Saturday, 13 June 2009

They're only words, and words are all I have...

I'm currently reading The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher, which is shaping up to be very good indeed. Hey, don't take my word for it, it was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize'.

In the interests of not being an ignorant git I thought I'd better look up the word clemency to see why it might have been used in the title as I'd only previously heard it used in connection with 'appeals for clemency' which I'd always taken to mean people were looking for some sort of 'leniency.'

As I flicked through my dictionary I came across two superb words en route.

'Dandy brush,' which is a stiff brush used for horses was the first and I'm not entirely sure how I might crowbar that into polite conversation. The second was the magnificently archaic sounding 'clerihew' - a short witty verse in 4 lines of unequal length, rhyming in couplets and referring to a famous person.

How fantastic. What a great word. How could one not be inspired? In the spirit of the big news story of the day (Cristiano Ronaldo's 80million Euro move to Real Madrid, criticised by two men who seldom appear in the same news story, Michel Platini of FIFA and ex Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr).

Here goes, 'Filthy Lucre-ative'

Cristiano's moved for eighty million,
Last seen carrying Red Devil passengers riding pillion;
It's "excessive" says Mister Platin[sic]
Et Monsieur Marr dit simplement "obscene".

Oh, it meant 'mildness' by the way.


RJ said...

I just thought I would tell you I have used a Dandy brush!

Single Track said...

well there's a thing... I believe there's also something called a curry comb but someone may be pulling my leg.