Sun, 2 Apr 2023

Old Limericks

— SjG @ 10:27 am

Going through my old scribbled notes, I came across these from 1994:

A limerick writer I’m not,
for rhyming no talent I’ve got.
I know to count feet
or syllabic beat,
but how many lines I’ve forgot.

The limericks that Tina once wrote
with one affliction were smote:
They ended so fine,
on next to last line

A poet there was from Bombay,
whose limericks were strange in one way:
three lines they’d have

There is a young gal from Purdue,
whose limericks all end at line two.

There once was a man from Verdun,

(and then I seem to recall there’s a limerick about a guy named Nero…)

Mon, 16 Sep 2019


— SjG @ 10:42 pm

OK, it’s a kind of awkward word. It combines a Greek root and a Latin root, which is probably not a terrible thing since there are plenty of other good words that do that. I like it more than the more consistent “amphotopian” which sounds like something optical, or “ambilocian” which sounds like some rich-person drug.

Utopian and dystopian are also awkward, when you think about it. Utopia was Thomas More’s “No Place” — it was too ideal to exist. The word gradually drifted from his idyllic perfect island in the Atlantic to become the generic perfect place. You’d think the opposite of No Place would be Some Place, but of course that misses the flavor somewhat. Thus the opposite “dystopia” came about. According to, the word was first used in this sense as early as 1868 (but had an earlier medical definition of an out-of-place organ).

So what of a speculative place neither exemplary nor exactly infernal? A place where both good and bad happens? A place where people muddle through as best they can? A place like everywhere, really?

I’m going to go with “ambitopian.” Both places. Neither heaven nor hell, where people are imperfect, some base, some noble, all going about their business. A place with a balance, over time, where the pendulum swings but always returns to somewhere near a center. With any luck, there’s progress, but if there is, it’s probably gradual.

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