Thursday, 12 April 2012

Jabberwocky mama

Yesterday I tweeted about buying a lottery ticket. I asked for a pick and mix until the women’s blank stare suggested to me I may have got this wrong. Apparently what I was after was a lucky dip.

Nevertheless, it did get me thinking to my poor, ill-used vocabulary. Despite being an editor, and therefore one would assume (and hope) somewhat of a wordsmith, the sad truth is that, particularly when talking, huge chunks of vocabulary tend to go missing.

Of course, I could blame baby brain, but if I’m entirely honest with myself, I’ve always suffered from this particular affliction. I do think it’s getting slightly worse though and naturally I blame my baby for this, not least because she can’t (yet) pipe up and defend herself. 

The problem is that babies like singing and varied pitches; no matter how tone deaf you are, singing to them never fails to delight. The problem comes about when you start rhyming randomly, making up words as you go along. As far as your baby is concerned you could be singing in fluent Italian, running through the periodic table, or reciting one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Clearly I started with this repertoire but then decided as she doesn’t know any different, ‘Twinkle,  twinkle little star, where’s the boogy bogey bar’ would do just fine. Alas, adults are not quite as forgiving so I’m trying to reign in the snogglejums so my recited shopping list sounds a bit less like a follow up to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.  

And by the way, my pick and mix lottery ticket was a winner! Sweeties all round with my £10.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


  1. Thanks Paul! If you come across anything you think might be relevant to blog about here, please let me know. And please spread the word - I am still a newbie! x