Friday, 12 September 2008

I Love the English Language

Susan over at the Books and Writers Community posted a short poem using the words "baited breath" in an ingenious fashion; she got the poem from the World Wide Words site, which has a page devoted to weird words.

My uncle at Snail's Tales, when I forwarded the list to him, replied:

Here is a challenge: write as long a sentence as you can using as many words as you can from this list.


I took him up on it right away - oh the joy of playing with words! - and herewith please find my sentence (I didn't use any Q, U or X words, and used only those words with which I was familair on sight, and did not need to run to the dictionary for. There were quite a few words that seemed familiar, but which I wasn't really sure how to use. All the words from the list have an initial capital):

Abigail and her Attercop Absquatulated with my Bezoar, the Blackguards, and it was utter Balderdash because they were Bankrupt so I couldn’t Blackmail them, the Blatherskites, and I was so filled with Blood and thunder that I Bloviated and wrote a Bodacious Blurb about the Boondoggle, upon which they called me a Bootless Brobdingnagian and a Cad, and then Cadged my Didgeridoo – such Cheapskates they were that they rode down a Cataract instead of hiring a Charabanc down to the Cadastral of Cockaigne; what a Cockamamie way to travel I called out, and tried to perform a Deasil charm on the rest of my Tawdry possessions, including my Gaberlunzies, realizing of course, that all this may sound like Codswallop to you, but when you’ve been a Coopering Cyborg with a Coxcomb as long as I have, then you’ll realise how frustrating it is to be Discombobulated and Flabbergasted by such a Flapdoodle and such Flibbertigibbets; Mimsies not half as smart as Dumbledores, who only steal other people’s Doohickeys for fun and not for the profitable purpose of Dracontology and delight in Ensorcelling Funambulists such as myself, who speak Franglais and are therefore only slightly different – why should we, who only wish for peace in the Eyot of Gallimaufry, free to count our Ells, Gadzooks! why should we, I say be subjects for such Folderols, such Foofaraws, such Houghmagandies, such Higgledy-piggledy Hobbledehoy Hocus-pocus, I ask you, I mean are we Gowks, are we Gremlins, are we Garblers, and it’s not even Guy Fawkes night yet you Jackanapes, you could at least wait until all the Humongous Gazebos have been closed, I mean we’re only Haggard residents of the same town, living in the same Ice houses, just trying to earn a bit of Hearth-money, just trying to pass a few days of peace in our Inglenooks, how can you not see this, is such Hokey-pokey, such Hornswoggling Ingrained in your Gorbellied natures, are you so Janus-faced you think that with a bit of Jiggery-pokery, a little Gobbledygook and some Jingoism you can become all Hugger-mugger with those Haberdashers you are so in awe of, those men who are so Lackadaisical in their work that they Lollygag all year long and then when summer ends they get into such an Ishkabibble that they fall all over themselves in their Ha-has for shame that they have not enough wares to provide for their own daughters’ Handfastings; these are the Jocund Katzenjammers that you Malapert Mugwumps would try to help, causing such Kerfuffles and Malarkeys among those of us trying to earn an honest living, whether myself or those who seek a peaceful town in which to practice their Leechcraft – aye, you Namby-pamby Nincompoops, you Ninnyhammers, you Popinjays, you are barely Nescient of their presence, yet those are the same men you seek out for Opodeldocs, for a bit of Pinchbeck for your Oxters, a Paregoric, a Rebarbative, a Palimpsest, anything to keep you from entering your Sarcophagus early; as I say you don’t even wait for autumn to come or Wassail or even Saturnalia with its Lollapaloosas and its Subfusc Willy-nilly Rambunctious goings-on, no you Pettifogging Tatterdemalions assault us in the middle of summer, like common Scofflaws and then you Skedaddle in a Sennight, well I tell you I’ve had just about enough of this Skulduggery and these Shenanigans, you Scallywags, it’s giving me Tintinnabulation here in my Incarnadine Lagniappe and I won’t put up with this Rigmarole any longer, it’s utter Poppycock, so Oyez! I’ll get on my Onomasticon – that was a nice Onomatopoeia, no? – and, since from here I can see a lovely Panorama, including the Pantechnicon and the Vomitorium, for once and for all we’ll deal with this Scrimshaw, you Oafs, and there’s no point looking Mesmerised as though I was casting an Ombre, I’m not some sort of Valetudinarian Velocipedist, I won’t leave until this is done, call me Mundungus, call me Sesquipedalian, call me Twitterpated, but I sense a certain Serendipity in all this, for among my Paraphernalia this morning I found my Seersucker pants – the ones that only weigh one Pound – and it may be Pusillanimous of me but those are my lucky pants, and it would have been Preposterous to appear before you without pants, then who would call who Zany, but I’d better get to the point or we’ll be here ‘till Yuletide, so my offer is this: on Maundy Thursday we will not Spifflicate, there will be no Lycanthropy – you there, stop being a Wiseacre! – we will form a Tontine, and each of us will be bound by the agreement – I don’t care about your Triskaidekaphobia you Will-o’-the-wisp! – and once every Syzygy, as I am Yclept Deniz, we will gather at Pall-mall and have a Picayune discussion about any terms you may wish to change, any Spondulicks or Truckles but we will not Mithridate over Trebuchets, no sir, and call me Panglossian but it will be superb.


I never thought I would use Will-o’-the-wisp in the prejorative...

8 comments:

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Here is mine. Much shorter, of course.

Ye Olde Batte said...

It was delightful to read, but I don't think a run-on of that length can truly be considered a single "sentence." In that, your uncle's is superior. On the other hand, yours is more readily understood, alhough I do think you stretched a few points to their most extreme possibilities. One last criticism from the English teacher: Did you realize you had misspelled "pejorative?"

Morgiana Halley

Deniz Bevan said...

Oops! on the misspelling... I had more fun trying to use all the words I knew - I didn't even think of keeping it to a "normal" sentence length... Thanks for reading!

Adam Heine said...

Wow, Deniz, that's impressive!

Trisha said...

Okay, I admit I haven't read this...but it's a pretty cool idea! hehe. and I noticed some interesting words, including popinjay!

Deniz Bevan said...

Oops! Typo in the word "familiar"!

Nick Wilford said...

Fantastic! As a connoisseur of weird words I found it very entertaining. I based my A-Z on weird words and picked out one that I had used. I'll have to check out that website!

Deniz Bevan said...

Glad you liked it, Nick!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html