A teenage listener is said to have asked Dr. John Mackay why it is that theologians are forever inventing hard words like ecumenical."
"My dear young woman," ran his reply, "the term 'ecumenical' is really no more difficult to pronounce than `economical'; but more important, it is not only linguistically legitimate, but conceptually inevitable."—Janet Harbison, "John Mackay of Princeton," Presbyterian Life
J. Hyde Sweet of the Nebraska City News-Press told of the recent church service where a rather deaf lady in town asked the usher to seat her up as far front as possible. "I've always had terrible trouble hearing," she said, "and some of these churches have terrible agnostics."—Laugh Book
John L. Lewis tells the story of the two coal miners who were inseparable buddies. One had gone to work in the mines as a boy and had received little or no formal education.
The other, more fortunate, had received a college education. One day they had a falling out and decided to settle the matter with their fists. "When either of us has had enough, he should say `sufficient'," suggested the educated mine worker. "OK," said the other.
For two hours the two men pummeled each other with all their might. Finally the educated coal miner could stand no more. "Sufficient!' he cried.
His opponent stood up, dusted himself off, and said: "I've been trying to think of that word for an hour and a half."—Omaha World-Herald
A new word has been added to our American vocabulary. In describing a boy of his acquaintance, a youth said, 'He's psycho-ceramic."
"What's that?" someone asked.
"Crackpot."—The Cab Stand
A man who had been waiting impatiently in the post office could not attract the attention of either of the girls behind the counter.
"The evening cloak," explained one of the girls to her companion, "was a redingote design in gorgeous lam6 brocade with fox fur and wide pagoda sleeves."
At this point the long-suffering customer broke in with, "I wonder if you could provide me with a neat purple stamp with dinky perforated hem. The ensemble deliberately treated on the reverse side with mucilage. Something at about 4 cents."—James J. Kelly, Quote
Scott's Ivanhoe has a passage pointing out that in feudal days barnyard animals were called by their Anglo-Saxon names—cow, calf, sheep, pig. But when they were dressed for the table they were served as beef, veal, mutton and pork, all Norman designations.
By the same token, when educators are among themselves they speak of pupils, test, teacher or textbook. But when talking in public, they refer to them as student personnel, evaluative instrument, faculty members, and instructional material.—Southern Illinois Schools