Welcome To The Neighborhood

In an attempt to attract some interest, new blogger Funny english questions – Surya’s Pages (wordpress.com) published a list of interesting questions and comments about social norms and English language use.  I replied to the following few.  The rest are at the bottom, if you want to comment on any or all.

If a poison expires; is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
Poisons do not ’expire,’ only people who take it.  Depending on the poison, it might actually become more virulent.   Some degrade, but almost none become non-poisonous.

Which letter is silent in the word “Scent,” the S or the C?
Yes!

Why is the Letter W, in English, called a double U?  Shouldn’t it be called double V?
I asked my Grade 4 teacher this in 1953.  She said,” Wait till next year when you learn cursive writing.  You’ll see that it is a double U.”  In French, it is double V – when they’re not busy surrendering to a Girl Scout troop from Iceland.

SIX GREAT UNRESOLVED CONFUSIONS – turned out to be just the next four.

At a movie theater, which armrest is yours?
Both of them, if you get there early, plant both elbows, and the Incredible Hulk doesn’t sit beside you.

If people evolve from monkeys, why are monkeys still around?
If dogs evolved from wolves, why are wolves still around?
If Protestants evolved from Catholics, why are Catholics still around?
This is the kind of “Gotcha” question that Christian Apologists with absolutely no knowledge of Evolution ask.  Monkeys do not evolve (present tense) into people.  Human beings and monkeys both evolved from a common, ape-like ancestor, millennia ago.  Some people are just more evolved than others.

Why is there a ‘D’ in fridge, but not in refrigerator?
Because the refrigerator is full, and there isn’t enough room.

Who knew what time it was when the first clock was made?
Anybody who could look up, see that the sun had reached its peak in the sky, and say, “It’s Noon!”

Why isn’t a Fireman called a Water-man?
Because he doesn’t get on that big red truck and rush to the water.  He rushes to a fire.

Why do doctors “Practice” medicine?  Are they having practice at the cost of the patients?
Because, like lawyers who “practice” law, the word has more than one meaning.  The original one was, “habit, or custom.”

Why do they call it a TV ‘set’ when there is only one?
Because it consists of an assemblage – a set – of electronic components.

What are you vacating when you go on a “Vacation?”
Your desk, your chair, your employer, your house, your municipality, and often your better judgement.

***

You’re kinda cool man. 😎
I thought that I was past “Cool.” At my age it’s mostly rants and rambles.  😳

Would you like to join me?
Why?  Are you coming apart?

This is obviously not Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

***

Do twins ever realize that one of them is “Unplanned”?
Maybe Oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.
The word “swims” upside-down is still “swims.”
(It depends on how you rotate it.  It might just be “smiws.”)
100 years ago everyone owned a Horse and only the rich had Cars. Today everyone has Cars and only the rich own Horses.
If you replace “W” with “T” in “What, Where and When”, you get the answer to each of them.
Wonder why the word “Funeral” starts with FUN?
How come Lipstick doesn’t do what it says?
If money doesn’t grow on trees, how come Banks have Branches?
If a Vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a Humanitarian eat?
How do you get off a non-stop Flight?
(The way the guy in New York did recently.  Pop open the emergency hatch, and jump down onto the runway.)
Why are goods sent by Ship called CARGO, and those sent by car, a SHIPMENT?
Why do we put cups in the “Dishwasher” and the dishes in the “Cupboard”?
(To get them clean, and then, to keep them clean.)
Why is it called “Rush Hour” when traffic moves at its slowest then?
How come Noses run and Feet smell?

Forest, Meet Trees

Bible

What a damned bunch of hypocrites!

Whenever I read an article which describes a conflict between a branch of religion and the public at large, I’m often struck by the hypocrisy shown. It is difficult to know whether it’s honest, gullible, naïve, ‘have faith and believe what I tell you’, or the more serious, intentional lie to save face and retain control.

Some Bishops have sharply criticized proposed guidelines to help transgender students in schools. The Education Minister says he had a ‘frank conversation’ with Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.  Henry has called the Province ‘totalitarian’, pursuing what he calls ‘narrow-minded, anti-Catholic ideology’.

Imagine the nerve of the Province, telling the Church that they can hate the sin, but have to help the sinner. The very thought of the Catholic Church accusing any other organization of being totalitarian and narrow-minded just has me on the floor.
Kettle….->….Pot!  Pot….->….Kettle!  That one’s gotta show up in the highlight reel on the Comedy Channel.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS

But I’d be willing to bet that, if the government declared abortion illegal, banned the sale of contraceptives, and rescinded the law allowing divorces, the good Bishop would not find that totalitarian and narrow-minded .

***

A letter to the Editor, defending a controversial columnist’s right to an unpopular opinion, recalled the writer’s first-ever letter of complaint about her.

