Thursday, August 30, 2007

Civilly Defensive

Number 241
August 30, 2007



Last week out of the blue I got a little job editing a paper for a Muslim academic who hopes to publish it in a professional journal. I corrected some punctuation, grammar, etc., and took the opportunity to query some questionable content. For instance, in her first draft, she repeatedly referred to the Muslim community vs. Western secular society. I explained that the U.S., at least, is not exactly a secular society even though we do not have a state religion. Most Americans identify themselves as religious, even if they are not devout, and many priests, rabbis, and ministers give counseling and are even trained counselors. She was amenable to suggestions.

Her paper identified three common strains of Islamic counseling: the imams' counsel is based on sharia law; traditional healing has to do with casting out evil spirits; and Sufism as a spiritual path can lead to healing. I was particularly pleased with my rewrite of her title, although ordinarily I would aim for greater brevity (is "greater brevity" an oxymoron?):

Islam, Culture and Counseling: Delineating Parameters of Theory and Practice


Islamic Culture and Western Counseling: How Islamic Law, Traditional Healing, and Sufism Parallel Western Counseling Methods

It's always a good idea to jettison "parameters".

As a woman, the writer had some objections to sharia law, and I pointed out that Western counseling, even when based on structured ideas, as is psychotherapy, does not have the force of law, let alone the force of explosives.

Also, this week I chanced on a new column in the Louisiana State University Daily Review by a Muslim, possibly a student, and I felt moved to send a reply, which for some reason wasn't posted. I wanted to talk about the meaning of the word "cowboy". Mohamed Elrawady wrote:

...many foreigners like to think of a cowboy as someone who would do anything, regardless of its ethical and moral appropriateness. In other words, a cowboy could be someone who discards all cultural and intellectual products of civilization, adhering only to the law of the jungle.

Who do you suppose he was talking about? My response was that to me, a cowboy is someone who acts on his own code of right and wrong, which is not the same as the law of the jungle. In the old West, before traditional justice systems were established, his own morality was all a person had to go by, but the cowboy was certainly a product of civilization. A cowboy made his own decisions when action was called for, he did not ask others to do it for him. He stood up to attack. I suggested that Mohamed make it a project to watch every cowboy movie ever made, at least up until the 1970s or so. Especially Roy Rogers.


Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina answered a question: Why do you think 1/5 of Americans cannot locate the USA on a map? Miss SC "personally believes" it's because some "U.S. Americans" in our nation don't have maps; the rest of her answer is completely incoherent. Clearly the answer is to fund a program to put a map in the hands of every U.S. American.


||| Most unconvincing spam of the week: from Suicidal L. Flamencos, subject: "The Pharmacy America Trusts." Has Dr. Kevorkian started a new business?

||| Heard on radio or someplace: "...they are truly pacifists at a principial level." Principial?

||| Heard somewhere: "...he turned his nose to it." You can turn your back and you can turn your nose up at something, but it's really hard just to turn your nose to something.

||| New word to watch out for ~ literally: vloggers. These are video bloggers (web log), some of whom videotape themselves talking while they are driving.


From a travel brochure: The Amish challenge is "how to remain the same and yet stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing." Do the Amish want to stay "relevant" to, uh, the rest of us? Were they relevant a century ago? What they want is to make a living, which is what this article was about. They can't all buy farms now, so they open businesses. Do you do your job to stay relevant, or to make a living, or for some other reason? This is a case of a writer throwing in "relevant" buzz words to take the place of thinking.


New reader Caleb Stone found PO online when he was searching for "malaphors". I had forgotten this word, but I quoted Richard Lederer about malaphors in PO 105. Worth re-reading and remembering.


I've already bought my 2008 Old Farmer's Almanac. An article about contests includes the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, to be held May 17, 2008, in Austin, Texas. They're looking for speed, quantity, and a "limber lexicon".


Anne DaBee wrote:

And lastly (ahem), where in the world did "back in the day" come from? "In the olden days" works fine to define times gone by, while "back in the day" seems (to me) to want reference to a specific day. I dislike that as much as I dislike "all of the sudden".

A black woman I knew in Boston, originally from New York City, told me that "back in the day" was a black expression (which she said she rather resented hearing from the lips of white people). "The day" does suggest some specific memory, i.e., my day and your day, not just any days, which gives it a different feel.

