Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Words - Just a Sword With The Beginning At The End

Firstly, if a ghost sees a bed sheet on a washing line, does it think, 'so sad - it had so much to live for...' ?

That notion popped into my head as looked out at my bed sheet on my washing line as I made myself a cup of coffee just now. It has nothing to do with this blog, but I wanted to share.


Those of you that know me well, will know that I am a wind turbine of words, and word play. Or to put it another way - a big fan. Where possible I like to use one hundred words where one would have sufficed, and use them in such a way as to leave the reader confused and mystified. My favourite method for doing this is Invisible Ink - as this next paragraph demonstrates:










See? Wasn't that funny?

When I was younger - so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way. Oh, I'm sorry - I appear to have slipped into a Beatles song there for a number two. Second! I mean second! - slipped into that song for a second. I do apologise - my words seem to be getting away from me.

I used to own a book called "Lost Consonants" - Google it once you have read this. This book was a collection of pictures that described the caption below. Usually, it is the other way around. I've written a caption or two in my time; my most infamous was when I worked for Tous R Us, and our store had a major refit. On the Grand Re-Opening day, the Managing Director of Toys R Us UK (Graham Barker - for those who remember him) came down to cut the ribbon to officially re-open the store. There was a picture taken of Graham and a local child who had won a drawing competition (I think) to open the store with the Managing Director - the child was holding his winning drawing, whilst the Managing Director bent down to cut the ribbon. When I saw the photo, it looked like our Managing Director was speaking to the little boy, so I playfully suggested that the caption should be the Managing Director saying:
"Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"

Surprisingly, that wasn't chosen. Spoilsports.

Anyway, "Lost Cosonants" does the reverse. It takes an ordinary sentence, 'loses' one vital consonant which changes the entire feeling of the sentence, and adds a picture to fit. To give you an example, here are a few:

Original sentence: Every time the doorbell rang, the dog starting barking.
Consonant dropped: "R"
New sentence: Every time the doorbell rang, the dog started baking.
Picture: Dog with oven gloves on, and a tray of cookies.

Original sentence: The face at the window, gave her a terrible shock.
Consonant dropped: "S"
New sentence: The face at the window, gave her a terrible Hock.
Picture: Man peering through the window with a cheap bottle of wine.

Now you get the idea, try picturing these:

Original sentence: PC Taylor was keen to try out his bulletproof vest.
("S" dropped)
New Sentence: PC Taylor was keen to try out his bulletproof vet.

Original sentence: The collective works of William Shakespeare.
("R" dropped)
New sentence: The collective woks of William Shakespeare.

Original sentence: Every evening, after supper, Stuart liked to take a little stroll round his garden.
("S" dropped)
New sentence: Every evening, after supper, Stuart liked to take a little troll round his garden.

Original sentence: He became uneasy when the dog snarled and showed him its fangs.
("N" dropped)
New sentence: He became uneasy when the dog snarled and showed him its fags.

Original sentence: Truth can be stranger than fiction.
("T" dropped)
New sentence: Ruth can be stranger than fiction.

And my personal favourite:
Original sentence: Students often took part time jobs to make their grants stretch further.
("T" dropped)
New sentence: Students often took part time jobs to make their grans stretch further.


So you see, words can be fun. I love to say things in a silly way, just to get a laugh out of someone - even if it is myself.

Someone famously said "The pen is mightier than the Sword" - but then someone else said "A picture is like a thousand words" - so which is right?

I guess that is the upper class version of "Rock - Paper- Scissors": Sword beats painting, because it can cut it up. Pen beats sword because words are more powerful than deeds. And painting beats pen because a picture is worth a thousand words.

So on that basis, could you submit a three thousand word essay with just three pictures in it?


So the next time you are reading a paper, or a magazine, just take another look at the sentence you just read, and see if you can't lose a consonant, to spice it up a bit!







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