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These are the entries for the Horstead Keynes limerick game - more than I was expecting following a last-minute spurt. Please vote for your favourite in the usual way (assuming I have remembered how to sort this poll thing Frown. Remember we can accept Keynes as rhyming with "greens" or "grains".

1.
As a young'un back in Horsted Keynes
By my mother I was force-fed greens -
So to go with my meat
The one vegie I'll eat
As an adult is of course red beans.

2.
Sal sallied to Horsted Keynes
To buy some yarn and beans.
She followed a horse -
The upshot, of course:
She came home with hoss turd skeins.

3.
That a trainer out of Horsted Keynes
Had a filly that he force-fed grains
Laced with blood-thinners
To make her a winner's
A story that, with the horse dead, pains.

4.
In Sussex's a town, Horsted Keynes,
Where Kennedy slept, forced on Queens.
Though Marilyn waited,
Her chest all inflated,
She primps and she spiffs, o'course she preens.

5.
Every year in Horsted Keynes
There’s a contest for worst-dressed teens
Where public glimpses of underwear
And bosoms unabashedly bare
Earn more points than tattered jeans

6.
The locals would oft vent their spleens,
At people who'd say 'Horsted Keynes',
"If they just took the pains,
To say 'Horsted Keynes',
We'd avoid disagreeable scenes."

7.
One could screw Scots--or of course, bed Danes
And those Welshmen look cute when it rains
But for sheer drop-dead looky
I hold out for nookie
With the hostlers* of Horsted Keynes.

archaic terms for horse handling, still in use for starting/maintaining steam locomotives

8.
UK tour done, exhausted Danes
Read, “Outage downs Norse-headed trains”
‘We’ve steam!’ cried their host,
‘It’ll do to the coast’
And he dropped them at Horsted Keynes.

9.
A Mexican visiting Horsted Keynes
Felt a craving for rice and beans
He searched and searched in every street
But didn't find a place in which to eat
And sadly had to settle for greens

10.
A malodor pervades Horsted Keynes
Overpowering its pastoral scenes.
It’s the stench from the pits
Where an old outhouse sits
Which was filled by a man eating beans.

11.
I saw it first up in Horsted Keynes -
Now all England, youth in force - dead brains
Or a surfeit of cells
And the tale that it tells,
Something no jobs and the sauce explains.

Question:
Which is the winner?

Choices:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

 

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Richard English,


Richard English
 
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Number six is getting short shrift.
 
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Whoops! I know what I did - the system only allows you to post 5 questions by default and I had to work out how to add more. In the process I must have miscounted.

As number 6 cannot be voted for I'll change it. Apoligies to the one person who has already voted.


Richard English
 
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Humble apologies, everyone. I managed to miss out a submission. I did have problem with this competition since, in addition to there being a large number of entries, some contestants changed theirs. I tried hard to keep track but failed dismally Frown

Could you please vote again? There are now 11 submissions


Richard English
 
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I've voted, although I seem to be the only one (unless my vote isn't being counted for some reason).


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Hello Arnie and everyone,

Unfortunately resetting the poll for any reason also resets the votes - so none of the votes submitted thus far will now be recorded.

I suppose this is only fair since adding another entry might affect people's choice in any case.

So, please vote again, folks, even if you've already voted.


Richard English
 
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It will be interesting to see how the voting turns out since we have more limericks than we usually have voters Wink


Richard English
 
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I am assuming the writers of Limericks 5 and 9 in the current contest are new to this game. I do not want to cause any offence, which is why it is better to say this now (before I know who you are), and I am only saying it so that you can get better at the craft, because there are some very strong elements to both limericks, but the aabba rhyme structure is not the only thing that defines a limerick, it must also have a particular meter in each of its lines, and these 2 limericks do not have the correct meter in lines 3 and 4. The technical definition of the meter according to my "Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary" is:

The 1st, 2nd and 5th Lines have three feet consisting of one "iamb" and two "anapests", whilst the 3rd and 4th lines have two feet usually two "anapests". According to the same book an "iamb" is a unit of two syllables with the second one accented and an "anapest" is a unit of three syllables with the accent upon the third. So lines 3 & 4 should technically be no more than 6 syllables each. But clearly lines 3 & 4 in limericks 5 & 9 are way over the mark.

