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 Confusing English

World-class Dumb Questions

All trades ultimately generate a long list of just plain dumb items they’ve been either asked---or asked to do. Here's a list of actual reference queries reported by American and Canadian library reference desk workers of various levels. Actually, on second thought---technology is making some of the sillier questions into real possibilities. For instance, I looked at the 3rd item on the list and thought of Supreme Court Justice Thomas being shown a list of all the videos he had ever rented while enduring his circus-style confirmation.

No, they are not ranked in order. They’re all equally 5-star dumb.

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World's Easiest Quiz

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get catgut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name?
8) What color is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) How long did the Thirty Years War last?


                                                        CHECK YOUR ANSWERS

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English Funnies…

Ah, English---did King George leave it on these shores to keep us confused? We spend exorbitant amounts of time to get another person to understand us and finally realize something got lost in the translation. They say that English is quite useful as a scientific language. Well, I do wonder.

The next time you can feel frustration building because you can’t get a point across, stop and reflect on these jewels…

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How's that again???

The following "carefully worded" statements on insurance forms were penned by drivers who were asked to briefly summarize accident details:

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Duh, boss---what are you saying about me?

Horrified peeks into personnel folders.

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Law School Final Exam (with answer key)

Section 32:A1, paragraph J, subparagraph 13.2, "Translation Into Legalese"

Students: Please prepare the following English terms for court pleadings...(Credit: 1 point each)

1. "All that glitters is not gold."

    Answer: all articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

2. "Beggars cannot be choosers."

    Answer: Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.

3. "Dead men tell no tales."

    Answer: Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.

4. "Beginner's luck."

    Answer: Neophyte's serendipity.

5. "A rolling stone gathers no moss."

    Answer: A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant."

6. "Birds of a feather flock together."

    Answer: Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.

7. "Beauty is only skin-deep."

    Answer: Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

8. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."

    Answer: Freedom from incrustations of crime is contiguous to rectitude.

9. "Don't cry over spilt milk."

    Answer: It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

10. "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

    Answer: Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.

11. "The pen is mightier than the sword."

    Answer: The stylus is more potent than the rapier.

12. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

    Answer: It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.

13. "Look before you leap."

    Answer: Surveillance should precede saltation.

14. "Twinkle, twinkle little star."

    Answer: Scintillate, scintillate minimal asteroid.

15. "He who laughs last, laughs best."

    Answer: The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.

16. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

    Answer: Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders John (DOE) [A NATURAL PERSON] a hebetudinous fellow.

17. "Those who live in glass houses should cast no stones."

    Answer: Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrious projectiles.

18. "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

    Answer: Where there are visible vapors having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, the potential for conflagration approaches certainy."

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ANSWERS TO WORLD'S EASIEST QUIZ

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

3) From which animal do we get catgut? Sheep and Horses

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert

8) What color is a purple finch? Crimson

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries (kiwifruit) from? New Zealand

10) How long did the Thirty Years War last? Thirty years

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