can’t spell the word you first thought of.) For instance, based on Eli’s suggestion:

A short tale about a tall tail could be, perhaps, a children’s book about the posterior part of a giraffe.

Okay, so that one’s not really that funny. But I generated a list of others (below), and I think some of them are pretty damned hysterical.

Before I present the list, though, an apology. This is a math jokes blog, and this post isn’t about math jokes. But I’ve often contended that mathy folks are good at grammar because we like rules and systems, whereas literary folks are good at writing because they like words. So perhaps the implicit joke in this post is a pot‑shot at literary folks — if only their love of words followed more rules, then such linguistic silliness wouldn’t be possible.

If you’re greatly distressed about this, here’s a math pun involving a synonym. How do you tell one bathroom full of statisticians from another? Check the p-value.

Anyway, the disclaimer above reminds me of a brainteaser:

The five-letter sequence eight occurs at the end of many words and is responsible for at least two different sounds: in weight it sounds like “ate,” but in height it sounds like “ite.” What four-letter sequence, which occurs at the end of 26 words (according to More Words), is responsible for at least six different sounds? (I’ll post the answer in the comments later this week, unless someone beats me to the punch.)

Okay, on with the list…

The belle of the bawl continued to sob as the bell of the ball struck midnight.

Scientists were able to breed a pigeon with a zero (a true cross product). Two days later, this creature was bested by Mother Teresa in a race. The headline in a local newspaper read:

Newspaper Headline

It took him over an hour to strap Mickey to the roof of his station wagon. As he hummed along with the car tune playing on the radio, he thought to himself, “Gee, I sure can carry a toon.”

I ate an Easter sundae on an ice cream Sunday

Easter Sundae

She won two, and I won one, too.

He ate a clock at eight o’clock.

The farmer’s wife said to the fruit-growing sheep, “The two of ewe make quite a pear!” (Yes, this violates the format since it only uses each synonym once, but I thought it was just too funny not to include.)

On the supermarket isles of the South Pacific, you’ll find olives in the Greek aisles.

The guiding principals rarely made mature decisions, so the teachers held on to their middle school principles.

When two members of opposite sects — one Presbyterian, the other Episcopalian — have religious sex, do they scream, “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh… my… God…”?

The florist’s flowers were worth fifty scents, and her change purse contained the cent of a woman.

Good knight,” said Batman in the dark night.

January 27, 2011 at 8:16 am 4 comments

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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