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 April 14, 2018
“I wanted to marry my jailed English teacher, but you can’t end a sentence with a proposition”

Students studying English are often told not to end a sentence with a preposition. The joke about a jailed English teacher having a marriage offer to “end a sentence with a proposition” was posted on the newsgroup alt.humor.puns on June 17, 1994.

A popular form of the joke was posted on Reddit—Jokes on October 30, 2015:

“I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of prison, but apparently you can’t end a sentence with a proposition.”

“Did you hear about the English teacher who went to jail? She got a full sentence,” “Prison may be just one word. But to others, it’s a whole sentence” and “When prison inmates fall in love, do they finish each other’s sentences?” are similar jokes.


Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
The Invention of the Transistor
Mike Coleman
6/17/94
The Invention of the Transistor.
The transistor was invented on Christmas Day, 1948, by Emily Gerund, a high school teacher of English from Boston, Massachusetts, who was serving a 20 years-to-life sentence in the state penitentiary for throwing her husbandÕs coat under a speeding truck. (The judge was rather severe because her husband was occupying the coat at the time this event occurred.)

The Governor of the state owned an electronics firm and so was able to provide surplus vacuum tubes to the prisoners so that they could decorate their Christmas trees.  Now Emily had an extremely tiny tree, much too
small for a string of SV6Õs or even for a single QL4.  But she just happened to find some germanium crystals lying around.  She stuck three wires in each one and used them to decorate her tree.  She was quite surprised when after she completed the tree, it started picking up the ÒJack Benny Show.Ó The Governor, upon learning about this and realizing its implications, immediately rushed to the prison and offered the English teacher a full pardon in exchange for the manufacturing rights to her invention.

ÒOf course, GovernorÓ, she replied.  ÒIn this case, IÕll be glad to let you end a sentence with a proposition.Ó

Google Groups: alt.books.deryni
prepositions
Donald Lantzke
1/10/98
Oh well Susan, I’m going to unleash a linguist/english teacher joke upon you now.

An english teacher found himself doing a long stint in jail for some unspeakable crime. Then one of his fellow inmates made the suggestion to him that if he made amourous advances towards the prison warder’s wife, then she could secure him an early release. But the English teacher responded ‘I couldn’t possibly do that! You can’t end a sentence with a proposition!’

Google Groups: mn.humor
a few laffs from Joke A Thon
John N! Swegan
12/8/98
(...)
The transistor was invented on Christmas Day, 1948, by Emily Gerund, a high school teacher of English from Boston, Massachusetts, who was serving a 20 years-to-life sentence in the state penitentiary for throwing her husband’s coat under a speeding truck. The judge was rather severe with her because her husband was still in the coat at the time.

The Governor of the state owned an electronics firm and so was able to provide surplus vacuum tubes to the prisoners so that they could decorate their Christmas trees.

Emily had an extremely tiny tree, much too small for a string of SV6s or even for a single QL4. But she just happened to find some germanium crystals lying around. She stuck three wires in each one and used them to decorate her tree. She was quite surprised when after she completed the tree, it started picking up the Jack Benny Show.

The Governor, upon learning about this and realizing its implications, immediately rushed to the prison and offered the English teacher a full pardon in exchange for the manufacturing rights to her invention.

“Of course, Governor,” she replied. “In this case, I’ll be glad to let you end a sentence with a proposition.”

Twitter
Lain Hughes
@pumpkinshirt
The jailed English teacher offered parole if she’d have an affair with the warden?
Nope. She refused to end a sentence with a proposition.
9:28 AM - 11 Dec 2014

Reddit—Jokes
I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of prison…
submitted October 30, 2015 by barrbarian84[🍰]
...but apparently you can’t end a sentence with a proposition.

Twitter
Sebas
@OhLookBirdies
I wanted to marry my English teacher when he got out of jail, but apparently you can’t end a sentence with a proposition.
12:25 PM - 29 Oct 2015 (Posted after the above.—ed.)

Twitter
Best of Reddit
@BestoReddit
I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of prison… : ...but apparently you can’t end a sentence with a proposition.
9:38 PM - 29 Oct 2015

Twitter
John
@JFD1960
I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of jail.
But apparently you can’t end a sentence with a proposition
3:21 PM - 1 Dec 2016

Reddit—Jokes
I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of jail…
submitted April 27, 2017 by madazzahatter
But apparently, you can’t end a sentence with a proposition…

Reddit—Jokes
I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of jail…
submitted February 16, 2018 by madazzahatter
But apparently, you can’t end a sentence with a proposition…

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Permalink