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?

  • 2
    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. Aug 13, 2014 at 16:49
  • 2
    I'm guessing you have to have thrown back a few for that to be funny... Aug 13, 2014 at 16:55
  • 5
    @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, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


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, 2014 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, 2014 at 18:09
  • 1
    It's not superiority, it's basic English and any native English speaker should be embarrassed to get this wrong. Mar 26, 2016 at 17:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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