“Fight the Good Fight”

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The Letter F takes its place and stands tall amongst all the other letters, for it starts many a great and noble word. The feisty F has proven itself quite useful for alliteration, too.

Some folks are FOOTLOOSE and FANCY FREE
Others talk of FREEDOM, FIDELITY, and FRATERNITY.
They rally round their FLAG and FIGHT what they consider to be the FORCES of oppression. (However, opinions on “oppression” differ.)

The Apostle Paul urged the followers of Christ to

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The flexibility of the letter F is also useful for this cute
little verse my mother-in-law liked to quote:
A flea and a fly were imprisoned one day in a flue.
Said the fly to the flea, “Let us fly!”
Said the flea to the fly, “Let us flee!”
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

F can stand for FIRST. And this week I’ve seen some first-class spring signs:
the first butterfly
the first robin
the first meadowlark

But watch your step, because F can also begin:

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As in this poem I’ve called “FOLLY”

Fools are always rushing in
where another fool’s already been,
the path well trodden by the feet
that think temptation’s end is sweet.

The Essential E

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and conclude that the letter E holds pride of place in the English language.

You can’t SUCCEED, PROCEED, or even ENTER without it! Yes, the lowly E is NEEDFUL, REQUIRED — the KEYSTONE, EVEN, for most English words.

Fans of cryptograms can tell you that the letter E, and the combo of

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are the first things they look for when setting out to solve the puzzle.

That said, did you know “English” started out milleniums ago meaning a fishhook?

The Angles, a West Germanic people who immigrated to the British Isles, hailed from the Angul district of Schleswig, which is just south of modern Denmark. Their homeland, part of the Jutland peninsula, was shaped somewhat like a fishhook so its inhabitants used their word for fishhook to refer to their country. When they sailed across the sea they brought this name along, plus the words angler and angling. They weren’t the only Germanic people who came and decided to stay; the squeezed-out locals tarred them all with the same brush: Anglo-Saxons.

An Ethnic Legend:
We have a friend whose parents immigrated to Canada from Denmark. When she was young, her father told her that the original inhabitants of Britain couldn’t talk; their only communication was grunts and squeaks. He claimed the Angles were the ones who taught the British how to talk. I’m not sure where he learned this bit of history, but we took it with a grain of sea salt.

The Dreadful D’s

Today we’ll dither over

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Thinking about this letter brings to mind a host of depressing words:
Degenerate
Degraded
Demented
Depraved
Depressed
Detest
Dissipated
Dissolute
Drivel

This clever image is by Piyapong Saydaung — Pixabay

Looking on the bright side,

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Words like DAYLIGHT, DAPPER, DARLING, DEAR, DECENT + DELIGHTFUL
help to balance the scale. One of the more appealing D words that comes to my mind is…

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Image by Radoslaw Ciesla — Pixabay

And then there’s

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Which can mean…
Academic, bookish, cerebral, civilized, cultured, enlightened, erudite, highbrow, intellectual, informed, knowledgeable, lettered, pedantic, polished, refined, scholarly, schooled, skilled, trained, versed, well bred.

Pixabay image

In other words, don’t ask DIDACTS to explain what they mean unless you have a lot of time to hear them out.

Christine’s C Collection

Today I’ll share a few choice words starting with

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And we shall go from…

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Convolute (verb) means to coil, twist or entwine
Convoluted (adjective) is something quite COMPLEX and difficult to follow.
Our word originated centuries ago with the Latin verb convolvere, meaning to roll together, to intertwine.

Yesterday I saw this fine example of “convoluted” in the book I’m reading. This multi-published author normally produces polished work, but this sentence slipped past somehow:
The customers at both tables were openly staring at them with curious expressions on their collective faces.

BUT…
– We’ve already been told there were diners at two other tables.
– Faces is already a plural noun. Scratch COLLECTIVE.
– Where else would they have curious expressions but on their faces?

My suggestion: The other customers eyed them curiously.

