Archive for the ‘Language Humor’ Category

How To Deal With A Stubborn Donkey (Limerick)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

After reading that the earliest use of “Proot” was found in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes,” I couldn’t resist writing this limerick:

If your donkey behaves like a mule
And is moving too slowly, your tool
To boost the beast’s speed
And get him to heed
Is shout “PROOT!” (That’s the “Stevenson rule.”)

UPDATE: It just occurred to me that I used the current Limerick-Off rhyme-word “Tool” in this limerick, without planning to. But that gives me a good excuse to remind limerick writers about my Limerick-Offs. Here’s the link to my “tool”-rhyme contest. The entry deadline is May 15, 2021 at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Parnassian Passion (Limerick)

Sunday, April 25th, 2021

Why am I first learning the word “Parnassian?” Oh well … better late than never.

I felt like a dolt and turned ashen
On belatedly learning “Parnassian”
Can mean poem-related.
My ego’s deflated…
But I’ll keep penning lim’ricks with passion.

Bamboozled By My Brain (Limerick)

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

In the course of my constant perusal
Of email, I learned a word: “foozle.”
Though I’ve read it means “bungle,”
My mind is a jungle.
So recall it long-term? Brain refusal!

*********

NOTE: No doubt limerick experts are tempted to tell me that Foozle and Refusal don’t rhyme because Refusal has an F at the beginning of the 2nd syllable. However, I’d argue that Refusal is pronounced like “Re fyou sal” or “Ref you sal” and therefore sounds different enough to be a rhyme.

To-Two-Too Much (Limerick) by Madeleine Begun Kane

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

“Two” is larger than one; less than three.
“Too” replaces your “also” with glee.
“Too” means “overly” too.
It’s too much? I’m not through!
Go to “to” to be done … and you’re free.

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: SINK or SYNC at the end of any one line (Submission Deadline: June 20, 2020 at 4 p.m. Eastern)

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using SINK or SYNC at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to PUNCTUATION, using any rhyme word. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best PUNCTUATION-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on June 21, 2020, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my SINK/SYNC-rhyme limerick:

I’m teetering right on the brink,
And it feels like my life’s out of sync.
I’m off of my feed.
So what do I need?
A shrink? Or another stiff drink?

And here’s my PUNCTUATION-themed limerick:

“You’ve a problem: You drink too much, pop.”
That comma’s essential – full stop!
Cuz without it the drinker
Is any old stinker…
And the bev’rage? Non-alcohol slop.

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Homonym Fun (Limerick)

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

I just stumbled onto the new-to-me word FRATER: the dining room or refectory of a monastery. (Yes, I should have known it from “fraternal,” but I didn’t.) And as soon as I realized it’s a homophone type homonym of FREIGHTER, I felt compelled to write a limerick:

Don’t confuse the word “freighter” with “frater.”
One transports you; the latter will cater
To cuisine-needs monastic.
(I doubt it takes plastic.)
I’ll postpone further lessons for later.

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: NOTE at the end of any one line (Submission Deadline: Sept. 28, 2019)

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using NOTE at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to GRAMMAR, using any rhyme word. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best GRAMMAR-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on September 29, 2019 right before I post the next Limerick-Off. (Due to my travel schedule you’ll have one extra week to submit your clever, polished verse.) Your submission deadline is Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my NOTE-rhyme limerick:

A man who was singing by rote
Kept hitting an out of tune note.
But nobody cared;
Instead, they just stared.
He was cute, which “earned” everyone’s vote.

And here’s my GRAMMAR-themed limerick:

A woman encountered an ad
Whose grammar was markedly bad.
So she dashed off a note
To the sponsor and wrote:
“Are you even a middle school grad?”

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.
To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Minding Eyes And Ears (Limerick)

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Thanks to Dictionary.com for inspiring this “eye-minded” limerick:

My husband Mark tends to be eye-minded.
As for me, I’m more aural and rhyme-minded.
While Mark will observe
Most sightings with verve,
I don’t, unless helpfully “high”-minded.

