Monday, February 21, 2011

CLASSIC: Penes and Clitorides...or "never accept enemata from strangers" (21 January 2004)

This piece on assumed Latin plurals is full of fascinating and informative facts--some trivial, some less so; but I think all those of you who love words will enjoy it.  It is also quite funny.
So..."What IS the plural of penis?"  And, the advanced question, "What is the plural of virus?"  And, the $64,000 question [feel free to adjust for inflation], "What would the actual Latin plural of virus be?"  Read on....

 What is the plural of "penis"?
13-Jan-2004
Dear Straight Dope:
What exactly is the plural of penis? I would say penises, but it seems too simple and obvious. Is it penis, like deer, or maybe peni, like fungi? --Sissy, Emerald Isle, NC

SDSTAFF bibliophage replies:

If you have more than one, you should be writing to Ripley's and not  to the Straight Dope. Heck, Sissy, if you have even one, the first thing you should do is change your name to Buddy.

In this case, your first instinct is a good one. The English-style plural is usually acceptable and often preferred. When you don't know what the Latin plural is and don't have a dictionary handy, you should choose the English-style plural rather than try to guess. (Sometimes even dictionaries will steer you wrong; see below). In your example, penises is a perfectly good plural of penis in English. Many people who deal with penises professionally use the Latin-style plural penes instead. That's fine too, but even among urologists, penises seem to predominate. Seems, rather. "Penises" seems to predominate.

Guessing the plural of a Latin word is one of those things where a little learning is a dangerous thing (but that's still "not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance," to quote Terry Pratchett). Those with entirely too much learning know that Latin nouns are divided into five categories, called declensions. To figure out the plural of a Latin noun without cheating (i.e., looking it up), it is necessary, and often sufficient, to know which of the five declensions it belongs to. (There are a few nouns, like virus, that don't fit neatly into any of the declensions, but more on that later). For example, you mention peni as a possible plural of penis. The -i ending is valid for forming the plural of second-declension Latin nouns ending in -us, but of course that doesn't apply to penis. Part of the problem is that when unaccented, the singular endings -us and -is tend to be pronounced the same in English. Those with a little learning know that penus, if it were a second declension noun like most -us nouns in Latin, would be expected to have the plural form peni. Since penus would be pronounced the same--or almost the same--as penis in English, the temptation is strong to use the incorrect peni as the plural. Peni is an example of what is called pseudo-Latin, something that looks like Latin but isn't. A similar mistake is using porpi as the plural of porpoise, but in that case the singular was long spelled porpus under the mistaken impression that it was a Latin word.

Penis is a third declension noun, not second declension. These nouns often end in -is in the singular and -es in the plural. The English style -ises is sometimes preferred. Hence, we have penises (half of us do, anyway), and mantises and pelvises, but only more rarely do you see penes, mantes, and pelves, though they are not incorrect. In many cases, only the Latin form is acceptable: We have testes (some more than others) and crises and psychoses, but never testises, crisises, or pyschosises.

Another group of third-declension Latin nouns, mostly borrowed from Greek, end in -is in the singular, but the full root is not found in that form. These you either have to learn by heart or look up. For example, the Latin plural of iris is irides, which is acceptable in English, but I prefer irises. I like clitorises, but the Latin form clitorides is also acceptable.

Among second declension -us nouns borrowed into English, the English style plural -uses is often preferred to the Latin -i. Thus isthmuses and crocuses are generally preferred, but isthmi and croci are still acceptable. For many words, the Latin style is preferred, but the English is acceptable, as in fungi (or funguses). Sometimes the Latin style is preferred in technical usage, while the English style is better for the nontechnical. Mathematically speaking, ellipses have foci, while investigations may have focuses.

Of course the English style -uses requires an extra syllable, and you have to judge for yourself whether it's worth it for polysyllabic words. Nuclei rolls off the tongue easier than nucleuses, but both are acceptable. Either the long hippopotami or the longer hippopotamuses is acceptable, but it's easy to see why some people are attracted to hippos. In Greek, the African pachyderm was called a riverine horse: hippopotamos (plural hippopotamoi) or hippos potamios (plural hippoi potamioi). Since only the Latinized form in -us is found in English, neither of these Greek plurals is needed. The shortened form hippo is found only in English and can only take the plural hippos. You may sometimes see hippoi used in English as the plural of hippo. Hippoi is properly the Greek plural of hippos ("horse"), not of hippo.

Note that rhinoceros is a pachyderm of a different color. Both words are ultimately from Greek, and the last syllable is pronounced the same in English, but rhinoceri is not proper Latin (nor Greek). That form has found its way into some English dictionaries, but I would advise against messing with rhinoceri. In Latin rhinoceros is a third declension noun with the plural rhinocerotes. Rarely you see the plural form rhinocerontes in English, but that is properly the plural of a variant Latin singular form, rhinoceron. You'll be laughed straight out of the zoo if you try to use either one in English. Stick to rhinoceroses. Or better yet, rhinos (certainly not rhinoi).

One other group of Latin nouns in -us is different. These are fourth-declension masculine nouns. The plural in Latin is spelled the same as the singular, but the u is pronounced long rather than short. When these words are borrowed into English, the English-style plural is almost always preferred over the Latin. We have censuses, hiatuses, sinuses, and fetuses (or foetuses). The second-declension style endings are never correct, so no cenci, hiati, sini, or feti please. Apparatus is rarely pluralized in English. When a plural is needed, either apparatus or apparatuses is acceptable, but never apparati. It so happens that penus, the near homophone of penis that I mentioned above, is a real word in Latin but of the fourth declension, so the plural is penus, not peni. It means "household stock," something you would presumably want to stow along with the family jewels.

Yet another group of Latin nouns in -us follow different rules. If you're still taking notes, these form another subset of the third declension. Typically in these cases the singular does not include the full root. The plural of genus is genera (not genuses and certainly not geni). In English the plural of opus (meaning a creative work) is opera (or opuses). In Latin, opera was originally the plural of opus, but in both Latin and English, opera can correctly be treated as a singular. In English the plural of opera (the thing that ain't over till the fat lady sings) is operas. When opera is used as a singular in Latin (where it meant more of less the same thing as opus), the correct plural is operae, but this is rarely if ever used in English.

Octopus is another of these third declension nouns in Latin, borrowed from Greek. The Latin plural is octopodes, which is acceptable in English, but octopuses (or even octopus) seems more at home in English. The form octopi is quite common in English, but it is pseudo-Latin. It is based on the mistaken belief that octopus was a second-declension noun like fungus. It has made its way into many English dictionaries, but I would not recommend getting tangled up with octopi. It is true that many standard English words have entered the language through mistakes (uncle from nuncle, pea from pease, etc.), so octopi may not be totally indefensible. But people who know Latin, admittedly not a large group, will think less of you for using it.

There is one more common English -us word borrowed from Latin that doesn't follow any of the rules above: virus. To the Romans a virus was a dangerous or disgusting substance, anything from snake venom to body odor. Ancient grammarians couldn't agree whether the word was a third-declension noun, a fourth-declension noun or in a class by itself, but the one thing they could agree on was that it didn't have a plural form. Ever. To the Romans, it was a mass noun, not a count noun. That hasn't stopped English writers from inventing pseudo-Latin plural forms to cover the modern countable senses of the word. Viri is formed on the false assumption that virus is a second-declension noun. (Viri in fact is the plural of Latin vir, "man".) Virii is an even worse mistake. Only Latin nouns that end in -ius form the plural with -ii. There are no really common English plurals in -ii other than radii. That hasn't stopped people from trying out such atrocious forms as virii and penii. Virii would be the plural of virius, if such a word existed in Latin. Other suggested plurals include virora, vira, virua, and vire. For more on the debate, see http://www.blogger.com/.  The one inescapable fact is that in classical Latin, there was no plural of the word. In English, the only correct plural is viruses.

Some English -us nouns were borrowed from other parts of speech in Latin or from other forms (cases) of the noun than the usual nominative. Most of us don't get boni or ride bi (but I'm not judgmental if you do). We get bonuses and ride buses. Bonus is not a noun in Latin but an adjective meaning "good"; bus is a shortened form of omnibus, which is already a Latin dative plural meaning "for all." A few English nouns in -us derive from Latin verbs, so they can't be pluralized like Latin nouns. Mandamus means "we order" in Latin, and ignoramus means "we are ignorant." We can issue mandamuses to ignoramuses, but we can safely ignore mandami from ignorami. And of course not all nouns that end in -us are Latin at all. Walruses may sun themselves on taluses, but you will search tali for walri in vain.

Since we've come this far, we may as well deal with some other common Latin plurals that have found their way into English.

First declension Latin singulars end in -a in the singular and in -ae in the plural. Often the English and Latin style plurals are both acceptable. You have larvae (or larvas) and amoebas (or amoebae). When speaking of female graduates, you say alumnae (but not alumnas). Sometimes which form to use depends on the context. Radios have antennas but insects, unless they're trying to tune in a Rimsky-Korsakov number on the wireless, have antennae. Sometimes the plural form is more common in English than the singular. Minutia is the singular of minutiae and alga is the singular of algae.

