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A Twitter-Pated Tongue Twister: Wonderland Wonders What Stephen Fry Would Say. Cheshire Cat Grins.
I tot I taw a twitter @!
Twitter follows Alice Down the Rabbit Hole: Twitter-pated Tongue Twister Ensues
Please be patient, Gentle Reader...
If you came here expressly for the promised Tongue Twister, your patience (or impatience for that matter) will be rewarded further below by the longest, tongue-tripping-est, perplexing-est, nonsensical-est, and otherwise superlative-est Tongue Twister you've seen in a LONG LONG TIME! We challenge you to try reading it aloud! And caution any who are so incautious as to accept that challenge: don't say we didn't warn you!! And when you find-- as you inevitably must-- your tongue twisted in Gordian Knots, don't say we didn't tell you so!!
Tell you, that is, that no matter how BRILLIG you fancy yourself to be, and no matter how experienced you are at GYRING and GIMBLING in the WABE... and no matter how MIMSY your BOROGROVES are....you better just remember this:
Never MISUNDERESTIMATE the power of a TWITTERPATED TONGUE TWISTER to make your MOME RATHS OUTGRABE!
But first, before our feature tongue-twister, a Special Report: Stephen Fry's Twittering Success Secrets, Revealed!
Do you Twitter? Or perhaps know someone who does? If so, you may already be familiar with the now-legendary success of actor, author, director, game show host, and all-around celebrity Stephen Fry in establishing a loyal following on Twitter. Mr. Fry's tweets (micro-blog updates) are read---or in Twittering terminology, followed--- by a huge host of his regular subscribers (followers in Twitter-lingo), whose numbers reached the 1,000,000 mark earlier this year.
Just how exactly did Mr. Fry ascend the throne of Twitterdom?
Covert intervention by highly advanced alien beings from Andromeda?
Recently we have come across a document which purports to contain embedded within it certain secrets of Mr. Fry's phenomenal Twittering prowess. Without a doubt, the document looked at first glance to be the longest 140 characters we had ever personally met with. After the several days it took us to read it, however, we decided it only fitting to pass this information on for the benefit of our readers.
The unusual and archaic nature of the document requires, perhaps, a teensy bit more in the way of introductory comments than would be necessary with more typical hub content. The document's author-- a virtual unknown-- seems to have been motivated (heaven knows why) by a desire to follow in the literary footsteps of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The work also bears traces of attempts to incorporate the influences of certain other poetry-mongers of vintage stock-- some anonymous, some less so.
What appears at first glance to be a formless mish-mash, then, is in reality a sophisticated, multi-leveled, tongue-in-cheek commentary on commentary itself--- or so the theory goes, anyhow-- we guess. With what success this ambitious program has been carried through, the discerning reader may best judge for her- or him-self.
To reiterate then, the presentation of information takes place in a fashion probably not widely familiar to Hubbers (and Humanity) in general. Certainly, it gives the lie to that old chestnut that "patience is a virtue".
Stylistically, we were struck by the piece. The subtle technique, in which iambic trochees and penta-hexametric dactyls are employed alternatingly, and somewhat erratically, throughout the work is absolutely unique, in our experience (for which we are thankful). Deliberately disjunctive uncoupling of couplets, quatrains, octanes, and nonanes produces alliterative effects that fly in the face of common sense and leave the peruser breathless with indignation. Without further ado, then, we consign the reader to the tender mercies of the deep...
(the deep profundities of the following poetic essay, that is.)
Presenting A Twitter-pated Tongue Twister
Translated (where possible) from the original Twitterese
And transposed and transliterated into this extended (and doubtless rather regrettable) Remix Version
The People's Humble Obsequious Servant, etc etc,
William Whistler III, esq.