In other words the rhythm of a limerick should be something akin to:

di-dah, la-di-dah, la-di-dah,
di-dah, la-di-dah, la-di-dah,
la-di-dah, la-di-dah,
la-di-dah, la-di-dah,
di-dah, la-di-dah, la-di-dah.

Whilst many of my limericks are not metrically perfect (and this has cost me votes in the past) and most of us here are extremely forgiving and if we like something enough we'll vote for it even if it isn't quite right, these two do not really fit the definition of a limerick.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Greg S,


Regards Greg
 
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Generally speaking we accept submissions to this competition (which is essentially a light-hearted one) even if they are lacking in some way. I might make a few suggestions if I am running the particular competition, but on the whole we leave it to contributors to stick to the rules of limerick-writing which, as you say, are fairly tight.

I myself am a real stickler for perfect anapest - but I am not the judge in this competition; it is the voters who will in the end decide.

But I think that your comments, far from being offensive, are most helpful and I am sure all of those who have contributed will agree on their value.


Richard English
 
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This was a hard one, and I was surprised at the number of submissions. I had intended to tweak mine a bit before the voting, but it was too late. Mine's a mess! Razz However, there is an interesting concept in mine that I'll explain once it is "outed."
 
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quote:
I think that your comments, far from being offensive, are most helpful

Thanks Richard. I found doing the research quite helpful myself. As I think I have stated in the past I tend to write my limericks on the basis that if it sounds right it probably is, and as a consequence they frequently aren't. So through the research I have now discovered that even some of my best and I thought most metrically correct limericks, are in fact incorrect. Most of them tend to have three anapests as the structure for Lines 1, 2 & 5, where they should strictly speaking have one iamb and two anapests. (Hope I haven't offended anyone with my split infinitive there) Wink


Regards Greg
 
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As in so many aspects of language, I believe that it is OK to break the rules, providing you know what the rules are and know exactly why you are breaking them. Your concern over your split infinitive is just one example of a "rule" which is often adhered to but which actually has no reason for its existence. There are many times when it is quite pointless to invariably split infinitives [sic] since by so doing you can move the adverb so far from its verb that clarity is affected.

My own way of making sure that a limerick is right is to try to match my words to those of a known and good quality limerick and see whether the stresses of mine match the stresses of the exemplar limerick. One of my favourites for this (stressed syllables in capitals) is:

There WAS a young LAdy from THRACE
Whose CORsets no LONGer would LACE.
Her MOther said, "NELLy,
There's MORE in your BELLy,
Than EVer went IN through your FACE!"

The stresses here are quite unmistakable and, if your own limerick doesn't match them, you need to work out why and decide whether you need to change it.

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Richard English
 
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One of the tricks I use for my other poetry (not limericks) is to find a tune that fits the structure I have chosen and then try to sing my poem, which rather quickly shows up the flaws in the rhythm. One tune that I find myself frequently using, terrible tune though it may be, is the theme song from "The Beverley Hillbillies" - a song which never ever pops into my head in any other circumstance.


Regards Greg
 
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As someone who knows nothing, nada, zero and zip about the technicalities of limerick writing, I wonder if one of you could explain what appears to be a discrepancy in the Useful Guide to Limericks which is evolving in this thread.

Greg S said, "an "anapest" is a unit of three syllables with the accent upon the third."

But Richard English's handy example appears to have the accents on the second syllables of the anapests in lines 3&4,

"Her MOther said, "NELLy,
There's MORE in your BELLy"

Is either way acceptable? Or have I misunderstood what one of you is saying? Or is there another explanation?

Thanks chaps, I appreciate the guidance. Smile

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Hi Alphie,

Yes it is rather confusing. I reconsulted said book, and lo and behold not a single one of the quoted limericks actually fitted the meter, previously defined, so it would seem even within the "rules" there is some flexibility.

In the first example lines 1, 2 & 5 were 1 iamb, 2 anapests and then a final unaccented syllable. To my way of thinking this final unaccented syllable effectively turns the first iamb of the 2nd line into an anapest. When I think again of my limericks with 9 syllables in lines 1, 2 & 5, it would seem most of them fit this pattern, rather than being 3 anapests.

Another example had line 3 with one iamb and an anapest, and line 4 had two anapests. I find I have this type of structure quite often in mine. At least the said book said "usually" two anapests. Richard's example for lines 3 & 4 has an iamb, an anapest and a final unaccented syllable which effectively turns line 4 into two anapests (and of course another unaccented syllable to make it rhyme with line 3).