Irked By Acronyms (Limerick)

Monday, May 13th, 2019

JOMO is Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day, which prompted this acronym rant:

I’m annoyed by the acronym FOMO,
As well as its opposite, JOMO.
“Missing out” is MO’s meaning.
FO’s “fear.” Are you gleaning
That JO connotes “joy?” Kindly, NOMO!

(NOMO means “no more.”)

Go To Hell, Gabelle! (Limerick)

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Dictionary.com celebrated Tax Day today with this new-to-me word: Gabelle.

1 a tax; excise.
2 French History. a tax on salt, abolished in 1790.

Payers never respond with a smile
To taxes, which anger and rile.
Salty words greet gabelles;
Taxing salt rarely sells,
And in France it has gone out of style.

What Me? A Stickler?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

With language I’ve never been fickle,
But when told that I frequently stickle,
As I fight over usage
And language-abusage,
I’ll deny it as any tough chick’ll.

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: CAN at the end of any one line

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using CAN at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to GIFT-GIVING, using any rhyme scheme. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best GIFT-GIVING related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on May 27, 2018, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my limerick:

People often mix “can” up with “may,”
Never knowing which one they should say.
“Yes, you may?” “Yes, you can?”
Why not can it and ban
Their distinctions? The sticklers say “Nay!”

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Happy French Language Day!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Since it’s “French Language Day…” (March 20)

I once could speak French, but no more.
All its words fled my brain, though j’adore
Their pure tone — très charmant,
Which is just what I want
In la langue. Quel dommage mine’s so poor!

Limerick Gibberish

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

It’s Gibberish Day, which seems silly;
Throwing language around willy-nilly
Doesn’t make any sense
And it’s sickening. Hence,
Of such talk I’m constrained to speak illy.

So This Is My Limerick Q & A About Over-Using The Word “So”

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Dear Interviewees: Kindly stop using the word “so” at the beginning of your answers to questions.

Q: “Why do folks start their answers with ‘So…'”?
A: “So I guess that they use it for flow.”
Q: “Don’t they know that it’s wrong?”
A: “So their habit’s so strong,
     They believe that they sound ‘in the know.'”

A Word Lover’s Woes (Limerick)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

My hunger for words is voracious,
And I’ve just learned a new one: “fugacious.”
It means “fleeting,” I’ve read,
But it soon will have fled
From a brain insufficiently spacious.

Anti-Antimeria, No More? (Limerick)

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

A Slate language column by Katy Waldman has me re-thinking my anti-antimeria stance. (Antimeria is a “rhetorical device that repurposes a word as a different part of speech than usual.”)

Her column makes some solid points about antimeria’s advantages. In fact, the device may even prove to be handy for humor writing.

Katy’s viewpoint may generate frowns:
Turning nouns into verbs, verbs to nouns
Is extolled by that writer.
Though some may indict ’er,
The thought ain’t as bad as it soun’s.

Dictionary Day (Limerick)

Friday, October 16th, 2015

It’s National Dictionary Day, created in honor of Noah Webster’s birthday.

I attempt to learn new words each day–
At least one, sometimes two, but they stray;
Seems as new words are learned,
The old ones are spurned:
“You’re evicted!” those brain-hoggers bray.

Sanctioning The Word “Sanction” (Limerick)

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The word “sanction” is terribly flawed
Cuz its usage goes well beyond broad.
If you say that my act
Has been sanctioned, redact:
Did you penalize me, or applaud?

Fun With Language (2-Verse Limerick)

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Fun With Language (2-Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Is there any original pun?
Is there wordplay that’s never been done?
With our language so strange
There’s unlimited range
To be playful, inventive, have fun.

We are homophone/homonym rich.
(Though ad hominem hits make me twitch.)
And later or sooner
The likes of Rev Spooner
Bewitch with the swull of a pitch.