This was supposed to be a short post, but I'm already going on off on my tangents. The real purpose was to tell you a joke that Better Half told me when I brought him some analgesic tablets. (Actually, BrE uses the word tablet much more often where AmE would tend to use pill--but that's another tangent. Oh dear.) Here we go:
Why are there no headaches in the jungle?Americans cannot be expected to get that joke. And no one can be expected to find it particularly funny--but it is particularly punny. It relies on knowledge of (a) the word paracetamol, (b) how it's pronounced, and (c) that ate in BrE is often pronounced to rhyme with bet. That is, the answer is a pun on Because the paracetamol.
Because the parrots ate 'em all!
And why is that a relevant answer? Because paracetamol is what Americans generically call acetaminophen --though it's more commonly known in AmE by the brand name Tylenol. Both names, paracetamol and acetaminophen, are based on the description of the chemical components in the drug--they both make mention of the acet part. (I'm not qualified to comment any further on the chemical structure, so I'll stop before I make a mockery of pharmaceutical chemistry.)
Some BrE speakers will have come across acetaminophen in the White Stripes' song, 'Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine', which I particularly like for the rhyme:
AcetaminophenWhile I secretly enjoy them, I try to play it cool and roll my eyes when I hear puns like paracetamol = parrots ate 'em all. But I can't stop myself from expressing overt and enthusiastic admiration for tortured rhymes like that. Hurrah!
You see the medicine