Monday, 11 May 2009

Opposites

Some words are not designed to be negated. Or positivified. (Nor are words like positivified supposed to be made up, I suspect). It is my understanding that the great PG Wodehouse invented the word 'couth' as the opposite of 'uncouth', a word which had never had its positive connotation used before. Such are the wonders of the English language.

Anyway, here is a poem where all the uns and dis's and ins and the like have been removed: enjoy!


A very Descript Man

I am such a dolent man,
I eptly work each day;
My acts are all becilic,
I've just ane things to say.

My nerves are strung, my hair is kempt,
I'm gusting and I'm span:
I look with dain on everyone
And am a pudent man.

I travel cognito and make
A delible impression:
I overcome a slight chalance,
With gruntled self-possession.

My dignation would be great
If I should digent be:
I trust my vagance will bring
An astrous life for me.

by J H Parker

3 comments:

Working mum said...

Very clever and amusing. Now the words have provenance, they are part of the English language. How terrific is that?

Philip S said...

I think it would only be solent to outfer from this that the rules of English usage are far from delible.

Catharine Withenay said...

WM - I love the way English (indeed, all languages, but I am only capable of using the one) evolves over time, constantly adding new words and losing others.

As Philip S demonstrates beautifully ... !!

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