quote: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")
Perfect timing, Wordcrafter! Somebody's birthday is coming up , 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?
Theme: Double-dactyl Words
tergiversate – 1. to change sides; abandon a cause; apostasize 2. to equivocate; to evade by deliberate ambiguity
Exceptional! One comment: Was the "Higgledy piggeldy" his, or yours?
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.
Another religious double-dactyl today.
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.]
[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:
Alice of Limerick
Tried something new:
Use of the chemical
Foolish to do.
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)
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:
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.
plenipotentiary - adj: invested with full power and authority. noun: a diplomat having such power
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.]
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?)
quote: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:
I don't normally read this, but today I was compelled by Hic's post. Great use of antepenultimate!
Thank you, tinman, but I must confess: It's not my writing. I could not find the author's name.
Why does the word "Emily Dickenson" come into my head?
Room with a View (Leon Stokesbury)
Looked out her front window
Struggling for breath,
Suffering slightly from
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."
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!
Come all ye WordCrafters
Doubling our dactyls for
Better or worse
Following this is the
(Third from the ultimate)
Line in this verse.
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.
Looked out her windowfront,
Struggled for breath,
Suffering slightly from
"Think I’ll just stay in and
Write about Death."This message has been edited. Last edited by: haberdasher,
Love the poem. Love the description of ED.
I also love JT's poem for antepenultimate. I bow to your poetic prowess.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
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.
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.
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
Bringing to God and French
wild Celtic heathens and
Saxons and Picts.
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.
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.
And a warm welcome from me, too.
Of course, being a limerick enthusiast, I think limericks are FAR more difficult than DDs ;-)
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.