0

So, I was at the bar last week,

Behind the bar they have these signs with jokes on them. One of them said "If your drinking to forget, please pay me first"(This isn't the question, I get this joke).

Somebody at the bar, noticing it, said to the bartender: "I don't have a drinking to forget, but if I did, what about it?".

The bartender, looked confused, and then the guy pointed to the sign. The bartender still didn't get it, and he laughed at her.

But I didn't get the joke either. This sentence doesn't make any sense to me. Why is it funny?

  • 1
    The only thing I see is a spelling error: it should be you're. But the sentence doesn't make sense with your, so I don't see why it should be funny. Apparently, this person at the bar chose to read your as a possessive: whose drinking? Your drinking. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Aug 13 '14 at 16:49
  • 2
    I'm guessing you have to have thrown back a few for that to be funny... – Kristina Lopez Aug 13 '14 at 16:55
  • 4
    @Cerberus- I think that's it. "your" as a possessive means that "drinking-to-forget" must become a noun phrase, but then there's no verb. Replace "drinking-to-forget" with "car" for illustration purposes: "If your car, please pay me first." The customer's comment is pointing out that this makes no sense: I don't have a car, but if I did, what about it? It's a very weak attempt at humor while pointing out the your vs you're typo. – Jim Aug 13 '14 at 17:01
  • I don't think this is a bad question. Although, it has need of a proofreading. While that'd be generally forbidden on ELU, this seems to be a valid exception. – SrJoven Aug 13 '14 at 19:09
  • @SrJoven What do you mean it needs proofreading? You mean it should be tagged as such? Or that I worded it inadequately? – Cruncher Aug 13 '14 at 19:12
9

He was pointing out the incorrect use of your vs. you're. The sign uses the possessive your, indicating that they're referring to a "drinking-to-forget" that somebody owns, rather than the contraction you're which would be correct, i.e. "If you are drinking to forget...".

  • Ah okay, I can see why that's kind of funny. It's a little obscure though. – Cruncher Aug 13 '14 at 17:15
  • 2
    @cruncher it's supposed to be a little obscure. it's the kind of "joke" a grammar-obsessed person tells to feel superior, because they know it should be you're. if the other person doesn't get it, even better. – user428517 Aug 13 '14 at 18:09
  • 1
    It's not superiority, it's basic English and any native English speaker should be embarrassed to get this wrong. – Iain Holder Mar 26 '16 at 17:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.