Posts Tagged ‘word play’

Words of wisdom

August 8, 2017

He who knows, and knows he knows…
He is a sage: Seek him.
He who knows, and knows not he knows…
He is asleep: Wake him.
He who knows not, and knows he knows not…
He is a child: Teach him.
He who knows not, and knows not he knows not…
He is a fool: Shun him.

IMG_8438

Votive stones, Thotti Kallu Falls, 160717

Al Literation

December 25, 2014

A friend said, “More than a decade ago, you’d produced a list of ‘Arab’ words, beginning with ‘al’….let’s have the list again!”

I can’t remember too many, but here are the ones that I do:

Lazy Arab: Album
Arab who prefers men: Algae
Arab who likes stripes: Algebra (the interesting part about this word is that, truly, the world algebra is derived from the word for zero…al-sifr..you can “hear” the “siro” becoming ziro, to zero, to zebr to gebr to gebra!)
Arab who likes the US (is there such a one?) Alabama (or even Alobama 😀 )
Arab losing hair: Alopaecia
Arab unity: Altogether
Arab twins: Alike
Arab tragedy: Alas
Arab world: Alok
Arab memory loss: Alzheimer
Nearing the end of this list: Almost Done!

I’m amazed that my friend remembers this list… I’d tot(al)ly forgotten it!

Microbes are insults…

July 23, 2014

My friend Pallavi Singh wrote on FB:

“Aahna, upset with me over something, said with intense emotion – Mamma, you are a GERM!!!!
I suppose our paranoia over children catching infection is sooooo great, they believe these micro-organisms are truly abhorrent! I had a tough time stifling a chuckle!”

To this, a friend of hers. Avi Pratap Singh, responded with some verse from Ogden Nash:

“A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.”

So ofkose I decided to do my own Nashery:

“When for angry denouncement
She looks for a suitable term,
Yet feels it too rude
To call you, outright, a worm…
She’s understood now, that
She can say,”Oh,you GERM!”

Which verb?

July 15, 2013

DSC03389

You’ve seen a Chipping Sparrow;
It’s a common bird, I know.
But if, instead of chipping,
You find the sparrow hopping…
What verb would (with “sparrow”) go?

English pronouciation…

January 5, 2012

To my American Friends, this is in British English, so clangour and colour are not typos 🙂

English Pronunciation
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.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

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.
Fe0ffer 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!!!
English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

(Source: Source: http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2011/12/23/english-pronunciation )

Pun fun time again….

November 27, 2011

Some old some new….

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir
Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned
out it was only an optical Aleutian .

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because
it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be
stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for
littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in
Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are
looking into it.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said
to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the
Grass.’

15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small
medium at large.

16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a
seasoned veteran.

17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s
your count that votes.

19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine .

21. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The
stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion
allowed per passenger.’

22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and
says ‘Dam!’

23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire
in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you
can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The
other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a
root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

26. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope
that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten
did.

Another one for the April 1 bird chucklist!

November 14, 2011

A friend just sent me a message (probably typed on a tiny mobile keypad) that he’d seen a black naked oriole. He hurriedly corrected the ‘k’ to ‘p’ but I requested him not to, this bird seems far more interesting!

Pun-jab….

April 13, 2011

Thanks to Vittal for these!

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’

15. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

16. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion

Friends enrich me…

February 19, 2009

I am lucky in my friends, and each enriches me in different ways. Here’s one treasure from kshah:

“The Farmer’s Life”
via Futility Closet by Greg Ross on 2/19/09

The farmer leads no E Z life;
The C D sows will rot;
And when at E V rests from strife
His bones all A K lot.

In D D has to struggle hard
To E K living out:
If I C frosts do not retard
His crops there’ll B A drought.

The hired L P has to pay
Are awful A Z, too;
They C K rest when he’s away,
Nor N E work will do.

Both N Z can not make to meet,
And then for A D takes
Some boarders who so R T eat
& E no money makes.

Of little U C finds this life;
Sick in old A G lies.
The debts he O Z leaves his wife.
And then in P C dies.

– Anonymous, The Indiana School Journal, August 1886

I had written something on the same lines:

Allergy in the Letters of the English Alphabet

September 4th, 2007

Feeling rather down tod-A
My ear looks as if it was stung by a B
Out of my right eye I can hardly C
Normally my health is robust and har-D
Health issues don’t normally trouble m-E
Today, though, I feel blind and d-F
All because of this aller-G
Which, in Africa, I seemed to c-H
Sometimes it’s itching of the I
My mood is just as blue as a J
My spirits on the floor along with the par-K
This allergy seems to have come from L
With sneezing, and lots of phl-M
I wish the doctor would tell me wh-N
I will be myself again! O,
That I could be bright once more, and hap-P
The doc would get a big than-Q
If I could keep from sneezing for 30 minutes…or an R
That would make me happy,I conf-S.
I would behave with sani-T
Instead of hiding from people’s v-U
As I scratch and look comtase and hea-V
(Hmm..I don’t know how to write the W
In my literary muscles I don’t have fl-X!)
I feel so dull..I wonder Y
I have to struggle with this aller-Z…
(Oh, do you pronounce Z as Z?
OK, there’s that pronounciation, instead!)

(http://deponti.livejournal.com/279380.html)

I like word-play…and letter-play, too! 🙂

A word like “heard” is for the birds…

February 18, 2009

From “The Language Instinct” by Steven Pinker

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead–
For goodness’ sake don’t call it “deed”!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

Thanks to anushsh for lending me this tough-to-read but interesting book!