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...

5 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!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta read!
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • 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