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56 responses to “Weekly Whimsy”

  1. wilful

    If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

    Dearest creature in creation,
    Study English pronunciation.
    I will teach you in my verse
    Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
    I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
    Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
    Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
    So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
    Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
    Dies and diet, lord and word,
    Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
    (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
    Now I surely will not plague you
    With such words as plaque and ague.
    But be careful how you speak:
    Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
    Cloven, oven, how and low,
    Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
    Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
    Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
    Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
    Exiles, similes, and reviles;
    Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
    Solar, mica, war and far;
    One, anemone, Balmoral,
    Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
    Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
    Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
    Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
    Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
    Blood and flood are not like food,
    Nor is mould like should and would.
    Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
    Toward, to forward, to reward.
    And your pronunciation’s OK
    When you correctly say croquet,
    Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
    Friend and fiend, alive and live.
    Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
    And enamour rhyme with hammer.
    River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
    Doll and roll and some and home.
    Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
    Neither does devour with clangour.
    Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
    Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
    Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
    And then singer, ginger, linger,
    Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
    Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
    Query does not rhyme with very,
    Nor does fury sound like bury.
    Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
    Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
    Though the differences seem little,
    We say actual but victual.
    Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
    Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
    Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
    Dull, bull, and George ate late.
    Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
    Science, conscience, scientific.
    Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
    Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
    We say hallowed, but allowed,
    People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
    Mark the differences, moreover,
    Between mover, cover, clover;
    Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
    Chalice, but police and lice;
    Camel, constable, unstable,
    Principle, disciple, label.
    Petal, panel, and canal,
    Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
    Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
    Senator, spectator, mayor.
    Tour, but our and succour, four.
    Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
    Sea, idea, Korea, area,
    Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
    Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
    Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
    Compare alien with Italian,
    Dandelion and battalion.
    Sally with ally, yea, ye,
    Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
    Say aver, but ever, fever,
    Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
    Heron, granary, canary.
    Crevice and device and aerie.
    Face, but preface, not efface.
    Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
    Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
    Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
    Ear, but earn and wear and tear
    Do not rhyme with here but ere.
    Seven is right, but so is even,
    Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
    Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
    Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
    Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
    Is a paling stout and spikey?
    Won’t it make you lose your wits,
    Writing groats and saying grits?
    It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
    Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
    Islington and Isle of Wight,
    Housewife, verdict and indict.
    Finally, which rhymes with enough,
    Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
    Hiccough has the sound of cup.
    My advice is to give up!!!

  2. su

    A lovely spoken word performance by Peter Mulvey: Vlad the Astrophysicist.

  3. Mercurius

    @1 I only skimmed the middle section, but I
    thoroughly thought it through, though tough.

  4. Pavlov's Cat

    Wilful, that’s just wonderful.

    Less ambitious books is a bottomless well of possibility, isn’t it.

    Wuthering Modest Elevations
    A Garage for Mr Biswas
    My Okay Career
    Long Day’s Journey into Evening
    Who’s a Little Nervous About Virginia Woolf?

  5. Mercurius

    @2, on a space theme, here is a worthy observation about walking on the moon, from Brian Regan:


    (Soz for bad image quality, but the lulz are the audio…)

  6. sg

    His Beige Materials
    The Similarity Engine
    The Little Book of Communist Motherhood Statements
    Fields, Factories and Workshops
    The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Wavering Agnostic

  7. CMMC

    Moby Duck

  8. wilful

    In the great russian literature field:

    dustups and makeups
    whoopsies and smacks
    the not very bright guy

  9. Pavlov's Cat

    Where Cherubim Fear to Tread
    To the Buoy
    The Puppy of the Baskervilles
    The Semi-A
    rid Land
    Prince Lear

  10. Ambigulous

    The Old Man and The Puddle
    Gulliver’s Plans
    The Possibly (Mildly) Offensive Verses

  11. Ambigulous

    Overcharging and Mediocre Dinner Seating Arrangements on the Orient Express

  12. Ambigulous

    Lady Chatterley’s Husband

  13. Ambigulous

    The Utter Importance of Being Humorous

  14. dexitroboper

    The St Trinian’s animation test brought to you by the sadly now late Ronald Searle.

  15. su

    Kerfuffle and relative calm.

  16. su

    Of Primate Obligation.

  17. Terangeree

    Near the Beach.

    Hamlet, Baronet of Denmark.

    Pickwick Tissues.

    Difficult Times.

    The 38 Steps.

    The Elderly Man And The Large Pond.

    Not Very Noisy On The Western Front.

    The Octacameron.

    … and for a movie …

    The 6⅞ Samurai.

  18. Link

    The Quite Nice Seeds of April
    When the Greenwood Grins
    The Tibetan Book of Near Death
    TAFE Book of English Verse
    In Search of Woy Woy
    The Iliad of Wayne
    In Search of the Ordinary

  19. Robert Merkel

    Now, for a vaguely sci-fi bent:

    An Orange Pendulum.
    2001: A Space Excursion.
    The Small Magellanic Cloud Effort.

  20. Terangeree

    Nub of Tenebrosity.

  21. Robert Merkel

    Misbehaviour and Chastisement.

  22. Terangeree

    Departed with the weather conditions.

  23. dexitroboper

    2001: A Postcode Oddyssey

  24. dito

    Fellini ate the other half

  25. Terangeree
  26. Terangeree

    The Big Snooze

  27. Andyc

    The Assistant Manager Of The Friendship Bracelets

  28. dylwah

    The Stumps Trilogy
    the Somewhat peckish caterpillar

  29. Charlie

    @7: ‘Moby Duck’…… I believe that is the Kiwi edition.