There are a few Latin words in -a that do not form the plural in -ae because they are third declension nouns borrowed from Greek. The English style plural is usually best. Traumas, dramas, and dogmas are preferred over traumata, dramata, and dogmata, but stigmata is preferred over stigmas. You should never accept enemata from strangers.

A subset of the second declension ends in -um in the singular and in -a in the plural. In English -ums is sometimes preferred. Forums (or fora), gymnasiums (or gymnasia), podiums (or podia), but bacteria (not bacteriums), phyla (not phylums). Seers are mediums but radio and television are two media. Data is the plural of datum in Latin and English. English also has the plural form datums, but only in the cartographic sense (meaning a reference point). In English, purists still rail against using data and media with a singular verb. These are instances of usages that began as mistakes but are now so common that they are arguably correct. Another example of the same evolution is agenda. In Latin (and sometimes in English) it is the plural of agendum (meaning "a thing that needs to be done") but is now almost invariably treated as a singular in English (meaning "a list or set of things that need to be done"), with the correct English plural agendas. Plural forms that take a further pluralization (correctly or incorrectly) are called "double plurals." Other examples include the incorrect forms alumnis and bacterias and the correct operas. One caution--q is a genitive plural pronoun in Latin. The English plural is quorums, never quora. uorum

Latin words ending in -ies are usually the same in the singular and plural, both in Latin and in English. Series, species, caries (as in dental caries) are correct as singular and plural.

Latin singulars ending in -on are borrowings from Greek and usually end in -a in the plural in Latin. Phenomena (or arguably phenomenons, as in "singing phenomenons"), ganglia (or ganglions). Sometimes the English-style plural seems more natural, as in automatons (but automata is acceptable). Criteria is now sometimes used as a singular in English, but it started life as the plural of criterion.

Latin singulars in -x have plurals in -ces or -ges in Latin, but in English -ixes is usually preferred. Dominatrixes (or dominatrices), indexes (or indices), cervixes (or cervices). The bones of the fingers and toes are phalanges but infantry formations are more often phalanxes.

There are several odd words whose plurals will not be obvious from the above rules. One oddball is pubes (two syllables, meaning the pubic region or pubic hair). It is the same in the singular and plural in Latin and English. The supposed singular pubis is pseudo-Latin, except when it means the pubic bone (in full, os pubis, "bone of the pubes"). The plural of specimen in Latin is specimina, but in English specimens. The plural of exemplar is exemplaria in Latin, but exemplars is a better model for English.

Some words from Latin are more common in the plural, so the singular form may not be obvious. Mores (as in folkways and mores) has the rare singular form mos. Viscera (the internal organs) has the rare singular viscus. Insignia and regalia are the plurals of insigne and regale in Latin, but these singulars are rare in English. Paraphernalia is a plural in English and Latin. It has a rare English singular, paraphernal. The Latin singular, not found in English, is paraphernalis. Feces (or faeces) is plural in Latin with the singular fex (or faex). It is usually treated as a singular in English. Stamina started life as the plural of stamen ("thread") but is now usually a singular in English, except sometimes when referring to sexual anatomy (of the botanical kind). Flowers may have many stamina, but Gennifer's former lover has much stamina.

The name of our species, Homo sapiens (literally "wise human") is singular in both Latin and English. The plural of the phrase in Latin--in the non-technical sense of a wise human--would be homines sapientes, but there is never any call to use a plural in English. There is only one species called Homo sapiens. Homo sapien as the supposed singular of Homo sapiens is an abomination. I call this a "double singular." Kudo as the supposed singular of kudos is another example. Borrowed directly from the Greek, kudos ("praise") is already singular. The questionable form congery formed from the Latin singular congeries is another instance. Bicep, tricep, quadricep, and forcep are incorrectly formed from biceps, triceps, quadriceps, and forceps, which are already singular.

Gladiolus has given rise to a double singular too. Gladiolus is a Latin singular with the plural form gladioli. This is probably the best choice for the plural in English, but gladioluses is also acceptable. The similarity of sound of -as and -us in unaccented English syllables makes some people believe the word is gladiolas, which they suppose is a plural with the singular form gladiola. This double singular has made its way into some dictionaries, but the shortened glad would be a happier choice.

