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What Does Thor Swing His Hammer For?
by M. Zachary Johnson
Stuck together by some glue,
Little pairs of letters run.
Such letters number two,
But their sound is only one.
We call these symbols “digraphs,”
And we use them all the time.
They pervade our every paragraph,
And every nursery rhyme.
The “S” and “H” in “shoe”
The “K” and “N” in “kneel”
The “C” and “H” in “chew”
The “W” “H” in “wheel”
Without these married pairs
Holding hands and having fun
Our tongue falls down the stairs
Descending into pun.
The puniest of puns,
The sniveliest of puns,
The very lowest
And most elegantly wrong
Contortions of language imaginable!
This is what happens if we take
The special sound that we make
With “T” and “H”
And kill their special bond,
A sin from which meaning and sense
Can never recover.
I'm afraid you’d be quite shocked
If your handy spool of thread
Into your old cousin Fred!
Your companions may be distraught--
The ones you sit at dinner with--
When they learn that your seat has brought
A bit of a smelly whiff!
When you pass the age of twelve,
Should people think you have not just aged another year,
But acquired a new and old-fashioned profession?
You've become a teen who trades in animal pelts,
Apollo killed the python
So his advice is “pithy”
But its gravitas is gone
And it doesn't sound too spiffy,
This smelly turd, this highly iffy
Weakened word called “piffy.”
What if Shakespeare wrote an Ode to Thee
But you thought that you owed a fee!
If you try to sell a widget,
And say that the cost is 3,
Your income becomes a midget.
Your customer heard that it's free.
Your bank account will suffer
Your life will end in shame
And it's your own lazy puffer
And your sloppy tongue to blame.
It's a matter of harmony or strife--
Whether you and your wife
Thought over something
or fought over something!
After all: What does Thor
swing his hammer for?
Now this compulsive “F”--
Is it some kind of thrill
Of the highest order?
Or is it just a frill,
A delicate little border?
Living on the edge,
And decorating it,
Are two. different. things.
Just how are people to know
If you are “froufrou” through and through?
Are you a man
bearing it out through thick and thin?
Or a fickle fish
flapping a dorsal fin?
You're all set
On the first day of Christmas
As long as you feel no thirst.
Luckily, on the second
Your problem is not the worst.
Did you know that in urban slang,
A “ferd” means a man with no sense?
Don't be one on the Third.
Or any other day, preferred.
After bird calls on the fourth,
I'm afraid your tongue will be too tied
to garner any golden rings on the fi-f-th,
any laying geese on the sixth
any swimming swans on the seventh
any milking maids on the eighth
any dancing ladies on the ninth
any leaping lords on the tenth
any piping pipers on the eleventh
and certainly your tongue will not be ready to call for
any drumming drummers on the twel-f-th!
Perhaps some are too busy
Putting their tongue in their cheek
To put it between their teeth
Or should I say “tief,”
The German word for “deep”?
Which also sounds suspiciously like “thief”
But I guess that should be “feef”
But up this, I cannot keep.
Forgive me if I be so bold
As to chide and act the scold
But this thing is growing like a mold
And people need to be told.
To save the clarity of language,
Just apply a little bandage.
Because we have good reason to fret
Over such an imminent threat.
copyright 2018 M. Zachary Johnson
All Rights Reserved.