  30. Terangeree

    Brave New Room

  31. Alex

    Guy standing in a gluten free grain field gently encouraging children not to fall off the cliff.

  32. Wantok

    My neighbour came off his ladder whilst pruning (no injury) ; his wife said ‘he did a Molly’: and so our language evolves.

  33. Ootz

    100 Years of Bacchanalia
    The Gutenberg Quark
    The Self of Small Things
    The Lavatory of Babel
    The Tree of Woman

  34. dylwah

    Salmon Fishing in the Back Yard
    The Pamphlet
    Thus Muttered Zarathustra

  35. Ootz

    Terangeree, LOL – with your talent you should approach a publisher. Are you any good with graphics for covers?

    #26, that is what the flick version became wherein all the naughty parts got removed. IIRC Bogie did The Maltese Lesser Kestrel and Rabat before that.

  36. Ambigulous

    Darkness at 10.38 pm, AEST.

  37. Terangeree
  38. Terangeree

    20,000 Leagues Under The River.

    Marquis Kong.

    Farenheit 423.

  39. Ootz

    How about #LessInflaminatoryNetworks Lawn Ornament War ’11

  40. Link

    Hitch-22 was a title born of the silly word games we played, one of which was “Titles that don’t quite make it,” among which were A Farewell to Weapons, For Whom the Bell Rings, To Kill a Hummingbird, The Catcher in the Wheat, Mr Zhivago and Toby-Dick, aka Moby-Cock. And, as the not-quite version of Joseph Heller’s comic masterpiece, Hitch-22. Christopher rescued this last title from the slush pile of our catechism of failures and redeemed it by giving it to the text which now stands as his best memorial.

    <a href="http://salmanrushdie1.tumblr.com/&quot; <Rushdie on Hitchens, FEBRUARY 2012.

  41. Pavlov's Cat

    Ootz @ #33: ‘The Tree of Woman’, a less ambitious version?

    O RLY?

  42. Ambigulous

    Pavlov’s Cat – loved “To the Buoy” and “The Puppy of the Baskervilles”.

    @#41 O RLY?

    Less ambitious: T ULLAMARINE?

  43. Ootz

    Yeah, lost the focus on ‘less ambitious’ and got carried away being too complicated (there was a nonsexist joke intended, but I may dig a deeper hole for myself trying to explain). No harm intended, however, I’ll submit to self flagellation for punishment.

  44. Mindy

    Attempted Murder on the Orient Express
    Near Death in the Clouds
    War and Ceasefire
    Brideshead Repainted
    Hitchhikers Guide to the Solar System
    Mister and Commander
    For the term of his semester

  45. Terangeree

    The Tuppeny Musical

  46. fmark

    The grapes of irritation
    Of mice
    Love in a time of tinea
    Ten hours of solitude
    A cup of tea at Tiffany’s
    A passage to Southampton
    Parva Carta
    Lady Chatterley’s distant acquaintance
    Darkness at night
    The postman doesn’t deliver to this part of town
    The cheeky verses

  47. skepticlawyer

    The True Story of the Kelly Club

  48. drsusancalvin

    I Can Walk Through Puddles.
    Black Prettiness
    The Faraway Shrub

  49. Ambigulous

    East of Pambula

    The Year of Living Circumspectly

  50. alfred venison

    dear editor
    in a related key:-
    symphony no3 in eflat: ‘the erotica’
    piano sonata no23 in fminor: ‘a passion-on sonata’
    opening overture: ‘1812 for tschaikovsky’
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  51. dylwah

    Mr Venison please accept this lol as a token of my appreciation.

    All along the wall
    Rock around a few minutes
    Happiness is a warm lasagne.
    General Accord
    tangled up in a colour
    Highway 60
    Like a rolling ball.
    when Billie Joe McKallister looked off the Tallahatcie (sic) bridge.
    Minor deamon gate drive.

  52. Terangeree

    Goldilocks and the Three Irish Wolfhounds.

    Revolution Number 8

  53. pterosaur

    The Day of the Dahlias

  54. Ambigulous

    What a delightful Whimsy. It minds me of how much greater fun a sing-along around the piano is, rather than listening in to songs on the wireless. Perhaps Grannie was right about that after all?

  55. Terangeree

    12 Slightly Miffed Men

  56. alfred venison

    dear dylwah
    i’ll meet your brace and offer in reply:-

    ‘extenuating circumstance’ marches 1 – 5
    ballet en deux tableau: ‘the wrong of spring’
    symphony no9 3/4: ‘the unbegun’

    symphony no8 in eflat: ‘symphony of 999’
    piano sonata no14 c sharp minor ‘the moonshine sonata’
    ‘the moet & pheasant’ overture (mmmm)

    tondichtung fuer grosser orchester: ‘so spat zarathustra’
    ‘the goldbrick variations’
    ‘iphegenia in brooklyn’ (opera in 5 acts after kletzmer)

    symphonic poem: ‘in the steppes of central australia’
    string quartet in d minor: ‘life & the maiden’
    symphony no4 in c: ‘poem of ekky’

    ‘rhapsody in beige’, ‘an american in kabul’, . . .
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison