More English language lunacy: pronunciation poem from 1922

Many thanks to my son Tom who found yet another incredible testament to the sheer lunacy of the English language, in a poem written back in 1922 by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), a Dutch observer of English.

Poem about English language

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle, make the latter rhyme with eagle.

Trust a sensible, no-nonsense Dutchman to show us how ridiculous English can be…and I’m so glad to realise that it isn’t just me, but several other writers over the years, who have felt the same way.

Let me start the ball rolling here in 2018, with three areas of my home city, Milton Keynes, England:

Broughton (pronounced Brawton)
Woughton (pronounced Woofton)
Loughton (pronounced La-owton)

Enjoy…

Gerard Nolst Trenité – The Chaos (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse. [Read more…]

How to write political spin

You really can’t fail to admire the ways in which political journalists and politicians manage to write accounts of events and issues which, though vaguely accurate if you stretch your imagination, vary hysterically and often hilariously in how the subjects are portrayed.

political spin

Spin description of a prison sentence: a “holiday paid for by Her Majesty.”

What exactly do we mean by “political spin?”

According to our beloved Wikipedia

“In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]”

[Read more…]

What to write to overseas friends about Brexit…LOL

As we’re all wondering just what the hell will happen about Brexit to those of us who live in the UK, it can hardly be surprising that people living outside of the UK are utterly bewildered and wondering what even more about what will happen next.

I thought, therefore, that I would jot down a short, jocular poem (which you can sing to a favourite country music track, if you prefer) about Brexit to share when you’re emailing or texting your friends overseas. This poem will explain to them about as much as any of us here in the UK know.

Humorous poem about Brexit
THE BREXIT BLUES

(with apologies for a few expletives, but I have asterisked them.)

I got the Brexit blues, it’s giving me pain, danged Brexit
That Theresa May’s a star but she ain’t goin’ very far
‘Cos those good old boys called “Bruxellaires***
Got her right by her short hairs
And there ain’t nobody figures how she hacks it. [Read more…]

Why English is a lunatic language – listen, learn and laugh

Have you ever tried to explain to a non-native English speaker how pronunciations in English are, er, a little difficult to understand?

English language humour

I’m just going to stop here and let you laugh as hard as I did when I first listened to this…

Here follows the most delightful and funny exposé of English language lunacy that I’ve heard in a long time.

English language lunacy only needs a short introduction

[Read more…]

Jokes about poultry: feathered feasts on the menu

If you like poultry and eating it in good restaurants, as I do, you’ll love this small excerpt of foodie jokes from my eBook “The Food Lover’s Joke Book.”

chicken jokes

NASA: defrost the chicken first.

Les Volailles (Poultry)

Stricken chicken
In a small roadside bistro in rural Italy, two British tourists had pulled in to have lunch. Not wanting to admit that they spoke no Italian, the wife thought they’d be safe enough when they ordered “Pollo alla Ferrari.” It turned out to be chicken that had been run over by a sports car.

Cold turkey
A couple went to have dinner at a restaurant known for its house speciality, a turkey dish. “How exactly do you prepare the turkey?” asked the woman as the head waiter brought them their menus. [Read more…]

How to insult nicely in writing, with business jargon…

Jargon and slang as metaphors are wonderful tools to use if you want to insult or express rage in a business context without swearing or ranting.

business jargon and slang to use when youre angry

MBWA: Management By Wandering Around, suggesting that managers simply walk around rather than do their jobs properly…

Here is a selection for you to keep handy, excerpted from my jolly little book English Business Jargon and Slang…  [Read more…]

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