The following verses are a first installment in the official "Poetry Without Feet" Summer Series,
made possible (in part) by generous funding from Watcher by Night Enterprises, headquartered in beautiful Norhymenorreason, North Dakota
"How shall we recognize Poetry when at its most sublime? I say, we may know it invariably by this sign: the verses shall be like the fabled caverns of Xanadu where ran the sacred Alph: that is to say, measureless to man." --M. Vincent Van Faux
"Little of the Saturnian verses is now remaining; we only know from authors that they were nearer prose than poetry, without feet or measure." --- from "Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry", John Dryden
You're Almost There, Gentle Reader. The Tongue Twister's Right Around the, errr... Corner. KEEP SCROLLING!
"Do you twitter?" asked Alice.
I Tot I Taw a Twitter @
Once T'was a Twitterer who twied to twitter
A tweet to two Twits to twy twittering too:
"My tweet which tweats of how to tweet,
'Twould help you two, you nitwits you,
to twy twittering too on Twitter!"
Wepwied the Two to the Twitterer,
That tweet was tight!
'Twill be a dewight--
(Quite out of sight!)
A tewwific dweam
Yet--not to be twite,
But if teww us you might,
Is it fitter to twit
Or to twitter of it,
When we Two Twits tweet of twittering to you?"
Came the Twitterer's tweet to the twittering Twits,
"@Two twicks, two twicks,
Two boooootiful twicks,
Of the twittering twade have i learned--
Eh, what? Do I have to Wepeat??!
Oh, Aaargh!!! Wisten !! --
I have learned two twicks twied and twue!!
Two twicks, two twicks, MIND, and not twain--
That makes one for each of you,
And finishes my wefwain."
"To your twicks twied and twue
We will faithfuwwy hew,"
Assented the Two,
"And what of tools of the twade-- them too?"
"Of tools, two too, o'er time have acqwued, as told in my twice-told tales---"
(Thus the Twitterer begins)
But the Twits with wide gwins,
On their faces, cut in,
"Not to intewwupt-- ( sowwy!! )
But we would wike vewy much,
We would vewy much wike
To posit a weawwy quick quewy:
Was that tome of tales there,
Twice-told you aver,
Possibwy (by the vewy wemotest, unwikewiest chance),
Entitled "Two Tattoos, on a Twerp, on a Twolly, in a Twance?"
"Old Turnip-tops, NO--
TEN-THOUSAND times NO!"
Thundered the Twitterer to the Two,
"That title is tewwibwy, howwibwy wwong!
Thirty-Gazillion, Twillion ILL Humors!!!
Let me adwess wight away,
Without furthew deway,
Such vicious, pewnicious wumors,
By bwinging to the wight of day,
A quick weview of other titles-- to be noted DULY
as having NEVER been contempwated by Youws Twuwy:
'Twiwight for a Vamp'...
'Wady and the Twamp'...
'Tawzan and his Mighty Thews Go for a Stwoll awong the Mews'...
'Tars Tarkas the Thark Thinks Twice and Thanks his Thoat'...
'Wequiem for a Shwedded Wheat Biscuit, by Woola'...
Wife of Bwyan...
(.....The Wist goes on and on!)"
"What the title is NOT, is now Cwystal Cwear,
Thanks to your efforts, we trow.
No fear of twumpewy in that wegawd,
Of that you can be pwoud.
Yet (just thinking awoud)
A pawawwew suggests itelf wight about now---
O snap!" fwetted the Twits,
"We've wost our twain of thought!"
Cweawing his thwoat with a gentle cough,
Hear the Twitterer intwepid intone,
(In a sowemn, sonowous bawitone)
That the Twits need not fwet, nor fume, nor moan,
Nor wail, nor pwead, nor even scoff--
Nor Weep. "Listen to me, Ole Hoss," (he said)
"Take comfort, at weast 'twas no GWEAT woss"
"OH SNAP!" wejoiced the Twits of a sudden
"We Twain have found our twain (of thought) again!
