Friday, September 8, 2006

Limericks and road trips.

I'm travelling this weekend to Chicagoland. I've packed Seize the Daylight for the trip; this is my light road-worthy reading. My hardcover copy of Team of Rivals is too darned nice to risk scuffs in the totebag.

Today, I did a brief presentation titled "13 feet in 5 minutes." It went fairly well. The topic was Limericks. This gave me reason to read one of my favorites, by an anonymous person:
There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger.
In the presentation, I emphasized the use of limericks as a vocabulary-building exercise; that reading limericks by authors who use obscure words can make those words lodge more permanently in your gray matter, and that by writing them you can revitalize little-used words in your own memory when trying to complete an interesting rhyme. I also learned a few things about the topic myself. I never imagined, for example, that my favorite could be disparaged due to having a repeated word and a sight rhyme - the best sort of limericks avoid these crutches, according to some. For more fun - and very original limericks, see The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form.

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