OO is for Curloo, U is for Duv, O is for Swollo and Swon, my love. M is for Emerald – Pretty enough. F is for Fessant and also for Chuff. N is for Natcatcher, K is for Kwail, J is for Pijjon who’s bringing the mail. I is for Ider, R is for Ren, T is for Tarmigan – ta-ta, my hen.
Exclamations ! Provocations ! Explanations of excitations ! Some would say they’re overused, I disagree. Some I note refuse of late To punctuate their poetry – Not me !
Word elations ! Ejaculations ! Indications of stimulations ! The Spanish use them twice as much ¡ Caramba ! But are they just a crutch, dead weight ? Let context state the mood and timbre – Let our poems dance the samba…
Celebrations. Expectations. Declarations without notations. They feel as if they’re lacking, now… Too calm and bland. They need to somehow demonstrate The extra fate at their command, And make a stand !
Verbs in English are really German In how they like to behave – Especially when irregular, Which helps explain how give gives gave. So when a Norman interloper Such as catch is gadding about Well, either its past sees it catched up in logic, Or its sneaky imitation has caught us out. The way they are is how they evolved, And they’re simply something that must be learned. Yet even today, the strong turn weak, As learnt is ousted by the friendlier learned. Snuck may have sneaked in recently, But verbs have become less fraught – Where once they flied-out and grandstood, now Their work’s less overwrought.
Once we had foci, but now we have focuses. English loves plurals that all end in esses. Now, fungi and cacti are still in transition, Though not hard to see how conformity presses – The stylus of changes points only one way, From styli to styluses – esses must play ! Vortexes sweep aside vortices yearly, (Though axis-es point to a step-too-far, clearly, And hippos and rhinos are horrible messes If pluraled-in-full with their too-many esses. (And okay, they’re Greek, with their own rules for doubling – But that’s just the point, it’s just not worth the troubling !) Now look out for medias, datas and dices – For surely the way of agendas entices, And singular specie and crisie are coming – So sneer all you like about downing and dumbing, But language is fluid, and speakers make guesses, And boy !, our collective subconscious loves esses ! From alg-ay to alg-ee to al-jee to al-jees We’ll pluralise words as we jolly well please !
‘Yesterday’ is spoken ev’ry day, It’s just another word we say, It’s not pretentious, trite or queer. So it’s a yes to ‘yesterday’ – But very much a no-damn-way To ear-and-bile-molesting ‘yesteryear’ !
At some point in the future, I would have laboured ev’ry day – I would have gone to work and back, Is what I would will say. But further in the future, I would have been retired by then (But not yet will have go to God), And I can would be looking back And I will wondered yet agen At how such phrases once will sounded odd.
The Future Habitual aspect is a clause of speech that linguists insist does not exist.
Poison and venom – the diff’rence between them Is pedantry. Biologists may take exception, But only they should. Most of the rest of us navigate life Quite pleasantly With a definition that’s still close-enough To be good.
There are five times as many Yankees Speaking English as the English, So who’s English do you think will win ? Whatever the linguistic tankies wish, We’re just a little fish – Perhaps it’s time to take it on the chin ? Or, to be overt (and probably incite your wrath) – You do the math !
Ow !, that hurt. So stark and ess-less on the page, Just stoking up my British rage – Yet kids today are fine to say it – They don’t care, it’s just a thing you say, Like missing out the pointless yoos And adding honest zees That they know we’ll criticize – They choose to do it anyway, These wize-guys.
So what’s my beef ? Am I so shaky in my self-belief I have to wave my flag At quickening American ? Does my inner Anglo-Saxon gag And want to ban their New-World-ness ? Well, yes…I guess. But it’s all just arbitrary guff, And how long can I really bluff Until I must admit, their way makes sense ? Time to quit – don’t be a bore, For in this theater of war, My double els are no defense.
I know I have no chance tonite To tell the kids what they can say – Just as my teachers had no right To scold me for ‘okay’. But oh !, it hurts to hear my cherished forms Be cast away. Yet if the kids choose that instead of this, Well, who the hell am I then To dismiss them for their choice ?, As if I have a voice they’d listen to. So on they plow their furrow By their dollar, yard, and boro – For kids will always marvel at what’s noo.
I can assure you that it isn’t only Americans who can make wrath and math rhyme. There are so many other voices than RP, despite the OED’s attempts to pretend otherwise. By the way, I can’t help thinking the last line looks less New York and more Scottish ! I suppose I could say ‘nu’ instead, but I think that will lokk even stranger.