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Q: Why are cattle good at sums?

A: Because they use cow-culators.


Noah and his ark full of animals are sailing along, and the water starts to abate. Soon the ark is on dry land. Noah opens up the ark, gathers all of the animals together and tells them "the storm is over; go forth and multiply."

Later, as Noah is cleaning up the ark, he notices two snakes coiled up in a corner. He says to them "Didn't you hear? I told everyone to go forth and multiply."

To which the snakes replied "We can't--we're adders!"

Two worms go to the fertility doctor. "We haven't been able to get pregnant" The doctor suggested they have relations on a tree stump. They do so, and immediately conceive.

The worms return to the doctor. "How did you know that would work?" The doctor says... "That's easy. Everyone knows that even adders can multiply on a log table!"



I Don't know my snakes from my worms.

That's no problem---you already know too much (or not enough__depending on your philosophical and psychosocial vantage point) about higher mammalian anatomy ;-)

I must say, the *only* reason I caught that error---is that I was a Black Adder fan in college (only a minor fan---but fan nonetheless). Otherwise, I don't think I would have ever been aware of the word! But it's a good word--especially when spoken by one particular English actor with peculiar looks (or in English speak, 'rather a peculiar countenance)!



While we're in educational mode, did you know that "adder" used to be spelt "nadder" but the "n" gradually moved from "a nadder" to "an adder"?

Hi Bruce,

Aha, now that is one of my favorite language things--"metathesis", or the transposition of phonemes, especially common across vowels and glides etc.

I remember a couple of them from college--but I am not sure all of them are real--over the course of english language development:

bride--> bird --> bride

a napple --> an apple
an apkin --> a napkin

I think we must have made some of these up out of humor---but I know at least one of them is right!

so a nadder --> an adder can go on the list of favorites. Thanks!



What about

anode -> a node -> an ode ?

(I don't suppose that's a proper example.)

Antenna -> Aunt Enna ?

(No, that's not right!)

anisotopic -> a NISO topic ?

(O.K., that's enough!)

I'm glad you "aksed" (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-aks1.htm)

"Brid" to "bird" is what you meant, I'm sure. However, neither "napple" nor "napkin" are metathetic.

"Apron", originally "napron" is another example and, quirkily, derives from the same origin as napkin.

Paul, sorry: one last shot- it's anisotRopic. I guess you never met a thesis you didn't like... unlike some people...