charivarius

The Chaos (2012)

The Chaos (2012)
… inspired by Charivarius

Dearest sheep among the herds
Study how to use your words
I will show you in my verse
How your talk could not be worse
If you think think rhymes with tank
Or scared with lured, or stink with sank
For why, my mind has drawn a blank
Perhaps you have your friends to thank
And surely you are quite mistaken
Saying deez for these and shook for shaken
One wonders if you think you’re clever
Using whatevs in place of whatever
It’s that, and not dat. This, and not dis.
How many phonics classes did you miss?
The word dog is easy for you to say
But it is not spelled with a W or A
Three beats in probably, not 2 as in prolly
I LOL at the frequency of this childish folly
And let me treat this subject in kind
Pronouncing abbreviations, you will find,
Is merely the sign of a lazy mind
A consciousness that has reclined
So roflmao is not a word, nor a verb in any tense
(Nor is it a kind of holophrastically construed sentence)
Just as yolo and haxxorz, and all of 1337speak
Evinces only the fact that your mind is weak
And you always ask “really?” when given the facts
And, by the way, ask does not rhyme with axe
When speaking this poorly my nerves you do tax
Your syntax is senseless – it’s sense that it lacks.
The words their, there, and they’re they’re prone confuse
To learn their proper usage there they’re inclined to refuse
And, for the last time, these words you abuse:
Your does not mean you are – it is you’re you must use.
Too many times you mean too but write to
To express what you mean is too trying on you
You say I could of when you mean I could have
If you had the diction that I have, you would have
Remember this when you are chilling with peeps:
You’re just relaxing with friends, and Shakespeare weeps
And when you say my bad and not my mistake
You’re bad (not your bad), and your fluency - fake
Since bad is an adjective, not a verb or a noun
Your bad what? I wonder, with a prominent frown
Your bad ENGLISH is what! – and from a native speaker!
The future of eloquence has never been bleaker.

-(mt)

The Chaos

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
 I will teach you in my verse
 Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
 Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
 Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
 Just compare heart, hear and heard,
 Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
 Made has not the sound of bade,
 Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
 But be careful how you speak,
 Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
 Woven, oven, how and low,
 Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
 Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
 Missiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
 Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
 Solar, mica, war and far.

From “desire”: desirable-admirable from “admire”,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
 Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
 Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
 Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
 Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
 This phonetic labyrinth
 Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
 Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
 Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
 Blood and flood are not like food,
 Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
 Discount, viscount, load and broad,
 Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
 Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
 Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
 Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
 Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
 Would it tally with my rhyme
 If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
 Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
 Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
 You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
 In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
 To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
 Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
 We say hallowed, but allowed,
 People, leopard, towed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
 Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
 Chalice, but police and lice,

Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
 Petal, penal, and canal,
 Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
 But it is not hard to tell
 Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
 Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
 Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
 Pussy, hussy and possess,
 Desert, but desert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
 Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
 Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

“Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker”,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor”,
 Making, it is sad but true,
 In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
 Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
 Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
 Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
 Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
 Mind! Meandering but mean,
 Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
 Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
 Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
 Prison, bison, treasure trove,
 Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
 Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
 Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
 Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
 Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
 Evil, devil, mezzotint,
 Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
 Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
 Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
 Funny rhymes to unicorn,
 Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
 No. Yet Froude compared with proud
 Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
 Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
 Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
 But you’re not supposed to say
 Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
 How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
 When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
 Episodes, antipodes,
 Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
 Rather say in accents pure:
 Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
 Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
 Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
 Say then these phonetic gems:
 Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em-
 Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
 Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
 With and forthwith, one has voice,
 One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
 Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
 Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
 Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
 Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
 Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
 Puisne, truism, use, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
 Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
 Put, nut, granite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
 Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
 Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
 Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
 Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
 Bona fide, alibi
 Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
 Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
 Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
 Rally with ally; yea, ye,
 Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
 Never guess-it is not safe,
 We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
 Face, but preface, then grimace,
 Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
 Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
 Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
 With the sound of saw and sauce;
 Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
 Respite, spite, consent, resent.
 Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
 Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
 Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
 G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
 I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
 Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
 Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
 Won’t it make you lose your wits
 Writing groats and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
 Islington, and Isle of Wight,
 Housewife, verdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
 Finally, which rhymes with enough,
 Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup…
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

- Gerard Nolst Trenité (aka. Charivarius) (1922) 

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation – think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough –
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

—  “The Chaos”, G. Nolst Trenite, a.k.a. Charivarius