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posted
quote:
Jiggery-Pokery
Anthony Hollander
Two bards in one
Worked their brains in a storm

Thinking up words for the
Antepenultimate
Line of this fiendishly
Difficult form.
Some of you may know of the verse-form known as the double-dactyl, exemplifed above. It requires, among other things, that one of the six-syllable lines in the second staza (typically the 3rd-to-last line) be a single six-syllable word that fits the meter.

This is one of the more difficult requirements of the form. In the interest of facilitating double dactyls, we'll devote this week to offering interesting words that meet this requirment.

antepenultimate – the third-to-last
(note: ultimate means "the last", and penultimate means "the next-to-last")
 
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Perfect timing, Wordcrafter! Somebody's birthday is coming up Wink, and I must think of a good 6-syllable word. Try to come up with a good one for me!

As for the double dactyl above, does the meter in the 3rd line work? Confused
 
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Theme: Double-dactyl Words
quote:
Higgledy piggeldy
Archangel Rafael,
Speaking of Satan's re-
Bellion from God:

"Chap was decidedly
Turgiversational,
Given to lewdness and
Rodomontade."

– Anthony Hecht


tergiversate – 1. to change sides; abandon a cause; apostasize 2. to equivocate; to evade by deliberate ambiguity
 
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Exceptional! One comment: Was the "Higgledy piggeldy" his, or yours?
 
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I honestly don't recall whether it was his, Kalleh, but since it came from the net, you can check by google. Also, as you pointed out, the earlier DD breaks a line in the wrong place. That was a verbatim copy from the net.
 
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Another religious double-dactyl today.
quote:
Higgledy-piggledy,
Jesus of Nazareth,
Told of the plan for the
Saving of man,

Surveyed the world with a
Teleological
Sigh and said: "Father, I'll
Do what I can."

- Jan D. Hodge


teleology - the philosophical study of purpose
[from the Greek teleos, perfect, complete; from telos, end, result]

A classic argument for the existence of God is that the world has clearly been constructed in a purposeful (telic) rather than a chaotic manner, and must therefore have been made by a rational being. This is the "teleological argument". As Auden put it, "A plan implies an architect."

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Wed Dec 17th, 2003 at 6:26.]
 
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[Blushing] I've composed a double-dactyl inspired by a fairly well-known pair of limericks. Those with tender sensibilities, please forgive me.

Please note that dynamite = TNT = TriNitroTolulene. The limericks:
quote:
Nyphomanical Jill
Used a dynamite stick for a thrill.
They found her vagina
In North Carolina
And bits of her tits in Brazil.

Nyphomanical Alice
Used a dynamite stick for a phallus.
They found her vagina
In South Carolina
And her asshole in Brazil.

The double-dactyl:

Higgledy piggledy,
Alice of Limerick
Nymphomaniacally
Tried something new:

Heterosexual
Use of the chemical
Trinitrotolulene's
Foolish to do.
 
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One more day of DD-words on religion. They concern a dilemma on from the Calvinist doctrine of predestination: if Adam and Eve were predestined to commit their Original Sin, then how can they be punished for what they could not avoid?

supralapsarian – one who holds that Adam and Eve's acts were fore-ordained; they could not have chosen otherwise
infralapsarian – one who holds that Adam and Eve chose their acts of their own free will

But since the latter remains a Calvinist espousing predestination, the differences "seem to have consisted simply in a divergent phrasing of the same mystery." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, orig. pub. 1907-1914)

Bonus word:
logomachy
– 1. a dispute about words 2. a dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words

Our illustrative quotation is from Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary:
quote:
INFALAPSARIAN, n. One who ventures to believe that Adam need not have sinned unless he had a mind to – in opposition to the Supralapsarians, who hold that that luckless person's fall was decreed from the beginning.

