The following examples show the real reason behind my decision for not using a text corpus based on newspapers and magazines. (Horst Bogatz)

Here is something that Ken Wilson (TEFL author) sent to the teflfarm list.
Read. Enjoy. Laugh?

A The first are sentences taken from real resumes and cover letters. They
were printed in the July 21,1997 issue of Fortune Magazine.

1. I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.
2. I have lurnt (sic) Word Perfect 6.0 computor (sic) and spreasheet progroms (sic)
3. Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.
4. Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions.
5. Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.
6. Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.
7. It's best for employers that I not work with people.
8. Let's meet, so you can 'ooh' and 'aah' over my experience.
9. You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.
10. Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.
11. I was working for my mom until she decided to move.
12. Marital status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments.
13. I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.
14. I am loyal to my employer at all costs....Please feel free to
respond to my resume on my office voice mail.
15. I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.
16. My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.
17. I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.
18. Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.
19. As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.
20. Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.
21. Note: Please don't misconstrue my 14 jobs as 'job-hopping'. I have never quit a job.
22. Marital status: often. Children: various.
23. Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 am every
morning. I couldn't work under those conditions.
24. The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.
25. Finished eighth in my class of ten.
26. References: none. I've left a path of destruction behind me.

B The following are also genuine, and are taken from employee evaluation

1. Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
2. His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.
3. I would not allow this employee to breed.
4. This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't be.
5. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
6. When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.
7. He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.
8. This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
9. He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
10. This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
11. This employee should go far---- and the sooner he starts, the better.

C These are actual lines from military performance appraisals or OERs
(Officer Efficiency Reports).

1. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
2. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
3. A room temperature IQ.
4. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.
5. A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.
6. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.
7. A prime candidate for natural de-selection.
8. Bright as Alaska in December.
9. One-celled organisms out score him in IQ tests.
10. Donated his body to science before he was done using it.
11. Fell out of the family tree.
12. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
13. Has two brains; one is lost and the other is out looking for it.
14. He's so dense, light bends around him.
15. If brains were taxed, he'd get a rebate.
16. If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
17. If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change.
18. If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
19. It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.
20. One neuron short of a synapse.
21. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.
22. Takes him 1 1/2 hours to watch 60 minutes.
23. Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

With compliments to


The Washington Post published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of the winning entries:

coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon

flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained

abdicate (v.), to give up hope of ever having a flat stomach

esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk

willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

negligent (adj.), being in a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightie

lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp

gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash

flatulence (n.), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you
are run over by a steamroller

balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline

testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam

rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor asssumed by a proctologist
before he examines you

oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with
Yiddish expressions

circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts

frisbeetarianism (n.), the belief that, when you die, your soul goes up
on the roof and gets stuck there

pokemon (n.), a Jamaican proctologist
Some Puns
1. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backwards poet writes inverse.
5. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
6. She had a relationship with a guy who had a wooden leg, but broke it off.
7. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
8. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.
9. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
10. Show me a piano falling down an occupied mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in linoleum blown apart.
14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
17. Every calendar's days are numbered.
18. A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.
19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
20. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
22. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
24. Once you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
25. Those who commit suicide by jumping off a Paris bridge are dying in Seine.
26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.
27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
28. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.