A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 22, 2016
“A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar…” (bar joke)

“A guy walks into a bar...” is a typical form of what has been called the “bar joke.” An grammar version is:

“A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.”

The joke was published in McSweeney’s on November 8, 2011.


Wikipedia: Gerund
Gerund (/ˈdʒɛrənd/ or /ˈdʒɛrʌnd/; abbreviated ger) is a term for a verb form that functions as a noun. In English, the term has been applied to -ing forms in certain uses.

Wikipedia: Infinitive
Infinitive (abbreviated inf is a grammatical term referring to certain verb forms existing in many languages, most often used as non-finite verbs. As with many linguistic concepts, there is not a single definition applicable to all languages. The word is derived from Late Latin [modus] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning “unlimited”.

In traditional descriptions of English, the infinitive is the basic dictionary form of a verb when used non-finitely, with or without the particle to. Thus to go is an infinitive, as is go in a sentence like “I must go there” (but not in “I go there”, where it is a finite verb).

McSweeney’s
SEVEN BAR JOKES
INVOLVING GRAMMAR
AND PUNCTUATION.
BY ERIC K. AULD
[Originally published November 8, 2011.]
(...)
5. A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

Twitter
Brendan
‏@bnowlin
“A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.” http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/seven-bar-jokes-involving-grammar-and-punctuation
9:19 AM - 8 Nov 2011

Fritinancy
December 08, 2011
Into a Bar
There’s a fun little language meme over at alt.usage.english Google Group: bar jokes that hinge on fine points of grammar, punctuation, and linguistics. Peter Moylan of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, got the ball rolling on November 22*:
(...)
5. A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, planning to drink.

Google Books
Grammar for Grown-ups:
A straightforward guide to good English

By Katherine Fry and Rowena Kirton
London: Square Peg
2012
Pg. 262:
5. A present participle and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

Twitter
Gotham Writers
‏@gothamwriters
5. A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.
http://ow.ly/Z6AwA
10:30 AM - 5 Mar 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Saturday, October 22, 2016 • Permalink