Personally, I wonder if phrases like those result from our becoming more of an aural/oral culture, where most of the younger people read and write less and therefore don't SEE the words ~ they're the ones who are speaking incorrectly (to my way of thinking). For instance, I struggled for a long time with students who said "ax" (I'll ax my muvva if I can go) and could see no reason why it should be spelled "ask". We'll ignore the "muvva" for now.

Anne is right about the aural culture. Some people think the Internet and texting will edge out the printed word, but there's no substitute for reading a closely reasoned, complex argument. Not everything can be conveyed with a video. And the physical aspect of books is not as anxiety-producing as anything computerized and digitalized. I like both.

Anne's son Dave DaBee wrote:

Well, somewhere along the line Mom picked up this tidbit of littlekidspeak: "Then, all of too sudden..."

And next to lastly, Bill R. remembered part of a poem call The One-Hoss Shay:

The parson was working his Sunday's text, --
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed...

At lastly, I think it was Dave who forward the 14th Annual Emperor Awards. Don't miss it. The awards for the most obvious research (e.g., advertising influences people) reminded me of a long-ago Ph.D. candidate in phys ed who wrote a thesis on her experiment comparing bums who bathed with those who didn't, discovering that the non-bathers had more bacteria on their skin. Dave suggested it was the Filthy Bums project; I thought it might have been the Bum Bums research. (Dave, time to start training for the Pun-Off.)


Tim S. informed me that one of our professors from The University of Tulsa, Dr. Winston Weathers, died at the age of 80 on July 5. His was the only class on rhetoric I ever took, and I wish I'd had many more classes with him. He was a true scholar and professor in the classic mold, who let us know that he was, and we should be, grateful to sit in a place devoted to learning.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Number 240
August 23, 2007



Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day:

... the Bible itself ~ both the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version ~ doesn't capitalize he or him in reference to God. Thus, while members of the clergy might capitalize these pronouns in letters to the congregation, other writers should make them lowercase.

Sept./Oct. AARP, “Is There Life After Death?” by Bill Newcott

A copyeditor insisted you should always capitalize Heaven because Heaven is a place, like Poughkeepsie.

Then there’s the story of the old-time publisher/editor of a small town newspaper who told a novice never to capitalize anything but the name of the paper and God, and if in doubt, don’t capitalize god.


A sign in the neighborhood tacked to a tree that says “Wage Peace” had me wondering about the word wage and why we normally only say “wage war”. According to,

Wage \Wage\, v. t. [OE. wagen, OF. wagier, gagier, to pledge, promise, F. gager to wager, lay, bet, fr. LL. wadium a pledge; of Teutonic origin; cf. Goth. wadi a pledge, gawadj[=o]n to pledge, akin to E. wed, G. wette a wager.

So it’s related to wager and wages. To wager is to hazard a bet, and war is a hazard. So is betting on peace. Why wages? Here’s a good example from Spenser:

To adventure, or lay out, for hire or reward; to hire out. [Obs.] "Thou . . . must wage thy works for wealth." ~ Spenser.


Another way to get and give books (or borrow and lend): Sign up a to ask if other members might have a book you want to read. They mail it to you at no cost; they pay for postage. You do the same if you have a book to give away. You can earn points, and they also have a point arrangement with Amazon.


Roman Catholic Bishop Tiny Muskens of the Netherlands suggests that everyone call God “Allah” as a way to “get along with God”. Right. (Note that Tiny is not in quotes; apparently that’s not a nickname. I wonder what Muskens* means?) A spokesman for the Moroccan Mosque in Amsterdam told De Telegraaf, "We didn't ask for this. Now it is as if we have a problem between Muslims and Christians."

*I was making a joke, but guess what says about musk:

Middle English, from Old French musc, from Late Latin muscus, from Greek moskhos, from Persian musk, probably from Sanskrit muskah, testicle; see mus in Indo-European roots.

Although it looks like mosque could come from the same root, the etymology I found doesn’t take that word back to Sanskrit.

Mike Sykes objected to what I wrote last week (“Dhimmitude”) about a Scottish medical society saying that no one can eat at his or her desk during Ramadan if there are any fasting Muslim co-workers:

While I agree that the proposed rule appears to be political correctness taken to absurd lengths, I'm rather less happy with your apparent conclusion that jihadist doctors are representative of all Muslims.

