December 31, 2020

DEC 31, a brief saga (holidays and celebrations): Hogmanay (Auld Lang's Sine)


For the purpose of this blog, a 'brief saga' is defined as a poem, usually narrative, but occasionally expository, that tell its story in at least 15 lines. Most commonly, the format involves three stanzas in limerick form. Your blogging team has been presenting these concoctions at the rate of one per month, mixed in with the shorter poems, wordplay and other stuff that we offer.    

To access the next 'brief saga' on this blog (January 2021), proceed to 'Italian Treats'. 
To access the most recent previous 'brief saga' (October 2020), back up to 'Cyclades' (Greek Islands).  

December 30, 2020

DEC 30, Canadiana: Haida Gwaii


Authors' Note:

snowbird: a Canadian retiree seeking a warmer venue to spend the wintry months

  The Queen Charlotte Islands are a Canadian archipelago situated between 
the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska Panhandle, with landmass one-third that of the Hawaiian Islands (the latter located considerably further south). They had been the heartland of the aboriginal Haida people, who numbered thirty thousand at the time of first contact with European explorers in the eighteenth century. Their territory has a unique environment based on moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall. The province of British Columbia renamed the islands Haida Gwaii (HIE-duh GWIE[-ee], 'islands of the people') in 2010.

You can review poems, pictures and diverse nonsense related to Canada on the post "Canadiana" on our full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense".

December 29, 2020

DEC 29, patients and maladies: knee effusion

Authors' Note: This verse resulted from the author’s personal experience (as patient).
  Following trauma, standard X-rays taken in the Emergency Department show most fractures where the bone fragments are displaced. They can not, however, diagnose many undisplaced fractures, particularly in elderly patients with reduced bone density. 
  Nonspecific swelling with evidence of leaking of fluid into the adjacent joint space (joint effusion) is particularly common in injuries about the knee, and is easily discerned on visual inspection and X-rays. Follow up radiographs after another 3 weeks sometimes display an initially missed healing fracture. In cases where instability, ongoing pain, or persistent effusion are prominent, injury to ligaments may be suspected. 

Be sure to check out the whole collection of verses on 'Patients and their Maladies" by proceeding to our full-service blog, "Edifying Nonsense." CLICK HERE !

December 27, 2020

DEC 27, poetic non-sequitur: cumulative song

 Authors' Note:  The cumulative song "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" was created by two Canadian folksong aficionados in 1952, and then recorded by Burl Ives in 1953.  Other well-known cumulative songs which are traditional include "Old MacDonald had a Farm" and "The Green Grass Grew All Around". 

 Our collection of 'Non-Sequiturs' on our parent blog "Edifying Nonsense", contains an admittedly bizarre assortment of nonsensical odds-and-ends, that don't quite fit into other topic-based offerings. But should you want to review the entire collection, click HERE.

December 23, 2020

DEC 23, classic palindrome: 'Yreka bakery'


You can review these illustrated verses in a wider context by proceeding to 'Reversing Verse: Limericks About Classic Palindromes' on the full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. 

December 22, 2020

DEC 22, waterfowl: brown pelicans

TO ENLARGE any slide or stand-alone photo on this blog, just click on it. To reverse the process, and return to this standard view, find the little 'x' in the upper right corner of the black field and click there.

OCT 10, waterfowl: Caribbean brown pelicans

You can review these illustrated verses in a wider context by proceeding to 'Immersible Verse: Limericks about Waterfowl' on the full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. 

December 21, 2020

DEC 21, anagram swarm: A-VERY-STABLE-GENIUS -- wordplay for the holiday season

Today's collection should definitely wrap up this excessively extended effort. (But I am proud to say that you can now find some 350 anagrams developed as part of the total undertaking -- and some of them do seem to have some important meaning!)  

You can review an amazing number of anagrams based on this book title on our full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. There are two posts to view: 
'A Very Stable Genius': Theme and Variations (97 anagrams),   and 
'A Very Stable Genius': additional funky anagrams.

December 20, 2020

DEC 20, singable satire: Tom Lehrer sings "REDUPLICATIONS A to K"


ORIGINAL SONG: "The Elements", Tom Lehrer, 1959.

PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2015. This song is the seventh of nine in the series on Word- Pairs. You can find the links to the lyrics of the previous songs at the bottom of the post. 

