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8 Memorable Rejection Letters

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These letters may not have contained the responses the candidates were hoping for, but a memorable rejection is better than a cold form letter from Human Resources.

1. THE THING ABOUT PRINCETON LAW...

Letters of Note

There was just one problem with this application. Mr. Wax had better luck with Harvard and went on to a successful law career.

2. LORNE MICHAELS WILL GLADLY ACCEPT YOUR NUDE PHOTOS.

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That SNL producer Lorne Michaels would make a joke out of rejection seems only appropriate. At the start of the series, he crafted a very tactful way to let wannabe writers know that he could not accept their unsolicited materials. But added that “we at NBC’s Saturday Night do accept and read nude photographs.”

3. MR. ROGERS MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER.

Letters of Note

Mr. Rogers was a man of many talents. He could rock a cardigan like no one else, and he even had a way of making saying “no” sound like a victory. In 1990, he wrote an entirely adorable letter to a six-year-old fan who had asked to come visit the set. The young boy’s father was so moved by the letter, that he actually sent one back to let Fred know how his son “was beaming all afternoon the day he received it,” to which Mr. Rogers yet again replied!

See Also:10 Rejection Letters Sent to Famous People

4. YOU CAN’T GET MAD AT MAD.

Letters of Note

You’d better have a sense of humor if you want to write for MAD Magazine. And even more so if they don’t want you. Editor Al Feldstein turned saying no into an art with his wittily crafted rejection letter, which encouraged writers to send even more material … so that it could be rejected again.

5. SUB POP THINKS YOU’RE A LOSER.

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As the record label that “discovered” bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Flight of the Conchords, the executive mailboxes at Seattle’s Sub Pop records were understandably overflowing with demo tapes back in the late 1980s and 1990s, making it impossible for each submitting artist to receive a personal response. So the label came up with a better idea: treat every artist they were rejecting in the same manner, and be sure to address them all as losers.

6. THE MUMMIES TELL SUB POP TO F*** OFF.

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California garage band The Mummies were really just following protocol when they opted not to allow Sub Pop to use one of their songs as part of the label’s “Singles of the Month” series. And told them so in no uncertain terms.

7. HILLARY’S JUST NOT THAT INTO JASON SEGEL.

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After almost singlehandedly reviving The Muppets, one can’t blame Jason Segel for believing he could achieve anything. But he set his sights a bit too high when he asked Hillary Clinton to appear in one of his upcoming projects.

8. THE NEW YORK TIMES DOESN’T LIKE A**HOLES.

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Will Georgiades may not have impressed Adam Moss enough with any of his pitches in 1996 to land an assignment, but his work clearly made enough of an impact to prompt Moss—then editorial director of The New York Times—to offer some unsolicited advice: “‘A**hole’ is just never going to fly here.”

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Welcome to the Dull Men’s Club, a Group Dedicated to the Blander Things in Life
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Do you enjoy such riveting activities as sitting on porches, sorting loose change, and watching paint dry? If so, you may qualify to join the Dull Men’s Club. Co-founded by Grover Click, the Dull Men’s Club celebrates the aspects of life some may call boring. The group comprises thousands of members with colorful hobbies like collecting milk bottles, appreciating roundabouts, and tracking down water pumps. There are even some women in the group, one of whom spends her free time following brown street signs.

Great Big Story recently spoke with some of the club's most ordinary members. After watching the video below, you can read about more spectacularly dull hobbies—like drain spotting, traffic cone collecting, and mailbox photography—here.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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