Sunday, March 4, 2012

Have I always been a bit queer?

Recently we had to post five things no one knew about ourselves. I, going first, was unclear as to how detailed the reveal should (or could) be, and I wrote in broad strokes.

Hunting for a topic that started with Q, I copied all the Q words out of my beloved Flip Dictionary and tried making sentences will only words beginning with the letter Q. I had a good time.

This led me to elect to reveal two things about myself that you may find a bit queer. I've loved reading the dictionary ever since I was young. When I have some spare moments, I like to pick up a jar or bottle, say of shampoo or toothpaste, and scan the front and back labels for words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. It's easy to find A and B and C. D and E. F is fairly common. Y and U are usually useful. But Z and J are hard to fine. I guess I don't know anyone who uses Just for Men.

Here's a few Q sentences I cobbled together.
The querulous queen quarantined the quibbling queue.
The queer question quieted the quixotic quill-wielder.
Quench your thirst, he quipped.

And here is a favorite poem from the Waldorf Book of Poetry, called
Mrs. Grammar’s Ball,

Mrs. Grammar once gave a fine ball
To the nine different parts of our speech
To the short and the tall
To the stout and the small,
There were pies, plums, and puddings for each.

And first little Articles came
In a hurry to make themselves known;
Far A, AN, and THE—
But none of the three
Could stand for a minute alone.

Then adjectives came to announce
That their dear friends the Nouns were at hand;
Rough, rougher, and roughest,
Tough, tougher, and toughest,
Fat, merry, good-natured, and grand.

The Nouns were indeed on their way,
Tens of thousands and more, I should think;
For each name that we utter,
Shop, shoulder, or shutter—
Is a Noun; lion, lady, or link.

The Pronouns were hastening fast
To push the nouns out of their places:
I, thou, he, and she,
You, it, they, and we,
With their sprightly, intelligent faces.

Someone cried, “Make way for the Verbs!”
A great crowd is coming to view.”
To light and to smite,
To fight and to bite,
To be and to have and to do.

The Adverbs attend on the Verbs.
Behind, as their footmen, they run;
As thus, “To fight badly”
And “Run away gladly”
Show how running and fighting were done.

Prepositions came, in, by and near,
With conjunctions, a wee little band,
As either you or he
But neither I nor she,
They held their great friends by the hand.

Then, too, with a Hip! Hip! Hoorah!
Rushed in Interjections uproarious.
Dear me! Well-a-day!
When they saw the display,
“Ha! Ha!” they all shouted out, “Glorious!”

But alas what misfortunes were nigh!
While the fun and the feasting pleased each,
Pounced on them at once
A monster-a Dunce!
And confounded the nine parts of speech.

Help Friends, to the rescue! On you
For aid Verb and Article call.
O give your protection
To poor interjection,
Noun, Pronoun, Conjunction and all.

I salute all word freaks.


  1. Great Q sentence, and I love the poem!

    I'll read anything: shampoo bottles, cereal boxes, candy wrappers, etc. Not to find letters, but just because I'm always looking for something to read!

    Word Geeks unite!

  2. I love the poem. I don't read dictionaries, but I love listening to the words people use and the conversations writers give to characters on TV, and even songs. I love listening to the accents, the word combinations, the different ways people combine words or even change typical metaphors (like that song that talks about "falling head over feet" rather than "head over heels").

  3. Love the poem, and also your Q sentences. I don't tend to read dictionaries, but my first thesaurus fell apart through overuse. I love the subtle differences between supposedly 'synonymous' words - and the joy of finding exactly the right word.