Other than Latin words and Greek words mostly borrowed through Latin, few words have been borrowed into English complete with their foreign plurals. In the case of many of the western Romance languages (such as French, Spanish, and Portuguese), it's usually hard to tell because in these languages plurals often end in the letter s, as in English. Linguists believe this form of the plural in western Romance languages is derived from the Latin forms -as, -os, and -es (first, second, and third declension masculine and feminine accusative plurals, used for direct objects) and not, as you might expect, from forms like -es (third declension nominative plurals, used for subjects). The native English pluralizing suffixes spelled -s and -es (but often pronounced with a /z/ sound) come from the same ultimate source (one class of proto-Indo-European plural endings), but by a very different route. It is largely a matter of chance that Old English and Old French happened to retain the same plural endings, almost to the exclusion of the many other plural endings in PIE. After the Norman invasion, the introduction of French -s may have hastened the decline of other plural endings in English, but the process was already underway. We still have oxen and brethren (if we can tell them apart), but we no longer wear shoen and live in housen.

Unlike French and Spanish, Italian gets its plurals from the Latin nominative rather than the accusative. When borrowed into English, these give us such words as graffiti, which is properly the plural of graffito, but which is now often treated as a singular in English. A particularly interesting case is bandit. We anglicized the Italian bandito to bandit in the singular but still sometimes use the Italian plural banditti alongside the English form bandits. Cognoscenti is the plural of the obsolete Italian cognoscente. Also from Italian we get many food terms that are plurals in that language, but treated as singular in English: spaghetti, broccoli, and zucchini.

Some Hebrew plurals such as seraphim and cherubim exist alongside the English-style plurals like seraphs and cherubs. From Arabic, we have jinn (or djinn) as the plural of jinni (or djinni).

Other languages are not often honored by having their plurals accepted on equal terms. For example, you would never say that this Staff Report is longer than many Icelandic sögur; you would say that this Staff Report is longer than many Icelandic sagas. And that, I think, is quite long enough.

--SDSTAFF bibliophage
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Lewinsky and Kaczynski Limerick

I received the following description of a contest in the Washington Post and its winners.  While it actually seems--not surprisiningly--NOT to be from that publication (and, in fact, has been floating around the web for a half-dozen years), here it is for your amusement:
 
The Washington Post runs a weekly contest in its Style section called the "Style Invitational". The requirements this week were to use the two words Lewinsky (The Intern) and Kaczynski (the Unabomber) in the same limerick. The following winning entries, remember, were printed in the newspaper.
Third place:
There once was a gal named Lewinsky
Who played on a flute like Stravinsky
'Twas "Hail to the Chief"
On this flute made of beef
That stole the front page from Kaczynski.
Second place:
Said Clinton to young Ms. Lewinsky,
"We don't want to leave clues like Kaczynski,
Since you made such a mess,
Use the hem of your dress
And please wipe that stuff off of your chinsky."
And the winning entry:
Lewinsky and Clinton have shown
What Kaczynski must surely have known
That an intern is better
Than a bomb in a letter
When deciding how best to be blown.

When Men Bake Valentine's Cookies...

Valentines Day Cookies

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gracie Allen's Roast Beef Recipe

I'm sending this in the hope you all will know who Gracie Allen was...or to those who may simply appreciate a good recipe...

    [a picture of George Burns and Gracie Allen belongs -HERE-]

Gracie Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast Beef
1 large Roast of beef
1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven.
  When the little one burns, the big one is done.
--
"C'est ça le message de toute satire: on peut faire mieux."
          -Gary Trudeau in an interview in "Le Monde," 1 March '02

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Disorder in the American Courts

Probably apocryphal but funny none the less:

ATTORNEY:  What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:     He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY:  And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:     My name is Susan.

ATTORNEY:  What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS:     Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY:  Are you sexually active?
WITNESS:     No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY:  This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS:     I forget..
ATTORNEY:  You forget?  Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY:  Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS:     We both do.
ATTORNEY:  Voodoo?
WITNESS:     We do..
ATTORNEY:  You do?
WITNESS:     Yes, voodoo.
ATTORNEY:  Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:  Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY:  The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:      He's 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY:  Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS:     Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY:  So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS:     Getting laid.

ATTORNEY:  She had three children, right?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  How many were boys?
WITNESS:   None.
ATTORNEY:   Were there any girls?
WITNESS:      Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY:  How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:     By death..
ATTORNEY:  And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:     Take a guess.

ATTORNEY:  Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS:     He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY:  Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS:     Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

ATTORNEY:  Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS:  No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY:  Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:     All of them.. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY:  ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?  What school did you go to?
WITNESS:     Oral . . .

ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY:  And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:     If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY:  Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS:     Are you qualified to ask that question?

And last:

ATTORNEY:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS:     No..
ATTORNEY:  So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS:     Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY:  I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS:     Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Letter to the Egyptians

Dear Egyptian Demonstrators,

Please do not damage the Pyramids.  WE WILL NOT REBUILD.