Not all Muslims, but it seems like Muslim PR groups (CAIR in the U.S., MEEM in Glasgow) are pushing sharia law in other ways; that is, the jihad takes different forms.


In “Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged” in Mental Floss (May-June 2007), Greg Barnhisel wrote:

But the wild success of The Fountainhead only whet Rand’s appetite to delve further into Objectivism.

Whet looked wrong to me as the past tense, and gives whetted as the past tense. I’d compare it to petted and vetted. On the other hand, the past tense of let is let, and of set is set, so there’s historical precedence for either whet or whetted as past tense. It’s an ear decision.


Son Foy wrote:

I've heard "mad" used here in Boston since we first came out here. Just yesterday, I was playing volleyball when the mother of the house we were at said, "You guys going to play some mad volleyball?" It could mean a lot, or it could mean intense. In this case, it meant both.

And, today one of my students told me that the current word for “cool” is “beasty”. Example: “Sentence diagramming is beasty!”


Fred bought a handsome walking stick a couple of weeks ago at Lehman’s, an Amish or Mennonite store that specializes in new old-time products. Someone erroneously told him the stick was capped by something called a singletree, but that is actually

...the pivoted horizontal crossbar to which the harness traces of a draft animal are attached and which is in turn attached to a vehicle or an implement. Also called swingletree. Also called regionally whippletree, also whiffletree, a term primarily used in the northeast United States, derived from the older term whippletree, which is used in the Upper Northern states farther to the west. The fact that whiffletree, the newer term, is used in the Northeast, the older dialect area, illustrates the process of linguistic change. Even as the older word whippletree was spreading westward into a new dialect area, it was evolving into something different ~ whiffletree ~ in the area where it originated, as if the older dialect area were somehow trying to keep a step ahead.

(Sorry, I neglected to note my source for this definition.)

Further research, however, showed that the brass head is actually a hame, a knob that can be attached to a singletree or a horse collar for wrapping the traces around.


Ed M. queried:

Speaking of "ly", for years I have questioned the use of the words "secondly and thirdly" ~ they are usually used in speeches by someone earnestly trying to make a point. Neither word is in Webster's. Also, I've noticed that some of the younger generation say, "All of the sudden," and I hear others say, "All of a sudden." Both are a clumsy way to say "suddenly" but one sounds wrong. Any comment?

Yes, always glad to comment. I have used "secondly" etc. on occasion but I'm sort of facetious when I do it. I would avoid it in formal usage. However, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage says it’s used with some frequency in series after first or in the first place, by Charles Lamb and Samuel Johnson to name two users, so it’s not new. They also have a lengthy entry for firstly, which I will not quote here except to say that Fowler called objections to it harmless pedantry.

On the other hand, I've always heard "all of a sudden" and I think it’s acceptable, but "the sudden" has to be a mishearing. Garner’s Modern American Usage says “all of a sudden” is correct (not all of the sudden). Old examples from also show “on a sudden”:

How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost! ~ Milton.

Mike Sykes also sent this about the –ly adverb, thanks to his access to the OED.

This is an interesting one. The reason noun-ly doesn't sound acceptable as an adverb seems to be that there are two distinct suffixes, call them -ly1 and -ly2. Each has its own entry in the OED

-ly1: appended to ns. and adjs. to form adjs., represents the OE.

-ly2: The form-history of the suffix in Eng. is similar to that of -ly1: in ME. the OE. -líce was normally represented by -l{imac}che (southern), -l{imac}ke (northern),

'Similar' notice, but not quite the same. Ultimately they both go back to the same Germanic root, but they were slightly different all the way from Gothic to Old English.

The entry for -ly2 even has livelily as an example of both.

So nowadays, folks tend to overlook the distinction.

All –lys look alike to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Webly Words

Number 239
August 16, 2007


Here’s another briefer PO serving as my token vacation: short and surly this week.


Last weekend’s road trip didn’t yield much material. I guess I’ve been over that road too many times. I did notice a couple of license plates:

utakus (“you take us”?)

3INONE (oil? the Trinity?)