Here’s the opening sentence of an article in a Christian newsletter. Brief but rather twisted:
“To read what Jesus said when He prayed for our oneness with Him and the Father gives one many thoughts.”

I can’t think of a brief way to clarify this, but here’s my suggestion:
Many thoughts come to us as we read Jesus prayer (John 17:21-23) where He asks his Father to bless his disciples with a unity of faith and purpose.

If you wish to curry favour
when writing your latest novel, dear,
do your best to trim the excess;
make your meaning simply clear
.

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Another of my favourite C words! Doesn’t it even sound a bit sneaky? A clandestine meeting or operation is one done secretively, especially if the activity is illegal.

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CENTI-anything means one hundred, but has anyone actually COUNTED all the feet on a centipede, or is this just a rough guess? This CRITTER’S colour CLASHES with his environment.

Background by Kytalpa — Pixabay

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Last but not least, if you want to impress your doctor with your grasp of medical matters, ask him if you have too much CERUMEN in your ears.

To Be- or not to Be-

Today let’s take a look at the letter

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This letter brings forth a bounty of delightful words, some very plain like BETTER and BEST, some more intense, like BANDITTI, those dreadful BUSHWHACKERS. And then there are the be- words like BEHEST, BEGET, BEGONE, BENIGHTED, BERATE, BETRAY, BETOSS, BETRAMPLE, BEWARE. You can probably think of many more.

And BI- words…And BY-words.

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Image by Capri23 Auto — Pixabay

Did you know that the word BRUSQUE is derived from the name of an unpleasant spine-covered shrub called “the butcher’s broom”? The Latin name, bruscum became the Italian brusco and the meaning morphed into sharp , tart, or sour. The French adopted it as BRUSQUE, and understood it to mean fierce or lively. We Anglophones kept the French version, but added an adaptation of our own for good measure: the word BRISK.

And now a lively little verse that I penned on Saturday, when FLAMFOO was the prompt at Word of the Day..

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I’ve never been a flamfoo,
just do enough to pass;
a shower and a shampoo,
bedecked in simple class.

Never tried to look bepranked
in duds that gleam or flash,
nor as a fashion-plate be ranked
I’d rather bank my cash.

Wash and wear” is my one speed
and minimum my taste;
bedizenments I don’t need,
those primps and perms a waste.

You may lament my brusquerie,
berate my spartan leaning,
but I’ll bypass the frippery,
let others do the preening.

Just A Cat

As I wrote in my rambling post this morning, our dear little Tuffy is no longer with us, having been hit by a passing vehicle last night. Here’s another poet who lost a loved pet.

JUST A CAT
by James Allen

You’ve gone, old pal! No more I’ll hear
your deep contented purr,
nor will my fingers stoke again
your sleek and cosy fur.
No more my feet will stumble o’er
your friendly arching back–
that little trick you played so well
when begging for a snack.

Those trustful eyes so deep and wise
nor more shall gaze in mine;
no more I’ll watch your graceful tread
so lordly and benign.
No more upon the window sill
you’ll sit beside my chair,
to read with me the Daily Star
and show your wisdom rare.

I found a wisp of fur today
where once you laid your head;
‘twas near the spot you loved so well–
the bottom of my bed.
I miss you, little pal of mine,
and heavy is my heart,
for in a life of noise and strife
you played a kindly part.

Methinks I hear the cynics say,
“Aw, shucks, he’s just a cat!”
They do not know, these heedless ones,
a pet is just like that:
perhaps a horse you love to ride,
a dog or maybe two;
there’s something in that bond that makes
a richer man of you.

And so a thought I’d like to plant
amid the selfish din:
a love of pets and helpless things
would make the world akin.
To “Timo” then, I pen my ode
and hope – if I may dare –
that in the Happy Hunting Grounds
he’ll find good hunting there.

This is from an old clipping saved by Bob’s Mom. Other notes on the clipping speaks of Canada as “the Dominion of” so it does back a ways. Maybe even a long-lost relative of mine. 🙂