Thursday 14 August 2008

No thanks, I seldom banana

There is a (seemingly discontinued) book on Amazon called The Mogrified Glomp. Isn't that an absolutely fantastic name for a book? For anything, really, come to think of it. What on earth does it mean? Does it matter? I yurgled with pleasure when I came across those words. The Mogrified Glomp. Genius.

“What's for tea, mum?”
“Mogrified Glomp.”
“No buts. You'll have it and you'll like it and that's all there is to it.”

How come some words are just plain magic? If you look at the online Shetland Dictionary, for example, it becomes very hard to see how these people communicate even a few simple words without committing an act of extreme Lewis Carroll. Though badly skoomfished and demaloory, the greetie-growlie skourdaboggie ate his grice-mites, tilly-spoot. Do they even make words like that, anymore?

And then there's calishang and yallicrack, fant and gyndagooster; gludder, klookie, babbie-cloots, gock and cockiloorie. Deary me. Such a glorious hallie-palloo. If you concentrate on the D section of the Shetland Dictionary, however, something else emerges, too. Take the following words (and their definitions):

Dudderie – rough, shaggy
Daddit – hit, beat
Daa – father, dad
Da – the

Conceivably, then, you could have: da dudderie daa daddit da....? I don't know. What did the dudderie daa hit? I'm not so sure that it matters what he hit, in fact, because this already feels less like a language and more like Morse Code. Beautiful stuff, obviously, but most decent people will simply be left worrying about whether it is possible to construct crossword clues in Lewis Carrollian Morse Code.

The good news is that it can be done. The other good news is that I'll not be sharing my efforts with you in this space, as this post is destined to be precisely 400 words long and I would need way more words than that to explain the nature and construction of the clues.

It may come as some consolation, however, to learn that Osama Bin Laden can have his name made into the anagram A Lesbian Nomad. What were the chances? You can also have Abased Lion-Man or, my new favourite, I Seldom Banana. I'm sorry, but I love that. I'm dying for someone to offer me a banana so that I can spring this radical new verb on them. A difficult situation to engineer, perhaps, but by no means impossible.

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