Tag Archives: P words

Prepositions: a poem

Preposition: n. a function word that typically comes before a noun phrase to form a modifying phrase – examples: with, for, up, in out, of, beside

I always loved grammar, especially diagramming sentences. It made the language so orderly.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac, which arrives in my inbox every day, I learned about  humorist and biographer Morris Bishop, born this day in 1893, who wrote a poem about prepositions.

[Bishop] was a brilliant scholar, fluent in German, Swedish, French, Spanish, Latin, and modern Greek. He wrote biographies of Pascal, Champlain, La Rochefoucauld, Petrarch, and St. Francis. But we remember him best as the author of light verse, such as this:

I lately lost a preposition:
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair.
And angrily I cried: “Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!”

Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: “What should he come
Up from out of in under for?”

Possessed by possessions: P-post #366!

Possessed: adj. influenced or controlled by something (as an evil spirit, a passion, or an idea)

Possession: n. something owned, occupied, or controlled; property

With this morning’s post I have proffered and probed 365 words beginning with P.  365 P-words may seem like a plethora, but really it’s a paltry potpourri; I’ve barely penetrated the pregnant possibilities P-words provide.

You could say I’ve been possessed by P. Although I will continue to post here, it won’t be so regularly because I have a pressing priority: dealing with my Possessions.

I’ve got to get rid of about half my stuff so I can sell this house and move to a smaller place.  But, I’m not going away.  I’ve started another WordPress blog – on downsizing, cataloging the process of Getting to Less.

I hope that some of you will join me over at Getting to Less. Advice, moral support and tips from your own experience always welcome. Maybe you’ve got ideas about selling art? antiques? Dealing with boxes of photos, big honking scrapbooks.  Aaaagh.

The blog is a bit sparse so far… I’ve edited and moved over about 20 former P-posts that seemed on topic (so if you read a post that seems strangely familiar; it is – like I’m using this post title but the content is different).

Soon the material will be All New!

Posting performance: a progress report

Post: v. to write and upload a blog entry to WordPress

Performance: n. the execution of an action; something accomplished; the fulfillment of a claim, promise, or request

Progress: n. movement toward an objective or goal; gradual betterment

Yesterday’s post was my 350th since my first on April 4, 2008. To reach my goal of 365 posts in one year (an average of one a day) I need to pull together 15 posts more in the next 14 days.

I believe I’ll make it. And yet I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of great P-words. The question is, will I continue to post so regularly?

Probably not, because I’ve got some other writing projects in the fire that need more attention.  But then, P-words are addictive. Once you start looking for them, you realize there is a plethora of plummy ones patiently waiting to be plucked and picked apart.

A Prompt to Perusers: proffer your comments, please…

Prompt: n. something that reminds or incites to action

Peruse: v. to browse, to look over casually; to read carefully

Proffer: v.t.  to offer up or present for acceptance

Dear Perusers, Passersby, Lurkers and Regular Readers,

WordPress has a clever way of keeping track of how many folks visit a blog, which posts they looked at, which terms they used to find the blog or post, and which links intrigued them enough to link through.

So I know you’re out there. I know you stop by.

Some of you are friends and family, but most of you are total strangers. A couple of those who started as strangers comment often enough that I now think of them as real friends, and that feels really good.

I started “365 Words that Begin with P” to trick myself into a regular writing practice.  (The posts listed here will explain why “P”, etc.) I said that I didn’t care if folks read or commented on what I wrote because that wasn’t the point.

But evidently I lied. I do care.

Since April 6, 2008 I’ve written 292 posts, a number that astounds me (and yet hundreds of great P-words still remain untouched!). I’m having lots of fun.

Now I’d like to hear what’s on YOUR mind. Your favorite P-words and why. Your problems with practice productivity priorities people politics passion perseverence parenting pickles poodles or parsnips.

I have my own favorite posts, but they’re not reflected in in the WordPress stats, which are driven by what people are searching for or being linked to from a popular blog.  Mention a political controversy (all things Palin) or a celebrity (Randy Pausch and Paul Newman – both Unitarians who died recently) and I get LOTS of hits. Mention something of interest to ME (prunes, packrats, plethora) and maybe a hundred take a peek. Though who knew that a hundred people a month would want to read Patron – about the older men in top hats lurking/leering just offstage in the paintings of Degas and Fourain  (students googling “Degas” in preparation for a paper?).

So… in the new year, indulge me by commenting every now and then. I promise I’ll comment back. Let’s have more of a conversation!

Plethora

Plethora: a superabundance, an excess

It’s only been three days but already a Plethora of P words are Percolating up into consciousness. A plethora of words with so much Possibility: paradox, patience, petrified, power, place, passwords (don’t you HATE them? How many do you have and how do you remember which works with what?), presidents (now there’s a topic!), penguin, pork, pinkeye, pansies (in bloom now on my supermarket’s shelf) … and I have several pages of other P words waiting in the wings.

Plethora – what a bounteous word!

It calls up cornucopias and the mythical Pitcher that stays full no matter how much is Poured from it, the colors of spring, all the Plant and animal species that inhabit our Planet, the number of stars that used to glow from the sky when I was a kid camping out (back before light Pollution), the overpowering love a mother feels for her baby. The bottomless well of generosity I want to find in myself.

Plethora was the first special vocabulary word I recall learning as I Prepared for college entrance exams, and it was delicious because it sounded so grown up. We sprinkled it liberally in our conversations, along with apotheosis and nadir.