Two 13-year-old boys in Oregon are being prosecuted as sex offenders for slapping girls on the butt in school, although girls were doing the same thing. The prosecutor or somebody referred to the boys as “pedophiles” ( literally, child lover, but not the good kind of love). Can you use that term to refer to someone vis a vis someone else his or her own age? Well, let he who has never slapped the butt of someone his own age throw the first lawsuit.


From Overheard in New York:

Man with clipboard: Do you want to change the Constitution?

Lady passerby: No.

Man with clipboard: I'll take that as a 'yes'!

I wonder who paid for that poll.

Lately I’ve been hearing “mad” used as an intensifier in the same way “wicked” is used around Boston: “It’s mad hot today” (very hot or madly hot). Now I’ve run across “dumb” used similarly: “I’m dumb far” (extremely far). Urban Dictionary says these are New York slang.


Sometimes TV and radio reporters sound as if they aren’t quite used to English syntax:

“He held people hostages until he was talked by police into surrendering.”

Should be: “He held people hostage until police talked him into surrendering.”

“How long will you have to work before you even can retire?”

Compare “before you can even retire” or “before you are even able to retire”.


Mike Sykes wrote:

Regarding “informational” (which I did not like as a variant of “informative”):

While I fully share your feelings on the subject, I can quote my dictionary:

/informational/ a. of or pertaining to information; conveying information: E19.

/informative/ a. Having the quality of informing, in various senses...goes back much further/

Regarding Spam:

I can remember quite liking Spam, perhaps because it was salty. Actually I believe it also contains sodium nitrite as a preservative. As did Prem, which was similar. I enjoyed both as fritters. Also corned (bully) beef. The reason Spam became a joke was because there was so much of it and similar products around during WW2. Which we should have been grateful for, because there was precious little fresh meat.

“Bully” comes from the French word for boil, which explains the corned beef but not its other meanings. Mike says both the OED and Wikipedia cite a Monty Python sketch as the source of webly spam as we know it today.


I’ve been reading Theodore Dalrymple’s book Our Culture, What’s Left of It. He’s a good writer and quite interesting, if rather gloomy, about his experiences as a doctor in prison, slum hospitals, and other of the poorest spots on earth. He makes the point that it’s a misapprehension that free expression of every impulse and emotion is healthy, as exemplified by the man who said to him, “I had to kill her, doctor, or else I don’t know what I would have done.” What? He might have started biting his nails? Dalrymple also identifies the use of the passive voice as an indication of the abdication of responsibility (which I wrote about before in PO 29). Here are examples culled from his patients:

The knife went in.

Heroin is everywhere.

The beer went mad.

A fight broke out, a gun arrived, I accidentally took it, it went off.

Just like Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes who testified in her murder trial: “Suddenly he became shot!”


My Scottish ancestors are rolling over in their stony graves. Thanks to the thwarted airport attack by Islamist doctors, Scottish health service workers have been told they can’t eat lunch at their desks during the Ramadan fast if they have Muslim co-workers. “The idea is to get faith in the workplace out in the open,” said Na’eem Raza, consultant with the Glasgow organization Meem, which advises on Muslim issues and counts the Scottish Parliament among its clients. I think that’s just what we don’t want right now. Meem wants everyone to understand what Muslims are feeling. I think the jihadist doctors made that perfectly clear.


As you know, the suffix “ly” came from the Old English “like”. Thus to be friendly is to be like a friend. If something is orderly, it is like order. I heard someone use this noun-plus-ly form as an adverb, and I don’t know why it doesn’t seem acceptable as an adverb, as in “He said it friendly” (He said it in a friendly way) or “Please line up orderly” (Please line up in an orderly fashion). “Ly” added to an adjective, rather than to a noun, produces a conventional adverb (“She walked rapidly”).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Language Profiling

Number 238
August 8, 2007



This PO is a short vacation issue, because we’re taking a short trip.


What’s annoying, if not actually wrong, about this sentence:

The briefing was very informational.

The word should be informative, but neither in dictionaries nor usage books can I find either word. Informative is given as a an adjectival form of information meaning increasing knowledge, but informational does not appear. It’s one of those “unnecessary variants”. We do hear about informational meetings or informational literature, where the purpose is to give information, whether or not that purpose is achieved, though presumably an information meeting would do as well, as would a plain brochure. Informative means information is actually conveyed. In any case, you don’t say “very” informational.


