Sunday, May 23, 2010

Literary Learning

I always like those moments where I learn something that really makes me say "WOW!!" and impresses my mind. I just recently had one that really impressed me, so I'm writing about it.

Have you ever heard of a Portmanteau? The first time I heard about it was Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm. For those of you who have not heard of this word (and who do not want to try the link just yet), it is a word created by combining two or more words or morphemes, and their meanings, into one new word. It is sort of like a contraction, but is used to combine two words together that you would not normally put together in a sentence. An example of a portmanteau...Spanglish.

Now, to those of you wondering what I was doing to stumble across this word...

I was at work and talking to one of the nurses there. Somehow, we started talking about The Jabberwocky. We laughed at the words in the whole first stanza, not to mention "The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" At that point in the conversation, I just passed Lewis Carroll off as a doped up freak show (or just that he wrote that poem during a psychotic moment). Then, after I went home, I looked it up on Wikipedia. That's where I found out about portmanteaus and that The Jabberwocky was full of them!

For example:
  • Burbled: Bleat, Murmur, and Warble
  • Chortled: Chuckled and snort
  • Galumphing: Galloping and Triumphant
  • Frabjous: Fair, Fabulous, and Joyous
Anyway, you get the picture. Needless to say, I am still amazed and am currently obsessed with this poem. I now believe that Lewis Carroll is amazing (but, as my uncle pointed out, he was still probably doped up AND psychotic.

And here's a little video of "Lewis Carroll" reading the masterpiece:

I hope you all found that as enjoyable and interesting as I did!

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"[Confucius] taught that the country which develops the finest music, the grandest poetry, and the noblest moral ideals--that is, the country with the most exalted culture--will always yield the greatest power in the world."

-Letters from the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears

"Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I am in Somebody's hand!'

-Mr. Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge

"...[T]he magnitude of [life] is not as to [one's] external displacements, but as to [one's] subjective experiences."

-Thomas Hardy in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

"...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed--because 'Thou mayest.'"

-Lee in East of Eden