We've wemembewed we've another question or two
(Quizzical ones too) to ask of you,
Your twice-told tales, were they twice-tweeted too?
And if so---
If the twice-tweeted tweet is tweeted once more
As we're landing on the shore
And no more, for evermore,
Is it overdue to wealize,
Like a bolt from out the blue,
That what you tweet us three times is twue?"
"Twaddle ineffable!" the Twitterer snarled.
"I vow one day this twain of thought the twain of you will truly rue--
Truly rue it through and through!"
"To wesume an earlier thwead, Ole Hossy,
Of our pwevious convewsation,"
Continued the Twitterer, sotto voce:
"Shhh!!-- West any distuwb our wittle 'Tete a tete'--
Tee-hee !!" he simpewed manfuwwy,
(To their unbwidled constewnation)
"Coz if they do, they'd better bwing their posse !!"
But at that,
Two twittish hearts went rat-a-tat,
Faces gway with twepidation!
"But you-- you were s-s-s-saying?--" intewjected hastiwy the Twits,
And (imagine their twemendous wewief)
The Twitterer wesponded, "Where was I?
Oh yes!! Just wisten, you Two!
And though what fowwows may possibwy sound
A wittle too good to be twue,
I DO hope it won't stwain your bewief !"
Then, as the Twits wistened bweathwesswy,
The Twitterer (though at first listlessly)
Wose to the occasion with bwilliant ease,
Warming to his iwwustwious topic by degwees,
Soawing to new heights of impassioned appeal,
Till suddenly on FIRE he caught !! (with Zeal).
Then two twittish jaws dwopped and hit the fwoor,
In perfect synchwony (for Real ! )
Rewentwesswy raising rafter after rafter,
Pausing onwy for occasional outbuwsts of laughter
(Like Fwankenstein in his labowatowy)
The Twitterer delivers an impassioned oratory,
Till, opewating at fever pitch
In the white heat of fervid inspiwation,
He tells the Twits they'll soon be rich! --
Or at weast impwove their situation.
So 'twas that the Twitterer,
(O Intwepid he ! )
Wevealed himself unquestionabwy to be
An actual, factual, natuwal born lecturer,
(O the Sewendipity ! )
On things like Synchwonicity
And Thixotropic Synergy.
And when on top of all of that,
He flaunted as well his mastewy
Of incwedibly mind-boggwing minutia,
Twit One and Twit Two held their bated bweath
Till both faces turned bwight fuscia!
Then, stwiking while the iwon was hot,
The Twittewer caught those two Twits up
In gwandiose visions-- of futures soon to be
(O Happy, Happy, thrice Happy the days!),
And simultaneouswy caught them up
(In a somewhat diffewent sense of the phwase)
Yes, caught them up to speed,
On tweeting terminology
And other Twitterology.
Then, the Twitterer, calm as death,
Paused, at long last, to dwaw his bweath,
And standing with expanded chest,
Surveyed the Twits, taking the while his well-earned rest--
Surveying them, the Twitterer death calm
(not to be confused with Twitter.com).
Two twittish countenances working--
And two twittish voices jerking--
With stwong emotion !!!
Humbwy appwoaching, hats in hand,
said They, "We weawwy had no notion,
'Twould all be so subwime, so gwand,
So vaster than the ocean!!"
Continued they, wespectfuwwy,
"We have wistened to your twice-told tales
of Stephen Fwy and micwo-bwogging
And found them invawiabwy, incwedibwy
haunting and piquant:
A tweeting tweeter's Savant's Savant
and a twitterering Twitterer's Bon Vivant!!"
The Twitterer broke his silence then
And spoke again.
"What say you now, my fwiends...
Now that you've heard me hinting, hooting, and hollering,
Wegawding the virtues of 'follow', 'followers', and 'following'?"
"How feel we?
Like piglets wee,
in the mud of knowledge wallowing!"
Gushed the Twits, all atwitter with glee,
(Like twin twick-or-tweaters on Halloweeng.)