I bought a can of Spam in a 70th anniversary collector’s can for the meat nostalgia. We used to have fried Spam sandwiches occasionally when I was a kid. It’s not bad, though too salty. The Hormel company is good humored about Spam’s kitsch factor. I couldn’t find anything on the web site about the e-mail kind of spam. If only it were possible for Hormel to put e-mail spammers out of business for trademark infringement or something.


Did you ever notice that long-winded is not the opposite of short of breath?


In response to a newspaper article outlining how to identify a house that has a meth lab inside, I amused myself by writing this letter to the editor:

Sounds like residential profiling to me. Where’s the ACLU?

They printed it.

If you say it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, have you profiled something that might actually not even be a fowl?


Cited from a newspaper interview with a local musician:

Never used a pickup line ... anyone who uses one should be shot on site.

As opposed to dragging him off the premises first? Don’t shoot till you see the sights of his eyes!


Is an expatriate an ex-patriot also? Usually an expatriate is someone who is living outside his own country, while an ex-patriot is someone who used to be a patriot.


Bill R. responded to the wind eye:

Just as "daisy" comes from "day's eye" ~ John Ciardi pointed out the differing referents by noting that the same flower is marguerite in the Romance languages. The eye of the day is pretty, and so is the girl (Margaret), but they're not the same.

According to Wikipedia, Margaret means pearl, with roots in the Persian for pearl, Morvarid; and also the old-Indian word for pearl, mandjari (which sounds like Margery). Daisy is a nickname for Margaret, but why? Perhaps a pearl looks like a day’s eye too. I also can’t see how Peggy became a nickname for Margaret.

As for my own name, I’ve read several meanings for it (Celtic woman, rhododendron), but it is Welsh, possibly meaning “good lance” (spear good), or it may have come from the city in Wales named Rhondda, from the River Rhondda which means “noisy”.


Word of the week: What word appears on a T-shirt sold in New York City by Arab Women Active in Art and Media, whose spokeswoman is Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, an Arabic-language school scheduled to open in Brooklyn next month? This is a new tax-payer supported public school for Islamic studies. The T-shirt says “Intifada NYC”. Almontaser said the Arabic root meaning of intifada is “shaking off” as in, Muslim women are shaking off oppression, or something like that. Sort of like jihad really means the internal spiritual struggle. Homework assignment for the week: look up madrassa. No, it’s not about the neat madras shorts ‘n’ shirts you used to wear (always better when they bleed).

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Glass Wind Eye

Number 237
August 3, 2007



||| I caught Professor Seth Lerer of Stanford talking about his book on TV, Inventing English, and you can too, via the Web. There’s a radio podcast at On Point and a C-Span podcast (presumably different interviews, I haven’t checked). Lerer talks about the “deep poetry” of English ~ did you know “window” comes from “wind eye”? Something I’m glad to know.

||| Bear Grylls is an Australian ex-Special Forces guy who shows us how to survive in various inhospitable spots on Man vs. Wild. He has the best name on TV since Wolf Blitzer. Fred noticed that he said, “Piranha doesn’t taste half good” where an American would say, “Piranha doesn’t taste half bad.” It seems like “half good” is somewhat more logical: if you’re that hungry, you say it’s not just half good, it’s completely good. Americans perhaps see the piranha as not as bad as expected. Bear Grylls (it’s too good a name to truncate to the surname) also says “disorientated” a lot, which should be “disoriented” even in Australia, the Ecuadorian jungle, or an Icelandic ice cave. Also, on his web site some has written, “During this time he had a horrendous parachuting accident whilst in southern Africa and broke his back in three places.” Why don’t we say “whilst”? Let’s bring it back into popular usage up over.


I never remember how to pronounce “gyro” when I want to order one, but I learned from Garner’s Word of the Day that it is related to gyroscope, for instance, and the sandwich is named for the rotisserie on which the meat is cooked. It’s pronounced yeero or zhiro. I assume the “hero” sandwich (sub, hoagie, grinder) came from that word.


