I need to rephrase a joke I found in an old collection of humorous short stories dated 1916.It reads:
"Among the new class which (1) came to a second-grade teacher, a young timid girl, was one Tommy,(2) who for naughty deeds had been many times spanked by his first-grade teacher."
1.Could I use "was assigned to" instead of the underlined verb? Is a class assigned to a teacher?
2.Is this all right instead of the second underlined part:"who for being naughty had been spanked by his first-grade teacher many times before."What synonyms could I use instead of "spank"?
3.Is there a dressing-room in today's school? (in my joke this is where the boy is given the correction...)If not, what's its current equivalent?
Thanks a lot,
I think "assigned to" is a good alternative to "came to".
The second part uses an old-fashioned word order, but the tense doesn't need to be changed. Although the word "spank" is still widely used, corporal punishment isn't. You could leave "spank" in there and everyone would understand it, although some of the less innocent might be reminded of certain sexual practices. For an alternative, I'd suggest "punish" as a good neutral word.
I'm not certain what a dressing-room might be. It could be what we used to call a "cloakroom", where students hung their coats (but the word is now used as a euphemism for the toilets), but I think it might be where the students change into and out of their sports kits -- in which case we call them the "changing rooms".
1: I agree with Rewboss about "assigned".
Originally Posted by tangelatm
2: I don't know about US schools ("1st grade" suggests a US context), but in the UK a child that young wouldn't be spanked now (if you're updating the joke). I'd say something more gentle, like 'ticked off' or "told off" or "given a talking to".
3: I've never known a school that had a dressing room (except schools that have a theatre, with a dressing room (where actors get changed and made-up). Old houses used to have dressing rooms (a little room next to a bedroom): Bertie Wooster would sleep in his chamber, and Jeeves would help him dress in his dressing room. I don't see what this has to do with schools.
There might be a pun here. A "dressing down" is another way of saying a "ticking off". The headmaster of the school, in a fit of wit, may have set aside a room for dressing pupils down, and called it "the dressing room".
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