I think I need to find a better reference??

I decided to see if I could actually write one that completely fitted the theoretically correct metrical structure and came up with this:

A pantiless lady from Guam
Once sat on a soft wad of gum,
As she rose to depart
And let go a big fart,
A bubble blew out of her bum.

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Regards Greg
 
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I often find that my favorite limericks don't have perfect meter.
 
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It's quite possible to have additional unstressed syllables in a limerick without spoiling it and it's possible also to start on a stressed syllable. But starting on s stressed syllable can confuse if the first two or three words are monosyllabic.

So, if the next limerick in Nally's sad saga were to be:

Now in a hostel in Thrace,
Nel's bump took up more and more space.
Her boyfriend said, "Fine,
You'll not prove it's mine"
Then drove out of town at high pace.

you will see that the L1 stress needs to fall on the first word and that is not clear until the first line has been read - although the limerick works fine once you realise that it's the first word that needs stressing. It would make it easier were one to add a single unstressed monosyllabic word at the beginning (maybe "Right") to signpost the scansion.

However, the first line of Kalleh's fine limierick:

Nymphomaniacal Jill
Used a dynamite stick for a thrill...

creates no difficulties with its first syllable stress, since the multi-syllabical word "nymphomaniacal" is clearly and strongly stressed on its first syllable.

So, although the rules for limerick construction are strict, they are also "bendable".


Richard English
 
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quote:
I decided to see if I could actually write one that completely fitted the theoretically correct metrical structure and came up with this:

A pantiless lady from Guam
Once sat on a soft wad of gum,
As she rose to depart
And let go a big fart,
A bubble blew out of her bum.


Very good but I have one reservation. If Guam is pronounced the way I would pronounce it - Gu-AM - then it doesn't rhyme with "gum". And if it is pronounced "Gum" then it is a homonym rhyme, which is not acceptable by perfectionists.

But the work has much merit and you could soon sort it out by relocating the underdressed lady to another venue - maybe the island of Rum - although she might then run the risk of freezing her unprotected assets in Scotland's chilly climate.


Richard English
 
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We Aussies pronounce it Gwum.


Regards Greg
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg S:
We Aussies pronounce it Gwum.

Still don't rhyme with "gum" though Frown


Richard English
 
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If Gwum doesn't rhyme with gum, then crumb doesn't rhyme with come, nor swum with some, nor glum with gum and I could go on. Are you telling me none of these rhyme either? If so then I may as well start rhyming love with move Wink.


Regards Greg
 
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Perhaps the inadequately dressed lady could be from a slum, which would explain her lack of lingerie
 
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Ah, well, so much for classical English poetry...

COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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quote:
We Aussies pronounce it Gwum.

Really? That's interesting because Guam is one of our Boards of Nursing. I hadn't ever heard it pronounced "Gwum."

Yes, Richard, you posted one of my favorite (fun!) limericks, and it doesn't have an anapest rhythm. It starts with a stressed syllable.

I have funnier preferences for rhymes. While I like perfect rhymes (gum/gwum wouldn't do it, and besides wouldn't it be a homophone if they did rhyme?), I also love fun rhymes, some of which aren't quite perfect. I still remember one of my favorite OEDILF limericks:

The amoeba is terribly primitive;
It doesn't take plenty for him t' live.
Not a worry or care,
No shampooing his hair,
Yet his life must be really quite dim t' live.

Hardly perfect, but the rhymes makes me smile. I envision this amoeba trying to shampoo his hair. That limerick was approved on OEDILF in 2004. I am pretty sure it would not get an approval there now!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg S:
If Gwum doesn't rhyme with gum, then crumb doesn't rhyme with come, nor swum with some, nor glum with gum and I could go on. Are you telling me none of these rhyme either? If so then I may as well start rhyming love with move Wink.

It's difficult with consonants like "w" and "y" which can serve as vowels; for me the combination "gw" creates a different vowel sound.

Of course, that might not apply to all English speakers - as we have frequently found when, for example, US-English speakers rhyme "panic" with "Atlantic".


Richard English
 
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quote:
for me the combination "gw" creates a different vowel sound

There is no additional vowel sound and therefore extra syllable introduced by the juxtaposition of G and W in hogwash, so I say your argument is hogwash. I pronounce Guam as if it were written as GWUM and I pronounce the GW pairing exactly as I would pronounce it in hogwash, so it rhymes perfectly for me.

