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Writer's Corner The pen is mightier than the sword. Post your writings or poetry. Also discuss your favorite authors or books.

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Old 10-26-2006   #1
EmperorChaos
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Love for a Language Lacking

Love for a Language Lacking

Some find the English language boorish and droll;
Others think its lexicon coarse and dull.
Though the verbs are plagued with irregularities,
'Tis rectifiable -- simply as the Shakespearean Laertes.
Some things are humourous to the point it's absurd.
For example, why's 'abbreviation' such a long word?
Logically, there'd be inconsistencies with a word's origin;
But that's to be expected with so many of them foreign.
Sadly, many berate the beauty of the English language
And this is nothing of which I can assuage.
But with careful consideration and an adverb or two,
Some phrases are beautiful, I think; don't you?
So what if this poem strains itself for a rhyme?
Who cares if I lack proper meter and time?
This piece is meant a testament to one of the greats.
English, of course, not William Butler Yeats.
Though containing funny words like "squish" and "jelly",
Many still master the language such as Byron and Shelley.
Even still, and at my best, I cannot relate
The desecration that I unwaveringly hate
Unfairly forced upon a language so great.
I can only sit back, watch, and unceasingly wait
And continue to hope that it won't be too late
to save such words from an untimely, undeserved fate.
I've written a lot and could surely write more
But I'd probably drone on and continue to bore.
So then let's stop and even the score.
But first I must say one thing, not two, three, or four:
Who was it that stated the perfect phrase "cellar door"?
Why J. R. R. Tolkien it was, undoubtedly, fo' shore.

-=-=-

Comments and critiques appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2007   #2
Kali
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Re: Love for a Language Lacking

i think that my main problem with this piece is that it's telling me what to think about the english language, as opposed to challenging me with the possibilities, problems etc that come with it.

it reminds me of 'a dreadful language' but that piece is great in the way in which it challenges to reader to figure out what's going on with the words, giving hints here and there on pronunciation without ever sacrificing lexical strength for rhetoric rhyme - both seem to come so naturally to the writer's pen that one can't help but laugh at what he's saying.

and that's the interesting thing with any poems that use a sort of meta-language, especially when considering the problems in english: in order to express them, you have to use the same language whose problems you're dissecting.

i gave something like this a go a short while back, not so much with the language itself, but our use of it and its comparison with tesol learners [http://mb.sparknotes.com/mb.epl?b=12...6&w=1#1256350]. it was an interesting task to try out, i must say - and it's funny how much you learn about the way in which language is actually used versus the way in which we teach how it should be used when you properly consider our spoken forms with those of second language learners - and it is, of course, second language learners who come across a lot of the problems your piece addresses.

the only problem there, then, is that if you want your audience to be those to whom it applies - they're not likely to much understand some of the lexis as it is, let alone where half the names and quotes are coming from.

i don't think that is your audience, though - i don't even think your audience is people who typ lik ths on msn. i think it's people like us who laugh at them - and that's all well and good, seeing as there are funny bits in here. but it took a while to get to your talk of this desecration of language. it's as though you started, and weren't quite sure where you were going, but eventually ended up writing about something you actually care about, and it's that wait, and the tailing off, that's the problem here, i think.

it feels like a lot of separate jokes thrown together - one-liners, if you will - surrounding an actual issue.

i'd suggest taking that issue, and considering it seriously. i've seen some interesting poetry done with the analysis of txt spk, and it's something i've looked at myself but not yet done anything with [i'm trying to find the link to a piece a friend of mine did using txt spk but can't find it anywhere i'm afraid].

anyhoo, just a few thoughts.
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