I got to wondering about Islamic humor. Everybody has some kind of humor. Ethnic humor includes jokes about oneself, jokes about other people (which may be hostile), and jokes about life in general that reflect your specific world view. I went to the web and found a few Islamic sites with jokes ~ mostly the same jokes, mostly with warnings like these, more warnings than jokes in some cases:

||| Some people joke too much and it becomes a habit for them. This is the opposite of the serious nature which is the characteristic of the believers. Joking is a break, a rest from ongoing seriousness and striving; it is a little relaxation for the soul. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Fear joking, for it is folly and generates grudges.”

||| Imaam al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The kind of joking which is forbidden is that which is excessive and persistent, for it leads to too much laughter and hardening of the heart, it distracts from remembrance of Allaah, and it often leads to hurt feelings, generates hatred and causes people to lose respect and dignity. But whoever is safe from such dangers, then that which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do is permissible for him.”

||| The amount of joking should be like the amount of salt in one’s food.

||| A man said to Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah (may Allaah be pleased with him), “Joking is not right, it is to be denounced.” He replied, “Rather it is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to do it and do it at the appropriate time.”

||| Nowadays, although the ummah needs to increase the love between its individual members and to relieve itself of boredom, it has gone too far with regard to relaxation, laughter and jokes. This has become a habit which fills their gatherings and wastes their time, so their lives are wasted and their newspapers are filled with jokes and trivia.

||| The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.” In Fath al-Baari it says: “What is meant by knowledge here has to do with the might of Allaah and His vengeance upon those who disobey Him, and the terrors that occur at death, in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection.”

||| Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) was asked, “Did the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) laugh?” He said, “Yes, and the faith in their hearts was like mountains.”

||| So you have to follow the example of such people, who were knights by day and monks (i.e., devoted worshippers) by night.

Or else:

Reporters Without Borders said it firmly and utterly condemns a ban that has been slapped on the Arabic-language weekly "Nichane" and legal action launched against it for "damaging Islam". The paper carried a feature in its 9 to 15 December 2006 issue entitled, "Jokes: How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics". The Moroccan government banned the paper on 20 December and the king's prosecutor at the Casablanca High Court ordered police to investigate the article.

And of course there was the incident of the Mohammed cartoons.

OK, now for a few jokes.


||| One day, one of Mullah Nasruddin's friend came over and wanted to borrow his donkey for a day or two. Mullah, knowing his friend, was not kindly inclined to the request, and came up with the excuse that someone had already borrowed his donkey. Just as Mullah uttered these words, his donkey started braying in his backyard. Hearing the sound, his friend gave him an accusing look, to which Mullah replied: "I refuse to have any further dealings with you since you take a donkey's word over mine."

This is the kind of story you might find in any collection of folk humor, from any folk.

Them against us]: [with my remarks and chortles]:

||| A man is taking a walk in Central park in New York. Suddenly he sees a little girl being attacked by a pit bull dog. He runs over and starts fighting with the dog. He succeeds in killing the dog and saving the girl's life. A policeman who was watching the scene walks over and says: "You are a hero, tomorrow you can read it in all the newspapers: Brave New Yorker saves the life of little girl." The man says: "But I am not a New Yorker!" "Oh, then it will say in newspapers in the morning: Brave American saves life of little girl" - the policeman answers. "But I am not an American!" - says the man. "Oh, what are you then?" The man says: "I am a Saudi!" Then next day the newspapers say: "Islamic extremist kills innocent American dog." [Or, “American dog kills itself.”]

||| Did you hear the one about Jewish-Muslim comedy night? The rehearsals were going really well until the Jews occupied the Muslim half of the stage. [Hmm, does Israel have half of anything?]

There’s a stand-up British woman Muslim comic (sounds like an oxymoron) named Shazia Mirza. She says she does not make fun of her religion though she says everything should be allowed to be talked about. Omid Djalili is also a British comic. Are there any American Muslim comics? Living?

I won’t list web sites for you, you can do a search, but just want to note that in the cartoon masthead of, the only female is sitting down and faced by a man with a scimitar. Several web sites list jokes from a stand-up comedian named Goffaq Yussef (note the phonetics) but I can’t locate or identify this supposedly Palestinian comic. Sample:

Light bulb:

How many Palestinians does it take to change a light bulb?

None! They sit in the dark forever and blame the Jews for it!


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SEARCH IT OUT ON AMAZON : "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2; "Get wisdom! Even if it costs you everything, get understanding!" Proverbs 4:7:

The poet Muriel Rukeyser said the universe is not composed of atoms, but stories. The physicist Werner Heisenberg said the universe is not made of matter, but music.


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