And I thought any discussion on my little piece would have been about its metrical structure and whether or not it conformed to the previously mentioned pattern? You never can tell where something is going to go, just like you can't predict which limericks people will vote for.


Regards Greg
 
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quote:
I pronounce the GW pairing exactly as I would pronounce it in hogwash, so it rhymes perfectly for me.

I say hogwash (hog wash) as if it were two words, not one like Guam.
 
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Many an American English speaker says "hog-worsh."


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I thought the gummy limerick admirably demonstrated the meter and was an absolute hoot into the bargain.

It didn't rhyme for me either (I say "gwahm" like they do on howjsay) but I didn't really think that mattered as we were discussing meter, so the rhyme didn't signify.


As a side note, is the adjectival form of "anapest", "anapestical"? Because if it is, I might try to work it into a limerick - there's a rhyme that's too good to pass up. Wink
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Alphabet Soup:
I thought the gummy limerick admirably demonstrated the meter and was an absolute hoot into the bargain.

It didn't rhyme for me either (I say "gwahm" like they do on howjsay) but I didn't really think that mattered as we were discussing meter, so the rhyme didn't signify.


As a side note, is the adjectival form of "anapest", "anapestical"? Because if it is, I might try to work it into a limerick - there's a rhyme that's too good to pass up. Wink

I agree. It demonstrates the metrical form just fine. The point about the rhyme or lack thereof was a side issue.

Of course, on this board we are just having fun - we are not so anal about perfection in rhymes as they can be over on OEDILF. Of course, even there it has been accepted for some time that local pronunciations will vary and, so long as contributors stick to the same rhyming style within a limerick and don't, for example, start off using UK-English rhymes and then end with a US-English rhyme just to make L5 work, everyone is happy.


Richard English
 
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Hope I didn't sound too defensive. All in all I think it has been a worthwhile discussion, and a bit of fun. Whilst I started the discussion to help one or two others with their limerick writing I got the added bonus of learning quite a bit myself in the process.
quote:
As a side note, is the adjectival form of "anapest", "anapestical"? Because if it is, I might try to work it into a limerick - there's a rhyme that's too good to pass up.

All you need now is a nice little town somewhere in the world that rhymes with it - even if it isn't really a word.


Regards Greg
 
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I see someone still voted for No. 5 despite its Line 3/4 shortcomings. Good on you. Unfortunately though the contest is all over now because I just gave No. 6 an unassailable lead.


Regards Greg
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg S:
I see someone still voted for No. 5 despite its Line 3/4 shortcomings. Good on you. Unfortunately though the contest is all over now because I just gave No. 6 an unassailable lead.

I'll give it another day or so before I announce the winner and identify all.


Richard English
 
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quote:
it isn't really a word

Isn't it?
Drat.
 
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While I agree that #6 is the cleverest, it's also an "inside joke;" one has to have read the above discussion to understand it. That loses points IMHO.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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quote:
Many an American English speaker says "hog-worsh."
Really? What part of the U.S. Not the midwest, correct?

To outsiders of WC, #6 was an inside joke. But hadn't we discussed that in the thread introducing the limerick game?
 
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P.S. gameplayers, please look at the bluffing game word (polyphloisboian) and send Metic your daffynition. Thanks!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Alphabet Soup:
quote:
it isn't really a word

Isn't it?
Drat.

Well, anapaestically (or anapestically for US readers) is shown in my distionary - although the adjective derived from anaepest is shown as anapaestic - not anapaestical.


Richard English
 
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quote:
quote:
As a side note, is the adjectival form of "anapest", "anapestical"? Because if it is, I might try to work it into a limerick - there's a rhyme that's too good to pass up.

All you need now is a nice little town somewhere in the world that rhymes with it - even if it isn't really a word.


1.
The pub down in old Farleigh [West], 'Tickled
Trout''s man is so over-testicled
Mates who drink there
Think it only too fair
He be roasted in verse anapestical'd

2.
Now directing your view to the West, Tickle
Cock Bridge, where more than one testicle
Would salute maiden fair
In the dark under there
To be honored by verse anapestical

3.
Near Camden, off Prec'pice to the West, Tickle
Hill doesn't rhyme with a testicle
Which is why it's in here
In a ditty that's mere-
Ly trying to be anapestical
 
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Hahaha! Bravo! Big Grin
 
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Did number 6 win? Is it time to move to the next limerick?
 
