The “the” Is The Thing

The “the”

Dance well
and you’ll be
invited to the party

The dance is only for
invited knots of people who jest,
you see, or the knot perplexes

Joke well
and the joke
won’t dance but laugh
to itself

— Douglas Gilbert

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4 thoughts on “The “the” Is The Thing

  1. An excellent example of proper ‘the’ usage. I suppose I need to practice my dance, then maybe I’ll be invited to the dance. I’ve never been very good at getting the joke though, most of them go right over my head, haha…

    1. Thanks. Yeah I don’t always get a joke either and when I tell one I don’t always get to point quickly. The worst thing is when I tell a sight-gag and they’re not looking. There’s a very old joke where you say you went to the doctor and you said, “Doc, it hurts when I do this.” And then you’re supposed to visually demonstrate a physical motion like swinging a painful looking arm which you quickly and painfully do with a grimace. And then you’re supposed to say what the doctor said. So it’s supposed to be:

      “Doc, it hurts when I do this.”[visual]
      “Don’t do dat.” [voice change][dat= “That” (dialect)]

      It’s the quick surprise in the delivery that matters, not the content. And you’re supposed to build the sympathy and tragedy first for the audience. People ask me when exactly do you begin to lose your audience’s attention. I say, right after I say the word “hello”.

  2. Ha! I remember that ‘dont do dat’ joke. You made me giggle. But you’ve kept my attention for quite a long time now. I suppose you didn’t start with hello though…it started with a poem on that on that old poetry board and now we’re still talking all these years later. You may be one of my longest friendships so that means you’re pretty awesome.
    But at work I get lots of the sane jokes over and over. Like when you take the table their ticket/bill and they say they didn’t want to enter them lottery drawing. (As if you were giving them a lottery ticket) haha…or the old “see ya next year” when is near new years time. I hear the same jokes over and over…

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