Whenever I hear people blame How surnames get above their station, Moving up to the front of the name, In a silly fads and trendy game, Calling kids Odell or Mason, Grabbing at that Moon Unit fame That should belong to Jane and Jason – I love to contradict their claims By pointing out it’s nothing new for names – So Franklin, Brooke, and Harrison, Meet Stanley, Joyce, and Allison, Who opened up the door through which you came. But then, there’s many a fam’ly brand Whose use ain’t so contrived or underhand – For they themselves derived from the font-side, Taking a personal name, and riffing free, Which now completes its jaunty ride By cycling back as Price or Tiffany, with not a shred of shame. For labels, monikers and nicks, Are simply anything that sticks – And who wants kids to all be called the same ?
It’s intersting to consider how the four different types of surname get reappropriated: Patronymic-names (f’instance Anderson, McKenzie, Fitzpatrick) are obvious candidates, being already based on a forename. Location-names (like Milton, Beverley, Beckett) would be grabbed if they were thought to sound nice, much like India and Vienna would be later, though now with an added dash of exotic. Nickname-names (say Wiley, Swift, Armstrong) are slower to be taken up, but not unheard-of. Occupation-names (such as Parker, Smith, Marshall) are the most surname-sounding, and their recent large-scale take-up could well come to define this century, just as the Victorians are associated with naming their daughters after flowers and gemstones.
By the way…if Tinker Dill was a character in Lovejoy, Taylor Dayne was an 80s pop star, Soulja Boy is a rapper…then I guess it’s only a matter of time before we can say Hello Sailor…
Okay, hands up, gang If you’ve ever used Or even heard of an ‘interrobang’ ? You all look confused at the word, And I’m not surprised – Of all the useless punctuation, This abomination ought to be the most despised. But no !, the lumpy little toad Is honoured with a Unicode While decent, necessary marks Are offered no abode. These silly lexographic larks With so little help to bring Are only ever seen in fun – I mean, has anyone The slightest need to use the bloody thing ? And meanwhile, I cannot succeed To get the Question-Comma recognised – Now there’s a boy whose time has come, Who should be common, should be prized, Instead of all this tweedle-dum, Mine shows our queries raised at root, Mid-flow, when the clauses overshoot, – Not waiting till the line has passed And a full-stop hoves in view at last, To plonk our squiggle over, when the matter’s all-but moot. Yet ev’ry font is pleading ignorance, And claiming that they’re full – Such bull ! So now my hybrid glyph won’t stand a chance. But why ?, when they’d gladly welcome-in the clang Of that bastard offspring runt, the Interrobang !? Oh…oh yeah… I guess I kinda coulda have used one there…
And yes, I did use ‘to hove’ in the present tense, and I’m not even sorry.
That said, Wiktionary suggests that it was a separate Middle English verb roughly meaning ‘to linger’ which became conflated with the past tense of ‘to heave’, and which also spun-off ‘to hover’.
Meanwhile, here are a few examples of what we we’re missing. Sort it out, Times New Roman !
I know I’m good, But I’m all alone in knowing, And there’s no-one shares my faith – I know I’m good, But my telephone ain’t blowing, And there’s no-one cares one-eighth. I never meant to be misunderstood, But I can’t make them see it in my neighbourhood – And even a tree has less dead wood than me, I’m just a nobody who knows he’s good, But the world will not agree. I know, I know, I could be mad, A self-deluding lad, Who wants to crow – I guess I’ll never let it go…
I know I’m good, But I’m all Jack Jones to know it, And I’m very out of style – I know I’m good, But my funny bones don’t show it, When they just can’t raise a smile. I don’t understand why I’m misunderstood, Like it’s all been planned thus for my victimhood – From Sunderland to Hollywood, I’m panned I’m just a jobbing hand who knows he’s good, But the world is old and bland. I know, I know, I could be wrong, Deluded all along – But I don’t think so. I’ll guess I’ll give it one more go…
She surely must notice the calls that she’s missed, Though why is she never beside her phone ? I know that she knows it, that I exist, But thinks, it would seem, that I’m best left alone. Though when we’re together, I swear, it’s a blast, But then ages shall pass before the next – I sometimes wonder if this is the last, Our drifting apart by unanswered text.
I mean, I’m not a creeper of anything, Only call her once a month, I’d say, To let her phone complete it’s ring And leave a message that she’ll never play. Is that too much ? I don’t want to stalk her, I don’t want to be a pest to her, or a joke. I know she playfully calls me a ‘talker’, But that’s cos it’s always so long since last we spoke.
It’s not that she is intention’ly callous, But she lives such a busy, busy life – There’s a definite absence of malice, Although the accidental malice of absence is rife. I wish I had so very many friends That I wouldn’t mind to lose one to the void – But I must work and must defend My ev’ry closeness, forever a bit paranoid.
I know, I know, we all must share, And we’re kind-of lucky to get her. She’s like a cat, with her tail in the air Who sometimes allows us to pet her. We’re only friends, I say with a shrug, At her drive-by company – I must learn not to let her bug, To ignore her ignoring me.
This music’s sounding all the same, I must be getting old. The world moves on, the fashions change, The old and known is new and strange Of course, there’s nobody to blame, But now it leaves me cold And really, this makes perfect sense – I’m not the target audience.
But once I was the golden ears The bands would want to please – A guarantee my mind would blow Each time I tuned the radio I thought, despite the passing years, Their music tastes would freeze – But tunes move on – the future tense Will be the target audience.
This music’s sounding all the same, I must be getting old. And all the tunes from in my prime, I’ve heard them far too many times. We get one chance to play the game To be that big and bold – And then, we’re drifting in suspense, Beyond the target audience.
When we are puzzling out our teens, The music matters most – It comforts us, it lights our fires, It strengthens us against the liars But as we grow and gain the means, We can’t remain its host – It must move on, to bring defence To a brand new target audience.
Caterpillars – nibble-eaters, strictly vegetarian, They’re chowing-down on sugarbeats and duckweed and valerian, And wriggling over cabbages and newly-vented greens, Just look at all the gaping holes between the runner beans ! Row on decimated row beneath their painted swarms – Lord knows how they cling on through the heat and thunderstorms ! Where are all the hungry songbirds ? Browse my salad bar. Where the parasitic wasps ? Attend my buffet car ! Of course, there are the carnivores, though these are very few, And they eat ants and aphids, not the skipper or the blue. But still, a few round here would be a very welcome catch, Though they are in the Tropics, nowhere near my veggie patch. But there is hope – I hear that sometimes, when the Moon is full, That certain individuals, on a whim, turn cannibal, Gobbling up their brother bugs, to dominate the leaf, And sucking all their insides out like so much bully beef. But otherwise, my only cheer is hearing on the vine How numbers of the butterflies are in a steep decline – A shame the planet has to burn to stop their constant graze, But you should see the harvest that I’ll reap those final days !
Incendentally, the carnivorous caterpillars mentioned are the Hawaiian pugs.
My snaps are all insects On pavements and plants – I’ve nothing with humans, But dozens with ants – A phone-full of photos, A life at the lens, Where people are strangers And beetles are friends. I’m charting my neighbours, Who live near my pad, And where six legs are better And two legs are bad – A pocket of pixels, A screen’s-worth of lights, To magnify midges And marvel at mites. Their silence attracts me, Their beauty astounds me – I don’t even notice The people around me. But people are easy, Not tiny and shy – They’re big and they’re messy, And can’t even fly.