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As Kalleh suggests, it must be time to post the results and, as is very clear, it is limerick number 6 that has convincingly won. And the winner is (roll of drums)Alphabet Soup. I have to say that, although I didn't need to cast a tie-breaking vote I would have gone for number 6 myself for two main reasons. Firstly it does actually say something about the place, which is always a bonus and secondly it rhymed and scanned very well. Put those two characteristics together and you have a winning combination.

Here are the names of the other limerick writers, shown in true talent-show contest tradition, in reverse order:

11 - Greg
10 - Proofreader
9 - Metic
7 and 8 - Bethree
6 - Alphabet Soup - the winner
5 - Metic
4 - Kalleh
3 - Greg
2 - ?
1 - Greg

There is a mystery about number 2 - I must have received it but it's gone - so maybe the writer decided that he or she didn't like it and deleted the PM or painted over the limerick. As I wrote earlier, there were several writers who had second thoughts - some re-writing and some adding, and I fear that I must have lost count somewhere. But the winner is still pretty clear-cut even allowing for the stray vote that went to the anonymous number 2.

So it's over to Alphabet Soup for the next destination.


Richard English
 
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Congrats Alphie,

If you weren't hooked already, you certainly are now.


Regards Greg
 
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Hooray, I won! Big Grin Thanks for the votes chaps. Smile
But also...
Oh no, I won! Eek Where on Earth am I going to set the next round?


Regarding "in jokes" and wotnot, I had intended to include a note that my submission was "after Ogden Nash"

quote:
Camille Saint-Saëns
Was wracked with pains,
When people addressed him,
As Saint Sanes.
He held the human race to blame,
Because it could not pronounce his name.

But I forgot.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
This was a hard one, and I was surprised at the number of submissions. I had intended to tweak mine a bit before the voting, but it was too late. Mine's a mess! Razz However, there is an interesting concept in mine that I'll explain once it is "outed."

What is it? Do tell. Is it about the "forced on Queens" part? (Because I didn't understand that bit.)
 
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Thanks for asking, Alphie...And congratulations! Truly deserved.

I was not as articulate in describing my limerick, given the limitations of a limerick, but here is what it means.

My limerick:

In Sussex's a town, Horsted Keynes,
Where Kennedy slept, forced on Queens.
Though Marilyn waited,
Her chest all inflated,
She primps and she spiffs, o'course she preens.

You had to know a fair amount to understand this limerick, and even then it wasn't that good. Roll Eyes But I did try to capture the city (village?) rather than to just write a limerick using the name as sometimes happens.

The first line notes that Horsted Keynes is in Sussex. The second line is key. A couple of months before being assassinated, U.S. President John F. Kennedy slept in the Horsted Keynes when he stayed one Saturday night at Birch Grove, the home of the former Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan. Being forced on Queens? Well, there is a queen in England, and I had to make it plural because of the blasted rhyme of Keynes. Not too clear, I know.

Marilyn waited? In the U.S. anyway, it is fairly common knowledge that President Kennedy had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, who was well-endowed and of course "primped and spiffed and preened," one can surmise, for her Kennedy.

Okay...not that obvious, is it? And even then, my line 5 didn't pound it home, which is one thing I expect in a limerick. As I had said, I was planning to "spiff" it up a bit, but then Richard posted it. I can certainly understand the no votes! I would not have voted for it. I voted for number 6.
 
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Hi Alphie,

I know that "St. John" as a name is pronounced "Sinj'n" but how did Camille pronounce his name?


Regards Greg
 
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howjsay to the rescue!

EDIT TO ADD: Actually, I don't know how the man himself pronounced it, but I used to have a recording of The Carnival of the Animals in which they pronounced his name the same way as John Cleese (0:21) does. So I assume that Ogden Nash, at least, pronounced it more or less like that.

EDIT AGAIN: But it seems to be a matter of some dispute.

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Thanks for the congratulations Kalleh. Smile (And to think, I was hoping that in this round I might accrue a single vote!)

And JFK in Horsted Keynes! How utterly bizarre. I wonder if he was there on the day that the fish and chip van visits.

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Well done, Alphie! While I admit that I voted for #10 because yours required a knowledge of the chatter on this thread, I do think it was absolutely the most clever!

In case anyone wonders, #2 was mine. That's twice in a row that my entry has disappeared, which suggests I'd best do likewise! I'll stick with the Bluffing Game from now on!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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