WORDPLAY post #152
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio (registered pseudonym) and Dr. GH, December 2018. Today's verses have been web-published at OEDILF.com, an online humour dictionary that has accumulated 102,000 carefully edited limericks.
SONGLINK: For those readers who like poetry set to music: On our sister blog "SILLY SONGS and SATIRE", you can find various singable versions of limerick medleys, including a collection of verses about French set to a novel tune.
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Authors' Note: The present participle (participe présent) is used much less commonly in French compared to English. In contrast, infinitives are used more often, so 'knowing and doing' is described by savoir-faire, whereas sachant-faisant seems à rire (laughable).
All the French verbs mentioned here, as well as avoir, to have, are irregular, so their roots undergo weird transformations in some circumstances. Savant, an archaic form derived from savoir, is still in use as a noun for 'someone who knows' (a prodigy).
à propos: in regard
outré: inappropriately eccentric in behaviour or appearance, or exceeding the limits of propriety
sans doute (sahn DOOT): certainly, without doubt
paraph (PA-ruhf): confirmatory mark after a signature, derived more remotely from the French term paraphe
nonpareil: a paragon, one who has no equal
Although the word nonpareil has been used in English, often pronounced as non-pah-REHL, since the 16th century, one must adopt the snobbier French pronunciation (non-pah-RAY) for the verse to rhyme.
Despite its status as a longstanding valuable English descriptor, unique retains a Gallic sound, which is frankly ... unique.
corniches (cohr-NEESH): French shortened expression for routes en corniche, "roads on the ledge" that epitomize the spectacular views along the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera)
roué: (roo-AY, or anglicized, as here, ROO-ay): French for an elderly debauched man, derived from the outdated meaning of "broken on the wheel“,
(la roue being French for "wheel").
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