Which of the jokes/witticisms in 500 Mistakes is most funny?
302. "It rains, and I want an umbrella _the worst kind_:" say, "_I am greatly in want_," &c. An umbrella _of the worst kind_ would not be likely to answer the best of purposes on a rainy day!
77. The following equivocal notice is said to swing out on a sign-board somewhere in the Western country: "SMITH &; HUGGS--SELECT SCHOOL.--_Smith teaches the boys, and Huggs the girls._" _Huggs needs correction!_
169. "_Rinse_ your mouth:" pronounce _rinse_ as it is written, and never _rense_. "_Rench your mouth_," said a fashionable dentist one day to a patient. "You have already _wrenched it for me_," was the reply.
5. "He _rose up_, and left the room:" leave out _up_, as it is absurd to say _rise down_. The Irishman who was _hoisted down_ the coal pit, did not observe this rule.
26. The following words were posted, as a sign, in a reading-room--"No Talking Allowed;" which was designed to prohibit all conversation. A wag altered the inscription so as to read, "No Talking Aloud," which (he declared) did not prevent _whispering_, and chatting in _low tones_. What shall be said of the following--"_No Smoking Aloud_?"
29. _The Three R.'s._--An ignorant and vain pedagogue, on being asked what he could teach, replied, "The three R.'s--_'ritin'_, _'rethmetic_, and _readin'_." Any persons among the readers of this little book, who may chance to be schoolmasters, are warned against giving such a course of instruction.
356. "He looked at it first _lengthways_, then _sideways_:" say, _lengthwise_ and _sidewise_. Also, say _otherwise_ instead of _otherways_. A nobleman said to his fool, "I am _wise_, and you are _otherwise_." "Yes," replied his jester, "you are _wise_, and I am _another wise_."
357. If you are a landlord, beware of incorrectly using such an expression as in the following: A landed proprietor went to a tenant with a view of increasing his rent, and said to him, "Neighbor, I am going to _raise your rent_." "Thank you, sir," was the reply, "for I am utterly unable to _raise it myself_."
158. "He has just set out to _take a tour_:" pronounce _tour_ so as to rhyme with _poor_. Be careful to avoid saying, _take a tower_; such a pronunciation might suggest the Mamelon, instead of a trip of travel.
282. A gentleman having selected a book from the library shelves of the Mechanics' Institute, went to the librarian to have the volume registered under his name, and said, "_I have taken the life of Julius Cæsar_." "I shall then," responded the librarian, "charge the work to Mr. Brutus!" Be careful how you "take the lives" of distinguished men.
24. _Sparrowgrass_: it is only the grossest ignorance which confounds this word with _asparagus_. The same is the case with _ing-uns_ for _onions_. A man in an obscure section of New Jersey, inquiring at a country store for _onions_, was told that there were none in the place. On his going out, the storekeeper turned to half a dozen idlers sitting round the stove, and said, "I wonder if that 'tarnal fool meant _ing-uns_!"
92. _Superfluous R's_: Many persons pronounce words which have no letter _r_ in them, exactly as though they had; as _drawring_ for _drawing_; "I _sawr_ Thomas," for "I _saw_," &c. Some who do not insert a full-toned _r_, do worse by appending an _ah_ to almost every word they utter. They would do well to recall the reproof which the excellent Rev. John Gruber administered to a brother in the ministry, who was guilty of this habit. That eccentric clergyman addressed a note to his friend, as follows: "Dear-ah Sir-ah--When-ah you-ah speak-ah in-ah public-ah, take-ah my-ah ad-ah-vice-ah and-ah never-ah say-ah _ah-ah_!--JOHN-AH GRUBER-AH."
178. The following expression would be of special significance on coming from a surgeon or anatomist: "Desiring to know your friend better, _I took him apart_ to converse with him." It has been said that two persons who _take each other apart_, frequently do so for the express purpose of _putting their heads together_.
384. We lately met a grammarian, who had just made a tour through the mines, conjugating, or, rather, cogitating thus: "Positive, _mine_; comparative _miner_; superlative, _minus_!"
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