Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random things . . .

1. Betty told me that to avoid near collisions when walking (I always seem to choose to walk the same direction the person about to crash into me chooses to walk), I should look at people's feet. Whichever way their feet are pointing, they will walk. I've discovered that this method works most of the time. And it's a far better method than watching faces.

2. I invented a new term--symmetrical rhyme--which takes into account both visual and sound properties (granted these are a stretch) of certain words. (Why is it that we only ever talk about the sounds words make and their meanings? Why don't we talk about the shape of the letters? The visual patterns?)

Symmetrical Rhyme: a word where the first 1/2 of the word when read front to back (e.g., cot) rhymes with the second 1/2 of the word when read back to front (e.g., not (being the reverse as ton)), as in the word COT-TON.

And while we're at it, here are some other terms:

Asymmetrical Rhyme: a word that has the same properties as symmetrical rhyme, except that one of the rhyming units is longer than the other.

Symmetrical Half Rhyme: a word that has the same properties as symmetrical (full) rhyme, only either the vowel sound or the consonant sounds rhyme (not both; otherwise, it would be full rhyme). Some examples of symmetrical half rhyme: FAT-TEN (fat and net are half rhymes with the t-sound rhyming; if you want to get technical, they're an example of consonance); MIR-ROR (mir and ror are half rhymes (consonance)); BUT-TON (but and not are half rhymes (consonance)).

And then, of course, you could have asymmetrical half rhyme.

I know that these terms would not be all that useful to poets, as we never pronounce the word COTTON as cot and not. But, I still think that the visual properties, and their resultant sounds, are important. I'm just not wise enough, however, to know how.

3. The difference between a candy orange slice (which seems rather soft) and a jelly ring (which seems firmer), is the thickness of the candy. The thicker the jelly, the softer.

4. If someone offered you five beautiful rings--all of gold bedecked in jewels--and the only catch was that you had to grow an extra finger for that fifth ring, would you do it? (They won't let you put the ring on your thumb.) There's a billboard in SL that says you'll like their stuff so much that you'll wish you had more fingers. (And I know I'm not supposed to take it literally, but I just can't imagine ever ever ever wanting more fingers, unless I had lost one in a tragic Lemony Snicket-esque accident.)


Oriana said...

I would definitely not want an extra finger. It seems rather cumbersome to have the other 4 fingers bedecked with jeweled rings as well.

You always amaze me at your deep thoughts about things. I've never looked at the words visually before, only at their sound.

Betty Edit said...

Sometimes I think I'm deep. Then I talk to you, and I feel so shallow.

I can't think about this stuff at this time of night. When I can read and understand both at once, I'll comment further.

Olive Kite said...

It's more senseless than deep :-).

Betty Edit said...

Ok, I've reread it now and understand. That's pretty fun, but do the words have to break down into two other real words? Because if so, I don't know that ror is a word (mir-ror).

As to the visual/aural patterns: letters are meant to indicate communication which is mainly otherwise expressed verbally, through sounds. Though various interests are exploring visual aspects of letters, the mainstream of society uses pictures and art to convey images; we do not automatically think of images when we think of letters.

There are, however, people who think as you do: just look at the alphabet books in any children's library.

Besides, you're just super attuned to art, shapes, and lines. It's like me wondering how people don't notice what note the vacuum cleaner runs at, or the rhythm of the garbage disposal.

And that is my opinion.

literaqueen said...

More poetry terms! Cool to play with, but they kind of made my head hurt-- but they also made me marvel at your insights.

Your Christmas gift is in the mail! Merry Christmas!

And no way do I want extra fingers. My hands would look funny.

ol' Bob said...

May I comment here?

It may have been Ray Bradbury in The Martian Chronicles, or perhaps some other SF author, who wrote of Martian language poetry being visually symmetric, which isn't quite what you're talking about and certainly isn't possible in English.

Writing poetry with one of your new rhyming conventions might be exceeding difficult.

Olive Kite said...

. . . especially since there are so few words that fall into these categories. Yet visual poetry--poetry where one takes into account the actual physicality of a word, could be interesting.