Pun Alley

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Secretaries and typists

By Dick Frank

On this day in 1829, William Burt patented a forerunner of the typewriter. The typewriter as we know it, came into being after further development. Even though the typewriter is now history, there are some interesting stories about those who pounded on the keys.

In the early days, the girl who operated the typewriter was also called a typewriter. “I say, George,” said the young business man to his friend, “where do you buy your typewriter ribbons?”

“I don’t,” replied the other. “I usually buy her flowers.”


Discovering yet another mistake in his letters, the enraged employer summoned his new typist.

“You came here with good testimonials, Miss Brown,” he barked, “and do you mean to tell me you don’t know the King’s English?”

“Of course I know it,” she replied indignantly, “Otherwise he wouldn’t be King, would he?”


Senior Partner: ”That new stenographer spells ridiculously.”

Junior Partner: “Does she? Well, if she does, it’s about the only word she can spell, so far as my observation goes.”

Putting stock in it

The stockbroker’s secretary answered his phone one morning. “I’m sorry,” she said, “Mr. Bradford’s on another line.”

“This is Mr. Ingram,” the caller said. “I would like to know if he’s bullish or bearish right now.”

“He’s talking to his wife,” the secretary replied. “Right now I’d say he’s sheepish.”


She’s a neat stenographer; before going home she puts the boss in his place.

An optimist is a man who marries his secretary thinking he’ll continue to dictate to her.

Stenographer: “Boss, will you advance me my next week’s salary?”

Boss: “Certainly not. I never make advances to my stenographers.”

Girls are like typewriters; press the wrong places and you get terrible words.

He was known in the office as most ungrammatical. Whenever he dictated to his glamorous secretary he ended his sentences with a proposition.

“Wonder why the boss keeps that stenographer, she can’t spell.”

“No, casting a spell is her strong point.”

A man spent three months looking for a suitable secretary because he knew it pays to have a good head on your shoulder.

Old typists never die, they just lose their justification.

The difference between a beautiful and a dumb stenographer is that you can fire the dumb one.

The book about Teflon contained no frictional characters.

Leprechauns make good secretaries because they’re great at shorthand.

Employer to newly hired typist: “Now I hope you thoroughly understand the importance of punctuation?”

Stenographer: “Oh, yes, indeed. I, always get to work on time.”


Down at the station house, a rookie cop hauled a large guy up in front of the sergeant. The man had a desk strapped to his back, was carrying a water cooler under his right arm, a typewriter under his left arm and was wearing a fax machine for a hat. “What’s the charge, Murphy’?” growled the crusty old desk sergeant. “Impersonating an office, Sir.


“I have to have a raise,” the secretary said to her boss. “There are three other companies after me.”

“Is that so?” asked the boss. “What other companies are after you?”

“The electric company, the telephone company, and the utilities company.”

Future secretary?

Kathryn’s 5-year-old developed a strong interest in spelling once she learned to spell STOP. After that, she tried to figure out her own words. From the back seat of the car she asked, “Mom, what does FGRPL spell?”

“Nothing,” Kathryn said.

Then she asked, “Mom, what does DOEB spell?”

“Nothing,” Kathryn answered. This went on for several weeks. Then one afternoon she asked, “Mom, what does LMDZ spell?” Kathryn smiled at her and said, “Nothing, sweetheart.”

The 5-year-old sighed and said, “There sure are a lot of ways to spell ‘nothing.’”


John’s job is in the Aerospace industry and it’s always been difficult to explain just what he does. He has tried several unsuccessful explanations before deciding to just be generic. When talking with a group of guys, he simply said, “Defense Contractor.”

The men nodded and John silently declared victory to himself. Then one of them turned asked, “So, what do you put up mainly? Chain link?”


The boss called his assistant into his office, waved a letter at him, and said, “I thought I told you to hire this new girl on the basis of her grammar?”

“Grammar?” said the office manager. “I thought you said glamour.”

Dick and his wife Jane live in Oak Run.