Two theologues once, as they wended their way
To chapel, engaged in colloquial fray –
An earnest logomachy, bitter as gall,
Concerning poor Adam and what made him fall.
"'Twas Predestination," cried one – "for the Lord
Decreed he should fall of his own accord."
"Not so – 'twas Free will," the other maintained,
"Which led him to choose what the Lord had ordained."
So fierce and so fiery grew the debate
That nothing but bloodshed their dudgeon could sate;
So off flew their cassocks and caps to the ground
And, moved by the spirit, their hands went round.
Ere either had proved his theology right
By winning, or even beginning, the fight,
A gray old professor of Latin came by,
A staff in his hand and a scowl in his eye,
And learning the cause of their quarrel (for still
As they clumsily sparred they disputed with skill
Of foreordination freedom of will)
Cried: "Sirrahs! this reasonless warfare compose:
Atwixt ye's no difference worthy of blows.
The sects ye belong to – I'm ready to swear
Ye wrongly interpret the names that they bear.
You – Infralapsarian son of a clown! –
Should only contend that Adam slipped down;
While you – you Supralapsarian pup! –
Should nothing aver but that Adam slipped up.
It's all the same whether up or down
You slip on a peel of banana brown.
Even Adam analyzed not his blunder,
But thought he had slipped on a peal of thunder!
 
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historiography – the study of writings and interpretations of history.
(Distinction: it is not the study of historical events. "When you study 'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians." (C. Furay and M. J. Salevouris). In other words, the study of how others have been inspired by Clio, the muse of history.)

For example, it's been suggested that Shakespeare's negative portrayal of Richard III is inaccurate, although doubtless pleasing to Shakespeare's Tudor audience.
quote:
Students of Clio may
Raise their objections to
Such a vile portrait as
False and absurd.

We simply shrug at the
Historiographers,
Eagerly taking the
Bard at his word.

- Jan D. Hodge
 
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plenipotentiary - adj: invested with full power and authority. noun: a diplomat having such power
quote:
US President Roosevelt, graduate of Groton School and Harvard University. HYPOTHETICAL HEADLINE: "Roosevelt to Skip Danish Summit Meeting; Send Subordinates"

Higgledy-piggledy
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Shuns Copenhagen, sends
Delegatee.

"Well!" quipped a minister
Plenipotentiary,
"Nothing is Groton in
Denmark, I see."
 
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In my neck of the woods, "plen'-i-po-TEN-ti-a'-ry" is divided into not six but seven syllables...

Afterthought: ...even though plain old "potential" has only three. "Penitentiary" has six, but no dactyls.

[This message was edited by haberdasher on Mon Dec 22nd, 2003 at 9:14.]
 
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quibble response

You can pare down one syllable by giving the word just a very slight British intonation in the same way they convert the four-syllable "MIL-i-ta-ry" into the more elegant sounding three-syllable "MIL-a-tree."

Without this, the description of "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid" in the Beatles song of the same name:

In a cap, she looked much older
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a MIL-a-tree man.

...simply would not have worked.


If further evidence is needed, President Jebadiah Bartlett from "The West Wing" pronounces plenipotentiary with six syllables. (If it's on TV, it must be correct, right?)
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter: plenipotentiary - invested with full power and authority.
Funny how once you know a word, you see it in your reading. Under the Wire by David Paul Nickles considers how the invention of the telegraph affected diplomacy. A review notes:

quote:
"Telegraphers were the original IT guys. With information zipping around the world in minutes rather than sailing around it for weeks, the telegraph proved to be, to put it mildly, revolutionary.

It undoubtedly changed the conduct and culture of diplomacy. The culture of diplomacy was unabashedly conservative, aristocratic and antibourgeois. Separated from their seats of government by weeks of travel, envoys were necessarily accorded plenipotentiary status. They performed the functions of kinds --- and lived like them too.

The telegraph changed all that. Because it allowed foreign ministries to centralize control of their diplomatic policy, telegraphy transformed ambassadors from autonomous statesmen into beueaucratic marionettes.

Telegraphy hastened the speed of negotiations - with mixed results. The telegraph enabled statesmen to douse the flames of crises before they ignited into full-scale catastrophes; but it just as easily allowed governments to act on immediate passions and launch unnecessary wars. Mr. Nickles writes, "Every incident seemed a crisis and every crisis called for a dramatic response."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
Jiggery-Pokery
Anthony Hollander
Two bards in one
Worked their brains in a storm

Thinking up words for the
Antepenultimate
Line of this fiendishly
Difficult form.

I don't normally read this, but today I was compelled by Hic's post. Great use of antepenultimate!