Then they sobered a tad, maybe--- mayhap,
And a look passed 'txixt the two of them,
(Then said the elder--)
"Yet must we confess one thing, Old Chap,
And pwease take it not amiss--
What we confess is namewy this:
"We feel such deep appweciation,
For your minute and detailed expwanation
Of the pweceding 'following' concepts and terms,
Despite all that-- we feel such worms!!--
We feel, indeed, this victory hollow,
For I'm ashamed to admit-- we STILL don't quite FOLLOW.
(If you know what I mean, Old Bean)
Or in other words:
Our spirits plummet with a thud
For to us it's yet as clear as MUD!!"
Fortunately the Twitterer's suppwy of patience was wimitwess.
And his inventiveness wegendawy:
So he twied a new tack (with gweat success)
Saying, a la Dundee,
"No wowwies, Mates!
--Cwikey! Forgot to say, 'G'day', I did--
Just you both be sure to wemembew--
Fwom Januwawy month on thwough Decembew
Evewy fowwowew who faithfuwwy fowwows your tweets
'Twill twemendously tweak your twaffic!"
"then T'is settled twice over," twittered fwenetically
The ecstatic Twain toot sweet:
"We two, we too, (all tanks to you!)-- we'll twy Twitter's twittering too !!!"
Tweeted the Twitterer in a quick tweet, "TWEEEET!!!"
Copyright 2009 Bill Whistler Kenworthy
Important Editorial Notes and Disclaimers:
1.) Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher, Hugh Laurie, Mike Myers, Stan Lee, Mel Blanc, Tweety Bird, Elmer Fudd, Twitter, Twitter.com, Lewis Carroll, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Arthur Guitterman, Roald Dahl, Theodor Geisel, other real poets, twitterers the world over, other real people, Twit One and Twit Two, the words 'twitter' and 'tweet', the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet, and the vast majority of sentient beings, inanimate objects, and abstract concepts throughout the known universe have no connection with and do not necessarily endorse or espouse any views which may have been expressed herein.
2.) Due to circumstances beyond our control, spell cheking may not have been thoroghly aplied to certain portions of this hub. So if certain incosistencies and malapropo-isms are noticed, then--oh, what's the use of explaining. Sigh.
3.) Thirdly, we would very much like to extend condolences to the pronunciation of 'sotto voce', although singling out a single example in a whole landscape of pronunciatory ruin and desolation may seem bringing coals to Newcastle. Coals to Newcastle? Hmmmm... no, even that didn't come out quite right, either, did it? Maybe a case of fractured syntax? Not even sure of that anymore. Double sigh.
4.) Time spent reading this horrible hub cannot be reimbursed and is lost forever. Yes, you heard us right: you will never get back the time you spent reading it--- Never! However, if you mention it to a friend, and they read it, you'll have the consoling satisfaction of knowing that they've wasted their time too, and will thus be unfitted for laughing mockingly at you for having wasted yours in the first place.
5.) This hub is remarkable, among other things, for its unparalleled butchery of the original Twitterese verses. In fact, our sources tell us that that unhappy wretch, that proverbial monkey on a typewriter, the author himself, is already seeking to distance himself from this ill-advised miscellany of doggerel thrice accursed. If you wish, nonetheless, to twit him for it, please comment below.
Even More Twitteresque Tongue Twisters
- Twitter Twongue Twister Contest
If you can't handle the epic length of the above (at least not again any time soon), try these tweet-length (140 characters max) tongue twisters.
- Twoubling Twitter Tongue Twister
Looks like this is indeed a twoubling twend.... nay, a twavesty even.
- Twitter Tongue-Twister Sister Rose's My Movies Weblog
A short and sweet doppelganger? This may very well be what my own tongue twister might have looked like if I'd tried to stay within Twitter's 140 character limit. Also seems to have both feet and measure (which I eschew through and through)...