How many linguists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but he must consult the Oxford English Dictionary.
An illiterate chief goes to London with his barely literate translator and gets constipation. He sends the linguist to the drug store to get him some remedy. The linguist arrives at the store and says to the attendant
"Master, problem. Big Chief, No shit"
The attendant understands, gives him some medicine and tells him the dosage. Next day the linguist returns to the shop and tells the attnedant"
"Master. Still problem. Big Chief, small shit".
The attendant decides to up the dosage a bit. Next day, the linguist comes running to the shop in panic.
"MASTER! MASTER! BIG PROBLEM. BIG SHIT, NO CHIEF!
The linguist's husband walked in and caught his wife sleeping with a young co-ed. He said, "Why, Susan, I'm surprised." She bolted upright, pointed her finger and corrected him, "No. I am surprised. You are astonished."
An English professor complained to the pet shop proprietor, "The parrot I purchased uses improper language."
"I'm surprised," said the owner. "I've never taught that bird to swear."
"Oh, it isn't that," explained the professor. "But yesterday I heard him split an infinitive."
A linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn't a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative."
A voice from the back of the room retorted, "Yeah, right."