A really popular type of English joke starts with 3 people walking into a bar... like the joke here (which is one of my favourites).
A proton, an electron, & a neutron walk into a bar...
The proton orders a shot, drinks it, then takes out his wallet and pays the bartender. The electron orders a shot, drinks it, then takes out his wallet and pays the bartender.
The neutron orders a shot, drinks it, then takes out his wallet... but the bartender stops him and says, "Wait...for you, no charge!"
This joke is a pun: it uses 2 different meanings of the word CHARGE. To understand this pun, we need to understand the meaning of 'charge' when we use it to talk about money AND its meaning when we use it to talk about scientific particles such as protons, electrons, and neutrons.
PROTONS have a positive charge;
ELECTRONS have a negative charge;
NEUTRONS are neutral neither a postive nor a negative charge, so they have no charge.
MONEY uses the word charge to mean the price to be paid for something. We can say no charge when we give a customer something for free, without asking for payment.
So when the bartender says NO CHARGE to the neutron, he's talking about these 2 meanings:
the neutron's neutral charge
the price he's asking the neutron to pay (which is nothing).
So, that’s one of my favourite English jokes. Do you think it’s funny, too? Do you have any favourite jokes in English... or your own language? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments!