Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category


Children suck

January 6, 2015

Or at least, that’s what this sign says. Spotted in my local medical surgery near the children’s play area.


I think they meant to tell parents to put any toys into the bin that their children have put into their mouths or that they have dirtied.

It might have been better to avoid ‘dirty’ and ‘suck’ (especially the unfortunately worded ‘children suck’) and instead used wording similar to this: ‘For used play area toys. Please put play area toys used by your children into this bin.’


When spellcheck just doesn’t work…

May 21, 2014

Another oopsie! that shows that spellcheckers need to be used with caution and supplemented by real eyes attached to a real brain. Otherwise, legitimate, but erroneous, words get through.

A 2013 album by Robben Ford (Bringing it back home) has these tracks (note the title for #4):

  1. Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (4:55)
  2. Birds Nest Bound (5:51)
  3. Fair Child (4:24)
  4. Oh, Virginia (4:18)
  5. Slick Capers Blues (3:50)
  6. On That Morning (7:14)
  7. Traveler’s Waltz (3:34)
  8. Most Likely You Can Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine (4:57)
  9. Trick Bag (4:06)
  10. Fool’s Paradise (5:37)

However, Barnes and Noble’s website has the tracks listed as:

B&N Oopsy[Thanks to my DH who spotted this one]



Can Siri deal with Australian accents?

January 2, 2014

Based on the recent experiences of one of my loyal readers, Siri has trouble interpreting simple commands spoken in his ‘educated Australian’ accent.

He had a new iPhone and wanted to know how to close an app as it wasn’t the same as on his previous iPhone, so he asked Siri.

Here’s how Siri responded to that request (note that his spoken words were correctly converted to text, but even then Siri went off on the wrong tangent — how Norwegian Krona got into the mix is beyond me… and him!):


So the next day he asked Siri to show him the manual so he could find out for himself, and got this ‘helpful’ information (I’m not sure why there’s a blue dotted underline beneath the word ‘the’, one of the most common words in English):


Perhaps Siri thinks it’s all powerful and has totally superseded the manual to the point where it doesn’t believe there *is* a manual ;-) Sort of like ‘ethnic cleansing’ for potential usurpers to the throne of (mis)information.

It looks like voice recognition still has a way to go…


Names suiting occupation

October 23, 2013

Sometimes a person’s name was just made for the occupation they have. When I was a kid, the only butcher in my small town was… Mr Butcher! Seriously. And for many years the spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology in our state was a Mr Southern.

In last week’s local paper, a veterinary clinic was advertising for a vet nurse, and the names of the top of the ad included a Dr Cockerill and a Dr Bunny ;-)


(I couldn’t figure out the odd-looking logo until I looked closely — it’s a paw print [in white] over a red cross, in case you were wondering.)


Serendipitous placement

October 9, 2013

Sometimes I see adjacent posts on Facebook or Twitter that came from random people in my friends lists, but that have a common thread or even color in their images, or that are juxtaposed in such a way that reading them in a stream is funny. And so with these two from my Twitter stream the other day:


Well, it made me laugh!


Problem-solving chart

June 20, 2013

Warning: Coarse language


Seen on Facebook and copied from there. I’d love to acknowledge the creator, but I don’t have that information.



Spitting Coke

June 18, 2013

A bit of background to the screen shot below…

Regular readers of this blog know that I write the occasional ‘Writing Tips’ for my work colleagues, some of which I reproduce here after removing anything specific related to individuals or the company. I always get some nice emails back saying how much my colleagues appreciate these tips of mine — and how much they look forward to them.

One of the teams I work for has been working various sections of a single (very large!) document for more than a year (it’s still not ready). I only get to edit it every so often, so I’m not looking at it every day. But when I do edit it there are parts that make my eyes glaze over, so I don’t know how the authors can maintain momentum on it.

So, with that background, here’s an instant message exchange I had with one of the authors:


Well, it made me laugh ;-)


Headline and image juxtaposition

May 21, 2013

Seen in our local Sunday paper:


The ‘Labs’ article was about meth labs, but at first glance it looked like it was about dogs as the picture next to it was of a labrador cross. Either the editor did this deliberately for a laugh, or it was an unfortunate error.

It’s the sort of thing Jay Leno used to feature in ‘Headlines’ on his show ;-)


Who needs reindeer when you have kangaroos?

December 20, 2012

Qantas have added decorations to their flying kangaroo in the lead-up to Christmas.

Here’s Rudolph the red-nosed kangaroo:


And in an email from Qantas, we have antlers too! ;-)



On a more sober note, I wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2013.

As in previous years, I won’t be sending out Christmas cards to clients etc. Instead, I’ve made a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

[Link last checked December 2012]


A light-hearted look at how punctuation can change meaning

November 22, 2012

Based on a recent ‘Writing Tip’ I wrote for my work colleagues.


Bottom Line:

  • Lack—or overuse—of punctuation (especially commas) can alter meaning and/or result in ambiguity.
  • Ambiguous sentences are hard to understand and can be misinterpreted, thus potentially putting lives at risk.

I’ve written about commas previously (see the information on serial/Oxford commas in lists:, so this time I’ll use some light-hearted examples found on the internet about how commas and other punctuation can change meaning.

Example 1:

“Most of the time, travellers worry about their luggage.”

Now delete the comma after the fourth word to totally change the meaning of this sentence:

“Most of the time travellers worry about their luggage”

Example 2:

“Stop clubbing baby seals”

And with a comma added you get this:

Example 3:

Here’s how the magazine printed the headline:

She cooks her family and her dog (yes, the dog looks worried!)??? I think they meant “…finds inspiration in cooking, her family, and her dog.”

Example 4:

Importance of a comma

Example 5:

It’s not just the addition or lack of commas that can change meaning. This example shows how the placement of punctuation, such as full stops/periods, commas, and question marks, can turn something that seems loving and innocent into something more sinister:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about.

You are generous, kind, thoughtful.

People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.

You have ruined me for other men.

I yearn for you.

I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart.

I can be forever happy.

Will you let me be yours?


Now let’s see how those same words read with the punctuation in different places:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is.

All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you.

Admit to being useless and inferior.

You have ruined me.

For other men, I yearn.

For you, I have no feelings whatsoever.

When we’re apart, I can be forever happy.

Will you let me be?



Example 6


That first period (full stop) changes everything.

Example 7


Commas. Use them. No need to say any more… though the ‘Forgetfulness headache’ might be a cause for concern.

On a more serious note…

While these examples are humorous, they also apply to the words that you write. For example:

No commas:

This initial workshop identified the work scopes and phasing generated several different sourcing strategies for those work scopes and proposed selection criteria to compare the sourcing strategies to best benefit the [project].

Commas added (option 1 – single comma after ‘work scopes’):

This initial workshop identified the work scopes, and phasing generated several different sourcing strategies for those work scopes and proposed selection criteria to compare the sourcing strategies to best benefit the [project].

Commas added (option 2 – multiple commas to separate phrases related to the workshop’s outcomes):

This initial workshop identified the work scopes and phasing, generated several different sourcing strategies for those work scopes, and proposed selection criteria to compare the sourcing strategies to best benefit the [project].

It’s likely that the final example was what the author meant, but a reader who wasn’t at the workshop can only guess as to what happened there. If the author had added commas, the meaning would be clear and unambiguous to any reader who didn’t attend the workshop.