Tag: nonsense rhymes

Edward Lear popularized the limerick

Higher-cynths, lower-cynths, and Seeze Pyders: why Lear’s ‘nonsense’ language is more than just fun

If there were no other reason to remember Edward Lear with fondness (and there are, in fact, very many), his popularization of the limerick would be enough. Like so many children, I was always delighted to come across limericks. My favourite was about the young man of Nepal, who went to a fancy dress ball. […]

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birth of words

Tracing the birth of words: from ‘open’ to ‘heffalump’

Open for longer It is always immensely satisfying to be able to pinpoint the genuine birthday of a word in English, although there will always be some words for which this will be impossible. It can be difficult to trace exactly when a word first made its appearance on paper (and when it was used […]

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Dr Seuss

A poetic tribute to Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss, the pen-name of Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904–1991), was an American writer of hugely successful books for children. And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937) introduced Seuss’s iconic visual and verbal style. This was further extended in the ‘Beginner Book’ series, of which The Cat in the Hat (1957) was […]

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