EXPLANATION:  For a  discussion of reduplications, check an earlier post on this blog-site by clicking hereThis post also honours our previous venture of Feb 15, 2017 entitled 'Abracadabra' to 'Zoom-zoom': possibly the world's largest compendium of reduplications'. 

UKULELE and GUITAR-FRIENDLY LINK: Our whole series of songs can be found in a friendly format for ukulele (and guitar)-players on our sister blog  "SILLY SONGS and SATIREwith chord-charts and helpful performing suggestions. Click HERE to proceed to this site. 

This post is a follow-up to "The Reduplications: A Lesson"

  This collection of fascinating phrases has been modified somewhat since its original posting on the site Thanks are due to Al Silver, Becky Hurwitz and Uncle Paul for suggesting several examples which were incorporated into the current version. 

 WARNING!  Do not attempt to sing this lesson at the pace of a patter-song. The management of this blog will take no responsibility for any injuries sustained.

Many of these words have fascinating stories of their origin and subsequent use; the hotlinks highlight those with instructive or amusing information available on the web.

A mini-lesson found on the Internet

There’s achy-breakyartsy-fartsybigwigBB, and aye-aye
And Bora Bora, beriberi, (good) bees knees, and (bad) boo-boo
And bonbonbuddy-buddybunga-bungacan-can, and choo-choo

There's crackerjackcouscous, and chili, chugalugchin-chin, cocoa 
And clap-trap, culture vulture,  chit-chatchock-a-block,  cluck-cluck, dodo 
And dilly-dally, deadhead, dum(b)-dum(b), dingle-dangle, and clip-clop 
And easy-peasy, even Steven, fifty-fifty, and flip-flop.

There's flim-flam, fiddle-faddle, fuddy-duddy, fat cat, funny mon-
And four-door, ga-ga, goody-goody, golden-oldy, and hotshot
And go-go, gibber-jabber, hurly-burly, honky-tonk, hotspot. 
And holy moly!  hoity-toityhip-hop, heeby-jeebies, oy!
And hullaballoo and hokey-pokey, hotpot, hoodoo, and hobo
And handy-dandy, hari-kari, Henny-Penny and heigh-ho!

Hell’s bells! there’s hanky-pankyhootchie-kootchie, hobnob and hoo-haw
Hush-hush! knock-knock, NewYork NewYork, (its zip is fixed twixt MA and PA)
Ill will, and itsy-bitsy, heyday, juju, bass-ackward blackjack
And jingle-jangle, jeepers-creeperskow-tow, kiwi, and knick-knack

Ta-Dah !!!

December 19, 2020

DEC 19, wordplay maps: r-i-c anagrams #11+#12


You can view the entire collection of 18 wordplay maps of 'R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N-S in Canada' on our full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense" by clicking HERE.

December 18, 2020

DEC 18, American anagram swarm: 'C-O-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-I-O-N-A-L'

A brief explanation of anagram swarms, and some other examples can be found on the blogpost "A Brief Saga: Anagram Swarms"; click HERE.


December 17, 2020

DEC 17, palinku (poetic novelty) : partying #2


  In this post, we will continue with our novel form of poetic wordplay, inspired by Japanese haiku poetry. This new form, in its English-language version, is used for a terse verse with a total of 17 syllables displayed on three lines. Unlike its classic Japanese analogue, this concoction does not mandate the precise distribution of the syllables among the three lines, but does stipulate that each word in the poem be included in a palindromic phrase or sentence in English (i.e. one that can be read either forwards or backwards). 

  To help the reader discern the origin of the lyrics, each palindrome (generally occupying one of the three lines of the poem) has been color-coded. And, as you likely surmised, the first verse in this collection has already been published here. Part #1 of this trilogy was exhibited in November, 2020.

  And, just in case you have forgotten what palindromes are about, your blogsite hosts have arranged a serial set of brief lessons on the topic ('Political Palindromes') which you can review by clicking HERE

 You can view all our "palinku" verses if you proceed with a single click to our more encyclopedic blog "Edifying Nonsense". Click HERE. (Or if you prefer, you can stay on this particular blogsite and look for the offerings for the 17th day of each month -- there are now more than 60 of these.)

