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What's this kind of "rhyme"? Login/Join
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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Is there a term for words that rhyme to the eye but not to the ear?

For example, while writing the limerick below I found that I had this sort of "rhyme" in the fourth line, and so had to change that line to the verision indicated in green.
    The aedes (that's Greek for "displease")
    Mosquito spreads certain disease
    (Dengue, yellow fever),
    But flu spreads, however
    . . . . .[Changed to But flu spreads by either]
    By breath or a cough or a sneeze,
    And malaria's anopheles.
Is there a term for this sort of mis-rhyme?
 
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Picture of jheem
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Is there a term for this sort of mis-rhyme?

I've heard it called eye rhyme. I've always thought of it as a kind of assonance gone wrong.
 
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Eye-rhyme it is, and fever/however is quite as respectable a rhyme as fever/either, which is called inexact rhyme (or slant rhyme, near rhyme, and various other terms).

Apropos, here is a good resource for literary terms.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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No, no, no guys !
Take it back quickly !
Think of Uncle CJ's blood pressure. Why he's quite probably having a heart attack at this very moment. CJ hates sight rhymes above anything else.

I'm still bruised and scarred from our discussion of Philip Larkin.
 
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CJ hates sight rhymes above anything else.


Just cuz he hates 'em, does that mean he can't use the word?
 
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Picture of Chris J. Strolin
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Now, now... I've mellowed considerably since that Phillip Larkin discussion.

It is true that I consider a "sight rhyme" to be not a rhyme at all (hence the quotation marks) but I do concede that they have their place in literature. In limericks? No, I really don't think so. Part of the charm of a limerick is its simplicity, especially as compared to most forms of classic or formal poetry, and part of that simplicity involves its rules. Is there anything wrong with a 6-line poem? Of course not. But it's not a limerick. Is there anything wrong with a 5-line poem that doesn't rhyme? Again, no. But if you should produce a piece of this nature, no matter how pleased with the final result you may be, I'm sorry but I just wouldn't consider it a limerick.

The limerick rhyme pattern aabba refers to how the words sound to the ear as opposed to look to the eye. Special considerations are, of course, made for interesting wordplay in which the author clearly understands the applicable rules but bends them for comedic effect.

Now, "near rhymes" are another matter entirely. There's a lot more grey area to work with here although I avoid them completely when at all possible.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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Of course, I very much enjoy rhymes that seem to be neither sighted nor near - I mean those which rely on the eccentricities of English spelling. I'm not sure whether this has been composed in its entirety before although I do recall having seen the Lancs. abbreviation previously.

There was a young lady from Lancs.*
Who once got a job as a Bancs.
But she claimed that the Nos.
Disturbed all her Slos.
So they had to employ a new Mancs.

*Lancs. = Lancashire, a county in the north of England.


Richard English
 
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Picture of shufitz
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CJ, I fully agree with almost all you said, but I have to take issue where you claim, ""Is there anything wrong with a 6-line poem? Of course not. But it's not a limerick." Obviously it's an atypical limerick, but you'll find limericks of this sort in many published collections. Probably the cleanest of them can be found in The Limerick Vol. 1, by G. Legman (1976). And Legman is the name in limerick collection, so if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.

Anyhow, here it is; I've tightened it a bit.
    There once was a girl from Alaska,
    Who could, and she would, if you asked her.
    But soon she grew nice,
    And went up in price,
    Til no one could touch her but Jesus H. Christ
    Or conceivably John Jacob Astor.
 
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Good, and clever. But I would take issue with the rhymes myself - Alaska/asked her/Astor - a bit strained I suggest.

And is it six lines - or is it a standard Limerick with an overlong last line (which is the one that rhymes)?

An interesting variant but one that lacks the purity of the traditional form to my mind.


Richard English
 
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Picture of Chris J. Strolin
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Hear, Hear! Once again, R.E. and I are in perfect agreement. (What is this world coming to??!)

If a limerick is specifically defined as a five-line piece, than the above work is, at best, a very interesting variation of the form BUT purists would insist it's not, technically, a limerick.

I think we had a similar discussion some time ago on the topic of parallel lines. To me, BY DEFINITION, parallel lines never meet! That's what makes them "parallel" lines and yet some forms of higher mathematics now claim that, in some specific circumstances, parallel lines may eventually meet. This just makes me crazy! They're parallel lines, dammit! By definition, they never meet!!

Now, having said that, let me waffle just a bit and say that the argument could well be made that the "Astor" piece is a case of a writer knowing full well what the rules are and then bending them (to put it mildly) for a specific effect. We've talked about doing exactly this with the basic rules of grammar, the main point being that you have to completely understand them before you start screwing with them or else you just come off looking mildly illiterate.

Hic wrote a six-line limerick for the OEDILF and I suggested he drop the sixth line since it was the weakest of the six. If someone comes up with another six-line aberration I can't promise that it will or will not make the OEDILF. Certainly if it did there would be a note of explanation attached requesting readers not write in calling us idiots for thinking a limerick has six lines.

In other words, I remain a purist in what I myself write but will try to keep an open mind when editing the work of others.
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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What makes you the judge of me?
 
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Picture of Chris J. Strolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Hic et ubique:
What makes you the judge of me?

The same thing that makes you the judge of me - mutual respect, or so I thought. Goodness knows I've been wrong before.

An essential part of the OEDILF Project has been openness to critique and the willingness to workshop. This is not what the Wordcraft board was set up for two years ago and now that this confliction has been pointed out to me, the critiquing is a thing of the past. (Actually, it's a thing of the future, on the new board, but the point is that it's not a thing of the present here.)

Hic, how many times have I complimented your work? You're a damn fine writer and I've enjoyed your posts immensely. I'd like to think that, from your responses to some of my stuff, that I have brought an occasional smile to you as well.

But this doesn't mean that I will feel a need to treat you like some sort of delicate hot-house flower. If you were to come up on the OEDILF site, for example, and post something along the lines of "There once was a friendly Wordcrafter / Whose comments brought utter disaster..." Yes, I'd jump all over it. To do otherwise would be to show disrespect to you since to not say something would be to imply I thought you weren't capable of better.

It seems like I'm apologizing all over the place recently (and, yes, I know, what does that say?!) but I'd rather do this than lose touch with people whose talent I admire. There's a post near the end of the closed out OEDILF thread that might add some clarity.

I believe that any friendship, cyber- or otherwise, that has to be handled with kid gloves is hardly worth the effort. I'm hoping that this isn't the case with us.


So, Hic, that's my case. Judge me.
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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Chris: "So, Hic, that's my case. Judge me."

No thank you. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." There have been instances when I felt your limericks were less than perfect, but it is not my place to comment.
 
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Picture of Chris J. Strolin
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Some of my limericks are less than perfect?? My God, there's a shocker!

First off, if we only posted things we thought were perfect, this would be one lonely message board. Secondly, your judgment was not only welcomed but (before this point was clarified) solicited, as it will be on the new site.

Enough on this. Once again, we've strayed way off topic. So...


How 'bout them "near rhymes," eh?
 
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