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- (idiomatic) A situation that is badly planned, or illogical.
- Mayor Smith's new traffic rules were a bad joke.
- 1938, Robert William Seton-Watson, Britain and the Dictators: A Survey of Post-war British Policy, page 172:
- Disarmament must be total, or it was merely "a bad joke".
- 1940, Kenelm Foss, Here Lies Richard Brinsley Sheridan, page 267:
- But it is amusing to note that whenever the tables were turned on him he would mutter "Bad joke. Very bad joke".
- 1986, Claire Martin, The Legacy, page 25:
- "Maybe it was just a bad joke. " "A bad joke!" shrieked David, and in that cry I could detect all the ancient terrors of Israel.
- 2002, Mikael af Malmborg, Bo Stråth, The Meaning of Europe, page 272
- It is this bad joke which, almost one century later, was still to be found in the government's campaign of 'We are Europe' from 1994.
- 2002, Cesar Guerra, Hijacked to Havana!, page 28:
- This might be a bad joke for you and to the people able to fly back to Miami but this is not a joke at all to me.
- 2007, Keith Olbarmann, Countdown with Keith Olbermann