I was so mad I swore I would never read The Record again. The article concerned a young man handing out Christian literature at a local high school.
She thought it was wrong; I thought it was right….
By the way, after 25 years, I still think the kid was doing the right thing at the school.

And I’m also pretty sure that if it had been Jewish tracts, or Muslim literature, or Atheist promotion being handed out, he wouldn’t have thought the kid was doing the right thing at the school.

Oh, those poor beleaguered Catholics/Christians. (Insert sarcasm here.)  Non-Catholics and non-Christians object to being treated poorly.  If our children only get one side of a story, it is not education – we could call that propaganda – or being bullied into one way of thinking. Protestants protested, and separated from the Catholic Church so that they had freedom of thought and worship.  They have no plans to give that up.   😈

Book Review #11

a world lit only by fire

Title: A World Lit Only By Fire

Author: William Manchester

When I published my Torture of Faith post, my well-read and well-respected visitor, Jim Wheeler, suggested the above book as background reference reading, to explain the historical era.

As too often happens, I whined and wheedled. My library didn’t have a copy that I could borrow for free.  The nearby Chapters bookstores didn’t have a copy in stock.  I could order one, but objected to actually paying for it.  Jim sensibly reminded me that I had obtained the copy of Malleus Malificarum(Wiki link) thru Inter-Library Loan; I could do the same with this one.

The book eventually arrived, not from the gigantic Toronto Library system, but from the King Township Public Library – Nobleton branch. King Township is part of what is known as the Holland Marsh, the most fertile part of Southern Ontario, north of Toronto.  Nobleton is a town of 4000 located within it.  Why this rural area would have a copy of this book, when the metropolis doesn’t, is a mystery.

I was in love with it before I even got through the introduction. It introduced me to the word ‘catenas’, which are things or occurrences that lead inevitably, like links in a chain, from one to the next.  Like the chain they describe, I linked it to two other words I already knew, ‘catenary’ which describes the shape of a free-hanging chain, (Think McDonalds Golden Arches – or the St. Louis arch.) and ‘concatenation’, which is the formation of a chain of events.  I know!  There’s only two people in the world who give a shit about this verbal trivia – and I’m both of them.

This book describes Europe from about 1500 to 1550, just at the end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of the Renaissance. Martin Luther and Henry the Eighth both split from The Church, and it was losing control, and its collective mind.  Catholics tortured and burned Protestants at the stake.  Protestants tortured and burned Catholics.

This book should be required reading for all the blindly-believing ‘Good Christians’, especially Catholics. It describes over two hundred years of some of the most sinful, licentious behaviour of The Church, from the local priests, right up to the Archbishops and Pope.  The Church was operated for the benefit of the religious leaders.

Tithe money bought opulent palaces and jewels and extravagant clothing – and wars to conquer countries to wring more money from. While thousands starved in the fields, the Pope threw lavish, drunken parties.

Sex was a competitive sport. The Vatican supported two whorehouses, which explains people with the name Pope.  They are descendants of bastard sons.  Many convents operated as brothels, funneling money from the nobility and rich merchants into The Church.

Positions in The Church were bought and sold, so that the buyers could gain more power and income. Several Popes simply appointed friends and relatives.  One Pope made Bishops of two young nephews who had absolutely no religious training.  Indulgences were handed out like Halloween candy.  If you gave The Church enough gold, you could commit any act, and still go to Heaven.

I’ve run into most of this information piecemeal, but it was both pleasant and disturbing to see it all laid out in an all-you-can-sin buffet. The religiously-naive would be horrified to see the quiet, historical listings of all the mistakes of the ‘Infallible’ Popes, the changes in the ‘unchanging’ Catholic Church, and the gamut of sins of all the ‘Holy, Sanctified’ religious leaders.

Until this time, many rulers, both religious and nobility, were illiterate and ignorant – and proud of it. Peasants knew only what they were told. Even the elite were only vaguely aware of occurrences at any distance, and days, weeks, months after they occurred.  After Gutenberg perfected the printing press, more people learned to read, and knowledge began flowing – the beginning of the end for the Church’s control.

The Church had invented Purgatory as an extortion racket. It all came to a head when one Pope wanted money to wage yet another war.  The selling-indulgences scheme had folded faster than a Kardashian at a spelling bee, so the Pope announced that, for those who ‘donated’ enough gold, time spent in purgatory by relatives could be reduced or eliminated by his prayers.

The now widely-read Martin Luther published a tract questioning if that were true, and asking why the Pope wouldn’t do so merely for the sake of supposedly good Christian souls and their obedient kin still here on Earth, and not for the money, “like some brazen harlot”.

While it could still use some updating and improvement, the Catholic Church is a thousand times better today than it was five hundred years ago. If you’d like a look at a time when peasants were regarded as worth less than the animals they kept, and society was run to wretched excess by hypocritical, entitled rulers, both secular and religious, this would be an enlightening book.   😯