Present Imperative and Talking Sense

He Was Particular.

Conductor (to man smoking) This is not a smoking car, sir; I shall have to ask you to put the cigar out, if you intend to remain here.

Smoker — “Shall have to ask me, eh; shall, future tense. All right, conductor, when you get ready to ask, I’ll be ready to comply.

Conductor (getting impatient) I shall have to insist, sir.

Smoker — “Shall” again; more futurity. Puff, puff.

Conductor — Remove that cigar instantly, sir, or go into the smoking car.

Smoker — That’s better. Present Imperative. Out of the window goes the cigar. Please be more careful next time, conductor, in using the English language. I am a trifle particular on points of grammar. — Yankee Blade.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Dec 1, 1889

Education.

A Detroit father has undertaken a little educational venture with his own children, and he is trying to make them give up slang, the use of ambiguous terms of speech, and other peculiarities affected by the youth of the day. Yesterday he asked his 14-year-old daughter where a certain book was,

“I haven’t an idea, papa!” answered the young lady.

“I didn’t ask you for ideas,” said the father sternly, “just answer that question. Where is that book?”

“On the top shelf in the book case,” recited the girl, like a parrot.

“Can you reach it?”

“Yes, sir.”

There was a long silence, the father waiting impatiently for the book. At last he asked:

“Nell, why don’t you bring it?”

“Bring what, sir?”

“The book I wanted.”

“You did not say you wanted me to get it,” said the daughter in a demure voice, “you asked me if I could reach it.”

“Nellie,” said the father, as a smile made his mustache tremble, “get that book like a good girl and bring it here to me.”

“Now you’re talking sense, pop; I’ll have the book in a jiffy,” and she whisked off after it, while the father sighed over the degeneracy of the times. — Detroit Free Press.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Dec 1, 1889

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