In the days BC (Before Covid), most people learned Alpha, Beta and Gamma besides Pi in school. These are the first 3 of the 24 Greek letters. Those who went on to study physical sciences or engineering (or even economics and finance) usually ended up making the acquaintance of more Greek letters (both upper case and lower case, so there are actually 24 * 2 = 48 characters).
Covid variants have now got up to the 15th letter (Omicron) after skipping the 14th (Xi. Guess why?)
Next are Pi and Rho.
But if there are more than 24 variants, what then? Should we start using the small letters? That gives 24 more. Or combine them-e.g. Delta-Omicron is already here. Or start something else-naming the variants after signs of the Zodiac such as Aries, Taurus etc.
Next, we proceed to one of Guwahati’s main markets:
Those familiar with the city will point out that the market is near the jail, where hangings were carried out. The trading community must have thought that Fancy Bazar sounded better than Phansi, which would be bad for business. Hence the present name.
Then there is this small town near Siliguri. It is important enough to be marked on highway signs. Here is one sign which indicates its name:
It is unclear why this nondescript place was associated with hanging.
There is one instance of someone winning an Ig-Nobel as well as a Nobel Prize-for more details look at the frog illustrated in the top right of the first link. (Read up on Andre Geim): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Geim
Go through the list of past winners. There are a few Indian names there. And many famous names like Dan Quayle, Erich von Daniken and assorted financial fraudsters.
There is at lease one case of Indian scientists claiming to have received an Ig-Nobel Prize, although it does not seem to appear in the “official” lists above. I am providing the link to give you an idea of what is required:
I can see how this would be useful in a place like Kerala. Any time you may be met by an elephant demanding to be painted blue or pink. Or gold, if it was from Thrissur. This way, you can quickly estimate how much paint is needed before the elephant gets impatient.
Probably many economists, politicians and other notables in present-day India have good chances of winning prizes in the near future.
One such award should go to the godman who claims he declined the Nobel Peace Prize. Anyone a little familiar with the workings of the awards will realize this is rubbish.
Camel jokes are less complicated to explain. The animal’s unusual appearance (particularly its humps) are a ready butt of jokes.
We start with this elephant-and-camel joke:
These jokes were probably inspired by the US Vice-President Hubert Humphrey:
Or this one inspired by the Bible:
Those who follow the Beau Peep strip would remember Sopwith the camel. As German pilots of WW1 would testify, the Sopwith Camel was not a laughing matter:
If you google for “camel jokes”, you would probably end up with variations of the story involving sex-starved soldiers and nomads doing things with camels. Steering clear of that, we look at the long involvement of camels with the tobacco industry.
One of the complaints involved the “Joe the Camel” advertisements which were said to induce children to start smoking:
Airlines, like many other organizations, are often known by their initials. In some cases the original form may not be well known, as in QANTAS = Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.
Here is a large collection of PJs based on the names and initials of airlines. Beware that many of these are quite bad, and also that many refer to unknown and defunct airlines. I have added a few more below the link:
Yes, academics have written lengthy analyses of dirty jokes and limericks. G Legman has written a number of books on these topics.
PJs and elephant jokes also deserve further study.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many elephant jokes, a small number of dog and cat jokes and hardly any jokes involving tigers and lions? Then there are phrases such as the “elephant in the room”.
And there are elephant limericks, although this one does not depend on the elephant:
A young man in sunny Yuma
Told an elephant joke to a puma.
Now his skeleton lies
Under desert skies.
The puma had no sense of huma.
Another indirect elephant joke:
A small boy misreads a sign at the zoo which says “African elephant”. He tells his father, “Dad, I saw a frickin’ elephant.”
This sign in a forest reserve is clearly not the mistake of the elephants:
And there are off-colour elephant jokes, such as these:
Learn something new: the two-humped camel is known as the Bactrian camel. Some can be seen in Ladakh. Presumably their ancestors had got lost when the Central Asian caravans were passing through some centuries ago.
For the moment, you need to remember than the one-humped variety found in most of western India and West Asia should correctly be called a dromedary.
The camel has a distant cousin called the llama. It has been immortalized in puns, besides verses like these:
An one L lama is a priest,
A two L lama is a beast.
I bet my silk pajama
That you can’t find a 3 L lama.
One of the “model answers” is a trainee llama who wears a L plate.
Another one is a “three-alarmer”, the most serious fire notified to fire brigades in the US.
In 1986, a young man named Peter Davies from Chicago was on holiday in Kenya after his college graduation. During a hike through the bush, he came upon a young bull elephant standing with his right front leg in the air. The elephant was in obvious distress, so Peter approached the elephant carefully for a better look. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it….
As carefully as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which, the relieved giant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant looked down upon Peter with what seemed to be a curious expression… It stared at him for several tense moments. Peter knelt before this young giant frozen, thinking only of being trampled to death…. Eventually, the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away… Peter would never forget that encounter which would make a lasting impression on him for life….
Twenty years later, Peter was visiting the Chicago zoo with his young son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned toward them and began to approach Peter and his son. The large bull elephant looked down at Peter, lifted it’s right front foot off the ground. The elephant did this repeatedly while trumpeting loudly and staring at the pair. Recalling his incredible encounter in 1986, Peter could not help but wonder if it was possible that this was the same young bull he had encountered so many years before….
Peter summoned up his courage, climbed the railing into the enclosure, and walked right up to the bull elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted loudly, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter’s legs, and slammed him against the railing killing him instantly….. Probably WASN’T THE SAME fucking elephant….!
This is for all of those who send out those heart-warming bull shit stories on email…..
While this is not a joke, it is useful to know there is someone to complain to:
This list of synonyms became popular at the time of the Delhi elections in 2015, while discussing the results of the Congress party. The BJP fared better with 3 seats, which made it an “Auto rickshaw party” as its MLAs would fit in one. In various parts of the country there are other auto rickshaw parties where the entire membership fits in one.
Some are not originally in English but have come into common use. Like Nada in Spanish.
Appropriately, there is another zero-themed place name in Kerala:
And the railway across the Nullarbor Plain in Australia (the route of the famous Indian Pacific:
Quite a mouthful. You might as well call him by his stage name MSG, which is more commonly known as monosodium glutamate, which is supposed to be harmful to health.
There are, however, a number of real cases of multi-religious names. One is Major-General George Bharat Singh, who was prominent in the 1965 war. Unfortunately there is no suitable reference on the net, though you will find his name easily enough through Google.
There was a lesser-known but moderately successful cricketer named Ashish Winston Zaidi, who played for UP in the Ranji Trophy for many years:
The Indian film industry was fond of titles like this. The best known is “Amar Akbar Anthony”, but there were also “John Jani Janardhan” (with Rajnikanth, no less) and “Ram Robert Rahim” in various languages around the same time.
And the song “Love Charger” evoked memories of the chargers used by Papillon and his friends.
“From the beginning of the book you’re left in no doubt as to how hard you needed to be to survive. On the boat heading for South America each prisoner carries his own ‘charger’, a slim metal cylinder for storing your cash – cash that would be sorely needed in order to make a break.
I kissed this three-and-a-half-inch , thumb-thick tube before shoving it in my anus. It went up high into my large intestine. It was part of me.”