Enhancing Our Literary Heritage

How wonderfully rich and absorbing our English language is, how perfectly it can contain and express the nonsense that goes on inside our hearts and heads.

Happily too, it’s not static and fossilised but evolving, and one should be forgiven, like Lewis Carroll in the Jabberwocky, for hastening its enrichment with pleasing inventions of one’s own. I enjoy introducing new words, shamelessly contrived and shrewdly presented into the culture of the coffee bar below my little residence in Auckland’s Karangahape Road – although suspicious, the owner enjoys our little game and even recirculates our newly coined audacities among his clients himself, winking conspiratorially each time we sneak an invention into the conversation.

It’s fun also to misspell, ignore conventions and ride roughshod over the protocols of our language quite frequently as well, just to stop things getting too stuffy. I feel a small illustrative poem is called for here…

Enhancing Our Literary Heritage

On occasuns that are numerus
– it’s really rather humerous –
We get quite lost in sillines
And literary dilliness
And ponder on apostrofies
And quibble on apostasies
Of grammar and syntacticals
And colons, get fanatical.
The object’s to communikate
Not nitpick, mutter, obfuscate
And if I choose to spel ‘you’ yu
And ‘cat’ as kat or ‘queue’ as cue
Or something else that may seem mocking
Or ignorant and deeply shocking
Then let’s not live life fecklesslie
Let’s live a little recklessly
And step outside the stifling box
Of ‘can’ and ‘can’t', I say a pox
On those who always bend their knee
To grammar, long live Heresie
And I say (tho’ it may seem treasun)
Let’s have some fun, abandun reasun
Run rampint thru decorum’s ‘ought’
And ’should’ and ‘must’, let’s not be corght
By stodgie rools and regulations
Hurrah for de-sanc-tif-if-ication
And if this seems ikonoclastic
Or verging on the plain bombastik
Then dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s
And go your way and others pleeze
But me I luv mixed metafors
And always feel the better for
My gaucheries and malaprops
Ineptitudes and missed full stops
I’ll choose another road.
And when I’m far too old for scrabble
Inventing great new words like ‘zabble’
I’ll still get joy mispelling names
And you can tut-tut, point and blame.
The fire that warms arthritik knees
Kindled by the dictionairy
Thesauruses will feed the flames
While I rejoice in Pictionairy.

– Jogyata Dallas.

——-

Return to the April 2007 index page

Return to the Top