DEC 17, Canadiana: joual

Authors' Note: Accent is a word written similarly, but spoken very differently in French and English. Joual (ZHWAHL) is the name for the accent, grammar and even spelling used naturally by many speakers in the Canadian province of Quebec; this dialect had evolved over several centuries separately from the language spoken in France. In schools, businesses and media in Quebec and other francophone areas of Canada, 'québécois' (kay-bay-KWA), more standard French, with a local inflection and local vocabulary, now predominates. In Canadian English and French, residents of the province are known as Quebeckers or Québécois respectively.

 You can review poems, pictures and diverse nonsense related to Canada on the post "Canadiana" on our full-service blog  "Edifying Nonsense". 

December 16, 2020

DEC 16, diagnostic imaging: parathyroid scanning

Authors' Note:   Attacks of renal colic (spasmodic intermittent pain) may occur due to blockage of urine flow by stones in the ureters. In adult patients, stones consisting of calcium salts are most likely. If a high serum calcium level is found (this situation prevails in only a minority of cases of kidney stones), overactivity of the tiny parathyroid (PT) glands may be responsible. Milder cases of excessive parathyroid hormone secretion may also occur without symptoms, but can lead to loss of bone mass and increased risk of bone fracture.
   A single functioning adenoma (benign tumor)  of one of the PT glands is most commonly responsible, but hyperplasia (overgrowth) of all four glands may also result in inappropriate PT hormone secretion, detected by increased blood levels. The radiotracer Tc-99m sestamibi is taken up selectively by overactive PT glands, and may help plan surgery to explore the neck and remove the tumor.

You can review all our verses on this intriguing topic by proceeding to a post on 'Edifying Nonsense' entitled 'Selected Topics in Diagnostic Imaging'. Click HERE!

December 15, 2020

DEC 15, etymology: 'miser'

For fans of etymology, we have three blogposts with collections of verses about word-origins such as the one above on our more encyclopedic blog "Edifying Nonsense". You can start to review some of this intriguing material by clicking HERE, and then following the links!


December 14, 2020

DEC 14, Toronto oases: upbeat art


December 14th: The Electoral College meets, and according to all expectation confirms the victory in the November election of Joe Biden as incoming President and Kamal Harris as Vice-President. 


December 13, 2020

DEC 13, wordplay maps: r-i-c anagrams #9+#10


You can view the entire collection of 18 wordplay maps of 'R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N-S in Canada' on our full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense" by clicking HERE.

December 12, 2020

DEC 12, portraits of couples: domestic geese, dogpark figures

 You can view these samples from our portfolio of 'Couples' portraits in a wider context on our full-service blog "Edifying NonsenseHERE

December 11, 2020

DEC 11, American satire: government shutdown

Author's Note:  The verse imagines an advisor or supporter picking up on an assertion by the contentious 45th US president. The latter had remained steadfast in demanding budgeting for a southern border wall with Mexico (putatively to decrease the unregulated influx of refugees), and was prepared to take the credit/blame for the pending global shutdown of government financing should it occur.
A venous cutdown is a maneuver to provide reliable access for fluids and drugs during a medical emergency. 

 We hope that you enjoyed this verse. You can find 30 more on this topic in 5 collections on our full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. Click HERE to start! 

December 9, 2020

DEC 9, anagram swarm: A-VERY-STABLE-GENIUS -- lawsuits

 The book title "A Very Stable Genius" has invited a flurry of activity in composing anagrams (word-scrambles) that contribute to the sense of uncontrolled chaos that swirled through the American political scene during the White House administration of 2016 to 2020. 

  A compendium of Giorgio's wordplay on this topic can be evaluated by reviewing posts on the blog "Edifying Nonsense".  An initial listing that displays almost 100 anagrams dealing with a variety of topics (foreign policy, internal political maneuvering, domestic scandals, etc.) can be found HERE. Subsequently, further anagrams dealing with more specific topics were accumulated in a followup offering HERE

  The tabulation presented today was inspired by the recent series of lawsuits instigated in state and federal courts to contest the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

You can review an amazing number of anagrams based on this book title on our full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. There are two posts to view: 
'A Very Stable Genius': Theme and Variations (97 anagrams),   and 
'A Very Stable Genius': additional funky anagrams.

