From Bad to Verse: Crusty Fellow, Sole Man, Inglish Iz Phunny

Crusty Fellow 

The creator of Domino’s has died
The cause remains a mystery
No matter, though, it’s over now
And he’s a pizza history 

 

Sole Man 

A Frenchman invented sandals
And sold them in his shop
I think you might have heard of him
He was known as Philippe Philoppe 

 

Limerick (Untitled) 

It’s true that old Harold Lloyd Baker
The greatest impressionist faker
Is going on trial
For copying style
And being a big Monét maker 

 

Inglish Iz Phunny 

If I were learning English
I’d surely climb a wall
Cuz the only rule in English
Is there’s no rule “a tall”

Consider how our language
Has silent letters, damn!
If you’re a foreign learner
You’ll cramn for each examn

Some other silent letters
Like the ‘b’ contained in ‘doubt’
Are sometimes present in a word
And sometimes get left oubt

But if you think our language
Is not so very dumb
Consider these inconsistencies
That must be overcumb

A ‘g’ is soft like ‘j’ in jet
And hard like what’s in gum
But how do you distinguish
When saying ‘sum’ or ‘some’?

There’s ‘flower’ that rhymes with ‘sour’
But ‘sour’ not with ‘your’
And ‘cower’, ‘tower’, and ‘power’ don’t rhyme
With ‘slower’, ‘blower’, or ‘grower’

‘Through’ and ‘though’ and ‘trough’ and ‘bough’
Sound nothing like each other
But ‘father’ sounds just like it’s spelled
So shouldn’t also ‘muther’?

Aha, you say the secret is
The end each word has got
To which I’d simply point you to
‘Sought’, ‘caught’, ‘got’, ‘yacht’ and ‘taut’
‘What’ ?!?

Also pronunciations
Can change with use, I’ve found
‘Does’ rhymes ‘fuzz’ when it’s a verb 
But with ‘goes’ as a plural noun

When it comes to similar endings
Consider ‘bussed’ and ‘cussed’
The pair suggesting spellings
One simply cannot ‘trussed’

Two familiar words like ’her’ and ‘were’ 
Both make good rhymes with ‘fur’
But partner spellings ‘here’ and ‘we’re’ 
Each sound much more like ‘fear’

The ‘w’ is silent in ‘answer’
As well as the ’m’ in ‘mnemonic’
And also the ‘le’ found in ‘spelled’ (think ‘weld’)
I find that most ironic

Consider ‘word’ and ‘herd’ and ‘blurred’
And ‘heard’, ‘preferred’ and ‘third’
Each ending rhyming perfectly
Isn’t that ‘absurd’?

And what about the pair of ‘c’s 
Contained in the word ‘access’?
The first is spoken as a ‘k’
The second one an ’s’

‘Pneumonia’ doesn’t need its ‘p’
We could drop the ‘e’ in ‘true’
But if a ‘gnu’ should lose its ‘g’
The ‘nu’ would be Greek to ‘yu’

There’s also ‘tear’ which can rhyme with ‘fear’
Or rhyme instead with ‘fare’
But also please explain why ‘here’
Does not make rhyme with ‘there”

In the end I’d say our language has
A very strange design
Or maybe it makes perfect sense
And the problem is all ‘mign’ 

 

Kevin Ahern is an Oregon State University professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Biophysics. In his retirement, he writes verses. 

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