Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Loathsome Linguist (inspired by Stephen Fry and linguistics class)

Silas Silverbottom, a sniveling snob,

was erudite and eccentric and efficacious at his job.

He was lauded as a linguist, though pedantic in his speeches;

he was tough and pragmatic, and most punctilious when he teaches.

For nary a comma could be caught out of place

without poor Silverbottom turning slightly purple in the face.

A martinet was he, when it came to the rules of grammar;

after all, without rules, words would jumble in a chaotic manner.

Without the proper pauses at particular points of a line,

how was one to know to what end one’s thoughts inclined?

Alas, confusion would arise, as in innumerable cases,

and plenty could be prevented given the proper turns of phrases.

He frequently found, and shook his fist in his ire,

as if the universe against him did conspire,

outrageous uses of there, they’re, and their;

he wondered in fact how one could dare,

to obtrude upon the ear even more,

with the obnoxious abusing of you’re and your.

The malicious meanderings of thought from his students

made him condemn the poor creatures for their unwonted impudence.

Their fatal function, he often opined,

was to verbally vex him until he resigned.

But no such fortuitous fortune awaited the scholars,

for little did they know of Silas’s choler.

He could patiently withstand the deliberate danglings they made,

for none but he was in charge of their grade.

Admittedly, the tiresome trials by which he was plagued,

the nuances of language, which made their language vague,

did proffer to his pathetic existence,

a goal to be reached, with pluck and persistence;

for the ultimate aim towards which Silas did, and does still, aspire,

is to consistency in language, which communication does require.

It’s a curious conspiracy of the world thought he,

to denigrate the intricacies of thought, and thus to be

simplistic in one’s discourse, puerile in one’s speech,

bleak and barren, and, consequently, out of Literature’s reach.


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The Vowel Movement (inspired by my Children’s lit class)

It was National Letter Day and all the letters from A to Z

gathered, all 26, in what is called Alphabet City.

B chatted with C and F conversed with K

L avoided S, much to S’s dismay.

H and N found common ground

in complaining about the unnatural sound,

produced by X, who, they both agreed

was a terribly difficult sound indeed.

The vowels altogether, A, E, I, O, and U,

presented a united front to the rest of the crew.

The consonants took offense at this close knit group

who appeared, all 5, as its own little troop.

For the vowels had concluded before they arrived,

that their jobs often intruded in their personal lives.

They were frequently in demand throughout Alphabet land

so decided on this day to finally take a stand

voicing their concerns to the other letters, one and all,

to hopefully resolve the issue, and peace once again install.

E opened up the floor, being the most used letter

and so made his case, about which he was bitter.

He complained of overwork, and demanded recompense,

which he indicated made perfect sense.

So in the name of justice for the oppressed,

he concluded his speech and bowed to those addressed.

The consonants were angered by this turn of events

and insisted on taking offense.

No amends would they at all concede

for they worked as hard as the vowels indeed.

Such being the case, no one knew what to do

or could find a way to resolve this issue.

The consonants worried about a strike by the unhappy team,

for what chaos would ensue, they couldn’t even dream.

Y of a sudden had an idea, a pretty good one he thought

which he immediately told to the rest of the lot.

To lessen the burden on letters such as E

They could divide up responsibility.

They could be both consonant and vowel and see

how much less of a burden work would be.

He could begin, and by doing his part

could show the others how best to start.

Y then, as both consonant and vowel, thus became

respected by all and gained much fame.

Now the letters of the city could once again play,

frolic, make merry, and enjoy their National Day.

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July 26, 2013 · 7:50 pm