HeiDeas is having its second anniversary, and hh is celebrating with her Third Annual Simpsons St. Patrick’s Day Linguistic Round Up. One of my favorites, from Principal Charming (1991):

Bart has written his name in 40-foot high letters of dead grass on the school field, in sodium tetrachloride. Skinner is outraged. He says, “The sheer contempt demonstrated by this incident makes me wish I could pull the trusty board of education out of retirement.” His gaze falls wistfully upon a paddle in a case behind glass.

(Category: pun.)


  1. I seem to remember at school a teacher referring ominously to a rather large piece of wood (I think it was a T-square for use on the blackboard) as the ‘board of education’. That would have been 1960s-70s.

  2. Sodium tetrachloride? Can there be such compound? Carbon tetrachloride, yes.

  3. David Marjanović says

    Sodium tetrachloride? Can there be such compound?


  4. *Stares blankly*
    *Thinks hard*
    (Category: pun.)
    *Slaps forehead*

  5. michael farris says

    To me, the humor isn’t the pun which is very, very old. I remember from elementary school that it wasn’t unusual for ‘board of education’ to be printed on paddles (obviously still in the days when teachers could administer corporal punishment).
    The humor is a) Seymour’s hopelessly out of date and b) he’s probably never recognized the pun.

  6. paperpusher says

    apropos, I recall a highschool teacher commenting on student notepassing: “I’ll give you a paradox: if you pass, you fail.”

Speak Your Mind