Bar jokes only a copyeditor could love

So take a break from reporting and editing and enjoy some jokes only a copyeditor or an English professor could appreciate – bar jokes that hinge on the finer points of grammar, punctuation or linguistics.

Don’t let anyone see you reading these or your newsroom nerd status will be set in stone.

These were circulated on a national grammar listserv.

Here goes:

  • A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.
  • A dangling modifier walks into a bar. After finishing a drink, the bartender asks it to leave.
  • A question mark walks into a bar?
  • Two quotation marks “walk into” a bar.
  • The bar was walked into by the passive voice.
  • Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They leave.
  • What would have happened had a subjunctive walked into a bar?
  • An antecedent walked into a bar, and they ordered a drink.  
  • An ellipsis walked into a bar…
  • Bartender asks a woman what she wants. “An entendre,” she says. “Make it a double.”  So he gives it to her.
  • An alliteration traipsed into a tavern, where it tangled tempestuously with an insistent, illiterate intern.
  • A typo wakled into a bar. 
  • A rabbi, a priest, and a cliché walk into a bar.
  • Two possessive apostrophe's walk into the bar as if they owned the place.
  • A subject and a verb have a disagreement in a bar, and one of them pull out a pistol.
  • A heedless homonym walks into a bar.  You think he wood of scene it write in front of him.
  • The Oxford Comma joined in a high-spirited debate at the bar that included his parents, Ayn Rand and the Bishop of Canterbury.

By Kathryn Jones Malone

Kathryn Jones Malone is co-director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. She began her career as a staff writer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, then worked as a staff writer for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News; as a contract writer for The New York Times; as a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine; as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter; and as a freelance writer for numerous state, regional and national magazines. She teaches journalism at Tarleton State University.