- The Jews

Department of Media Gone Wrong

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The founder of a Muslim-oriented New York television station was convicted Monday of beheading his wife in 2009 in the broadcast studio that the couple had opened to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
...Surveillance video captured some of the attack inside a darkened hallway.
Full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/nyregion/08behead.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Hassan&st=cse

Hair Color...and a Lot of Sheep

A woman whose hair is blond decides she just can't take it anymore. She's tired of all the blond jokes: the advantages of being blond are vastly outweighed by having to listen to all the blond jokes. So one night she dyes her hair black. She goes into work the next day and doesn't hear a single blond joke. Okay, so her hair is black: she's too happy to care, because she thinks she'll never have to hear another blond joke in her life.

She drives home from work in a rural area and sees a sheep crossing the road. She slows to let it pass, and pretty soon is surrounded by a herd of sheep. After 20 minutes, they finally finish crossing the road. She slows to let it pass, and pretty soon is surrounded by a herd of sheep. After 20 minutes, they finally finish crossing the road, and the shepherd comes along and waves to her and thanks her for stopping to wait for the sheep.

"You sure have a lot of sheep there," she says. "I know, it's very difficult to keep track of them all," the shepherd says. "If I tell you how many sheep you have, would you give me one?" she asks. "Sure, if you guess correctly, I'll give you one," he agrees. "You have 227 sheep," says the woman.

The shepherd is suitably impressed, and tells her to go ahead and pick one out and take it with her. So she picks out a sheep and puts it in the back of her car. As she's preparing to leave, the shepherd knocks on her window. She rolls the window down and he says, "If I tell you what color your hair really is, can I have my dog back?"

Can Earth People Survive on Mars?

Two astronauts land on Mars. Their mission: To determine whether there is oxygen on the planet. 'Give me the box of matches,' says one.

'Either it burns and there is oxygen, or nothing happens.'
He takes the box, and is ready to strike a match when, out of the blue, a Martian appears waving all his seven arms. 'No, no, don't!'

The two guys look at each other, worried. Could there be an unknown explosive gas on Mars? Still, the astronaut takes up the match and prepares to strike it.

Suddenly, a crowd of hysterical Martians come, all waving their arms: 'No, please no, don't do that! STOP! Please!'

One of the astronauts says, 'This looks serious. What are they afraid of? Nonetheless, we're here for science, to know if humans can breathe on Mars.' So . . . He strikes the match -- which flames up, burns down, and... NOTHING HAPPENS!

So then he turns to the Martians and asks, 'Why did you want us to not strike a match?'

The leader of the Martians steps forward and says, "Today is Shabbas!"

TSA Screening Statistics

Year to date statistics on Airport screening from the Department of Homeland Security in the USA.

Terrorist Plots Discovered          0

Transvestites                          133

Hernias                               1,485

Hemorrhoid Cases              3,172

Enlarged Prostates              8,249

Breast Implants                 59,350

Natural Blondes                         3

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

SARAH PALIN:  The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it,
he's a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA:  The chicken crossed the road because it was time for
change!  The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN:  My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he
recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all
the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON:  When I was First Lady, I personally helped that
little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely
qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this
country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really
isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH:  We don't really care why the chicken crossed the
road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or
not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground
here.

DICK CHENEY:  Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL:  Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see
the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON:  I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE:  I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY:  Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I
am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled
about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain
against it.

AL SHARPTON:  Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL:  The problem we have here is that this chicken won't
realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the
road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What
we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on
his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH:  Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems,
which is why he wants to cross this road so badly. So instead of having
the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life,
I'm going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across
the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN:  We have reason to believe there is a chicken,
but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE:  That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You
can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN:  To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART:  No one called me to warn me which way that chicken
was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs
when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any
insider information.

DR. SEUSS:  Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:  To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL:  Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see
the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends,
That chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay
too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the
Liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other
side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and
as simple as that.

GRANDPA:  In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road.
Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS:  Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will
be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of
how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish it's
lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE:  It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON:  Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads
together, in peace.

BILL GATES:  I have just released eChicken2010, which will not only cross roads,
but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet
Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2010.  This new platform is much more stable
and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:  Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the
road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS:  Did I miss one?

Super Bowl Humor

A man had 50 yard line tickets for the Super Bowl.

As he sat down, he noticed that the seat next to him was empty.

He asked the man on the other side of the empty seat whether anyone was sitting there.

"No," the man replied, "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the first man.

"Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world and not use it?"

The second man replied, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away.

This will be the first Super bowl we haven't been together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shook his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."