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

  • Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
  • Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
  • Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
  • Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • 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