Friday, 27 December 2013

The Elements of Eloquence (The Pantomime Version)

Computers, tablets, mobile apparatuses,
news, lies and facebook statuses,
wit, punch lines and feeble ends,
friends, acquaintances and facebook friends,
address them with a TRICOLON,
and they'll all wonder what you're on,
that gives your news such strength and clarity,
at least they might if they're not lacking charity.

The ISOCOLON'S much more subtle,
not like to lead to a rebuttal,
join two statements both together;
"Share a status, boost an ego."
your friends might wonder whether
you've borrowed it from some amigo
"He takes a selfie on waking, a selfie when walking."
"And in the mirror, a selfie of taking a selfie of talking."

My favourite sort of sentence
 is the great SYLLEPSIS,
not likely to cause grammatical sepsis
make the first verb do for everything,
and then show no repentance;
"I put on the computer, a status on facebook, and a smile on your face."
And then, without a trace of irony;
"I took a hat, a coat, the dog for a walk, and an awesome selfie."
OK so it's not exactly Byron-y!

The POLYPTOTON gives rise to humour,
be careful not to start a rumour,
use a word with different parts of speech,
to touch those depths of silliness other sentences can't reach.
"Present me no presents,
for the only treat I ask is that you should treat me well,
and please use the swell
and please me when I hear you at the organ,
although I'll hear your pleas,
I'll never let you please me, here,
with  your organ's swell!"

The SYNECDOCHE requires one to become a body part,
if you can't it shows how dull thou art.
" What hand did this dreadful typo make?"
"Which finger touched the screen, which then auto-corwronged,
and lead my eyes to read this sad mistake?"

THE TRANSFERRED EPITHET requires you to apply
an adjective to the wrong noun, or at least to try,
"She typed the freezing text message in the church,
then dumped him creaking at the lychgate, and left him in the lurch."

If pointless negatives are your thing,
then the LITOTES's sure to bring
some comfort to your verse and prose.
"It would not be untrue to say I'm not tremendously pleased with my new profile pic."
It wouldn't be wrong to say that I never forgive bad speling. {sic.}

A sentence that is wrong but somehow right,
such that it does not induce emesis,
is that rather strange thing, the CATACHRESIS.
"I will speak mincepies but bake none"
said Nigella, which might have had her undone,
had she uttered it, without at first, having buttered it.

A sentence form much less calamitous,
is the really great CHIASMUS
"Type no blame and blame no typo."
is an example of how one might go,
"Ask not whether your friends have liked your status,
but if you have liked the statuses of your friends."
What you're doing here is making pompous statements,
then taking them, reversing them, and gluing them at the ends.
to form a whole that sounds uplifting,
it isn't, but it sure pretends!

The MERISM breaks things into its parts,
if you wish to sound legalistic and ignore people's hearts,
the BLAZON lists a lover's features,
as distinct from those of other creatures.

SYNASTHESIA smells the sights
of melodies, rumbling and bright.

If you put words in an order that's odd,
you run the risk of offending God,
this oddness is called HYPERBATON,
and nobody wants that on
their conscience, so think,
write before you drink:
opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose, noun.
A lovely, small, old, round, red, Bulgarian, polyester, toy clown.

ANADIPLOSIS repeats the last word of a sentence
as the first word of the next,
"Sinners must seek repentance.
repentance leads to forgiveness.
Forgiveness leads to love.
Love leads to ...
APOSIOPESIS is three dots
which lead the imagination
to lots and lots and lots
of wrong conclusions
and unhealthy, sad delusions,
"I like you..."
Does that mean the opposite is true?
HYPOTAXIS is just long windedness;
it has no place on Facebook,
but if you want to have a look
read a Classical English novel,
and then proceed to grovel
at the brilliance
of the great sub clause,
which has stood the test of time
with such resilience.

And that is the end of eloquence,
explained in rhyme,

My December 27th, silly pantomime.

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