Tinman
 
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[blush]
Thank you, tinman, but I must confess: It's not my writing. I could not find the author's name.
[/blush]
 
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Why does the word "Emily Dickenson" come into my head?

*googles*

Room with a View (Leon Stokesbury)

Higgledy-piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Looked out her front window
Struggling for breath,

Suffering slightly from
Agoraphobia:
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."
 
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Welcome, mutual! We were hoping you'd start posting with us! For those of you who weren't on the chat, mutual joined us last Saturday.

Nice DD! I might nitpick a little on L3, but then I am the Queen of the DD Nitpickers! Otherwise, I love it! Big Grin
 
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Wordcrafty nerdcrafty
Come all ye WordCrafters
Doubling our dactyls for
Better or worse

Following this is the
Antepenultimate
(Third from the ultimate)
Line in this verse.
 
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quote:
Room with a View (Leon Stokesbury)

Higgledy-piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Looked out her front window
Struggling for breath,

Suffering slightly from
Agoraphobia:
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."

quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:

Nice DD! I might nitpick a little on L3, but then I am the Queen of the DD Nitpickers! Otherwise, I love it! Big Grin

Paraphrasing from Iolanthe - the alteration of a single word will do it. Simply let it stand "...looked out her windowfront" and there you are, out of your difficulty!
(No poet worth his salt ever let a little neologism stand in the way!)

And speaking of minutiae, I'd start L4 with "struggled" to avoid having to deal with the quibble of whether "struggling" has two syllables or three.

Revised Version:

Higgledy-piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Looked out her windowfront,
Struggled for breath,

Suffering slightly from
Agoraphobia:
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: haberdasher,
 
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Love the poem. Love the description of ED.

I also love JT's poem for antepenultimate. I bow to your poetic prowess.

Very good!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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quote:
Revised Version:

Higgledy-piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Looked out her windowfront,
Struggled for breath,

Suffering slightly from
Agoraphobia:
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."
Thanks for the appreciation. I don't think I made it entirely clear... I am not Leon Stokesbury, and that DD was not mine. We covered it in english class as an example of one, and I thought it'd be appropriate to google it, copy and paste. I do prefer your choices of words to his, though.
 
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Nice, Hab! It is interesting to see how many "acclaimed" double dactyls really have flaws. Chris Doyle, from OEDILF and a frequent participant of the Washington Post's Style Invitational, posted here once some of the Post's DD winners. Many of the winners just didn't follow the rules and especially the meter. DDs, unlike limericks, are really quite prescriptive.
 
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I just discovered double dactyls a couple of weeks ago, and they are taking over my life!

Does anyone have a compelling reason why the first line has to be nonsense? To me it seems like an excuse to avoid making up another line, and I prefer not to do it, though this will still make sense if you start it with "Higgledy-Piggledy" or something.

Legions of Normans and
William the Conqueror
took over England in
1066,

Bringing to God and French
hyperverbosity
wild Celtic heathens and
Saxons and Picts.
 
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Welcome Madame Passereau. A search through our threads will find lots of "posh limericks" as some of us like to think of DDs. It's just convention to have the first line as nonsense. I don't suppose anyone here will mind if you write a "proper" first line although there are other sites for DDs that would frown on it. We're a bit more easy going here.

Great first post. Stick with us and send us some more.
 
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I'm not a writer of DDs, but I've read quite a few, and I see no problem with yours. Actually, that is a fabulous DD, I wouldn't change it a bit.
 
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Welcome, Madame, and what a nice DD! For me, DDs are very rigid, much more so than limericks, for example. Therefore, I prefer the "higgledy piggledy" type first lines. Here are a few DD threads you might like to peruse. Please give us some more! There is a DD thread in Written Word that you might use.
 
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And a warm welcome from me, too.

Of course, being a limerick enthusiast, I think limericks are FAR more difficult than DDs ;-)


Richard English
 
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I'm fond of limericks as well, though I stay away from writing them after a disastrous experience in high school involving a four-hour bus trip and thirty ninth-graders who had been assigned to write limericks for English class.

As far as first DD lines go, I try to make mine fairly unneccessary to the rest of the verse so that they can be replaced with nonsense at the drop of a hat. In general, though, I can't bear to waste the chance to put more information in there.
 
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