December 8, 2020

DEC 8, 2020: the origin of our "bloggerel": song-lyrics, poetry, wordplay and photography

SONG LYRICS: Starting in 2011, we had contributed parody song-lyrics to "AmIRight", the most extensive website publishing this type of doggerel on the internet. That website offers authors the advantage of immediate publication, but does not provide editing or post-submission modification. Not surprisingly political and social satire are major elements in AmIRight's table of contents. As I (G.H.) was still personally in sober professional practice at that time, I attributed the submitted works to a pseudonym, and Giorgio Coniglio, a registered practitioner in that field volunteered his writing talents arduously in that regard. After a few years we had contributed some 150 singable entities, but the intense polarization in American society threatened to disrupt the enjoyment previously experienced by AmIRight's cadre of volunteer writers. You can find some of those earlier songs (with familiar tunes, but bizarre lyrics) posted on our current blog "Edifying Nonsense"

POETRY: Although, Giorgio and I occasionally still launch into song, we turned our attention in 2016 to poetry. (To be honest, a dozen or so poems had been published earlier as "filler" in medical journals).  We found a "home" for many of our poetic inclination in OEDILF (the Omnificent English Dictionary iLimerick Form), a more-or-less collaborative website, that insists its mission was to create a dictionary with a definitional poetic "tribute" written to every meaning of every word in the language. To ensure this goal is approached in orderly fashion, OEDILF has gradually widened a narrow alphabetic window starting at A-, so that after almost 20 years of effort, poems are being submitted for dictionary entries with key words starting with the letters Ho-, but no further. Acceptance of verses for publication involves mandatory adherence to strict rhyming and scansion, and the use of grammatically correct, standardized language appropriate for the part of the English-speaking world from which the author hails, modified by specific dictionary requirements. 
  Topics that we found of interest include medical and health terms and issues, Canada and Canadianisms, wildlife and nature, wordplay and foreign languages, particularly French and Italian, among others, influenced primarily by our life-experience. Our personal take on this editing process provides difficulty, as we are prone to extend our verses, albeit with limerick-like structure, to more than the customary 5 lines (we ourselves have called these longer verses "limerrhoids"). The rigorous editing process involves polite acceptance or impeccable disputation of colleagues' suggestions, with eventual approval by 4 other members, and further intervention by an assistant editor, and may take anywhere up to a year. To date (2024), we have almost 700 verses accepted, and over 100 more in the works. 
  The use of illustrative photos or computer art, and the merging of these multi-media concoctions are in no way related to OEDILF; they are the concepts and creations only of the authors. Moreover, we should mention that we have also blogged a variety of other types of poetry, not in the purview of OEDILF, that includes Shakespearian blank verse, blank verse and haiku.

WORDPLAY: Like most writers and editors we love words. They are the basis of many of our song lyrics and poems. One of the greatest elements of wordplay is rhyme, a fact that provides some explanation for our persistence in lyrics and poetry. You will find a fair amount of better-defined wordplay on our blogs, including foreign-language borrowings, palindromes and anagrams. In certain cases we have gone to extremes, including "magic" palindromes, anagram wordplay-maps, and spoofs on classic palindromes, etymology and grammar rules. Because these activities consume a lot of time and effort, we have often been drawn to describe them in verse, posting those on the OEDILF site for editing and publication. And, although we are likely to have initiated a fair proportion of the "new" concoctions, we have not attributed them, as such material is lurking and waiting to be found among the letters and words, rather than "created".      

PHOTOGRAPHY: Dr.G.H. spent the latter part of his professional career dealing with the interpretation of low-resolution nuclear images in medical diagnosis. So we have a deep interest in visual documentation whose technique renders the key features obvious. For spontaneous nature photography on bicycle expeditions the cell-phone-camera is an obvious choice for portability, although resolution at a distance is an issue. Most of our photographs have been obtained with an i-phone 13, whose "live" feature provides an advance when the subject is moving. These photos enhance the "life-experience" nature of the posted material. On occasion, to make a point in a multi-media display, we borrow a relevant photo from the web, these are flagged by the term "web-photo", with colour coding of the text background, but space generally does not allow or mandate a full disclosure of the source. The reader is asked to please check these out, if indicated.      

December 6, 2020

DEC 6, Ontario nostalgia: art installations


You can review the entire series of illustrated poems about  the good old days in Ontario by checking the post 'Ontario Nostalgia' on our full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense". Click HERE

December 5, 2020

DEC 5, trees: cinnamon tree

Keep more to yourself for a while, wash your hands frequently, remember to laugh on occasion, and stay well!

You can review these illustrated verses in a wider context by proceeding to 'Uprooted Verse: 'Poems about Trees' on the full-service blog "Edifying Nonsense".