Cellar Door

 

 

As doors go, this is a much prettier door than a cellar door.

After I wrote my poem, forgottenman apprised me of the significance of “cellar door“—that being that many consider it to be one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language, apart from its meaning.  Since I had already written my poem using “cellar door” in its literal sense, I published my first post anyway but now feel compelled to rebut it as one of the most beautiful phrases (or words) in the English language and to suggest a few more.  Propinquity is one, although I still have to look it up every time I hear it. Ascendency is another, as is onomatopoeia–but that is too obvious a choice. Parsimonious or terrarium. Gondola. Pandemonium.  Okay.  It’s getting late and let’s face it.  There are lots of beautiful words in the English language, and in my estimation, cellar door isn’t even in the running. 

 

The Daily Inkling Prompt today is cellar door.

28 thoughts on “Cellar Door

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Yes.. that’s almost what I used. I used to sing at public events when I was a little girl and that’s one of the songs I sang, along with my best friend who lived two houses over on my block. My mom once altered the words so we could sing it for the homecoming celebration. It started, “Playmate, come to the game with me”……and included the line “We’ll cheer for victory!” If you look at my other prompt, you’ll see the other connotation of the phrase.

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  1. okcforgottenman

    Wouldn’t you just know I have a list of my favorite words stashed away and handy:

    (non-)matutinal, persiflage, lullaby, pacific, inchoate (and incipient), sobriquet, lugubrious, shibboleth, dissolute, aposiopesis, riparian, solipsistic, limerence, afindeo (Ok, it’s aficionado. I was SO mistaken for so many years.), paraprosdokian, susurration, senescence, hegemony, sea anemone, zaftig, lorem ipsum, suspicion, merkin, kerfuffle, anomie, venery, schadenfreude, perspicuous, eudaemonia, cleave, cacoethes scribendi, propinquity, ampersand (if only for its etymology), tomorrow, doorknob, lapis lazuli, cusp, philtrum (if only for its etymology), logoleptic (duh!), sprachgefühl, decant, supple, disarming, docent, rodomontade, compersion, anatiferous, crepuscular, dolce far niente, synesthesia, lapsus calami, mumpsimus/sumpsimus, palimpsestic, zugzwang, concupiscent, syllepsis, petrichor, callipygian, mamihlapinatapai.

    (I’m embarrassed to admit that, at any given instant, I’ve forgotten the definitions of half these lovely words. I really need some flashcards.)

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        1. Christine Goodnough

          I stumbled upon it looking for “anchovy.”
          I’m trying to write a song, The Pizza Order,” for the school kids, fitting the tune, “Sing A Song of Sixpence” and needed a three-syllable pizza topping….”that don’t come in a can.” (Has to rhyme with ham.) Does anybody know if anchovies “don’t come in a can”? 😉

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      1. lifelessons Post author

        I think we could make up a poem using all of forgottenman’s words. Wanna try? I, too, didn’t know what an anchorite was. Isn’t a cusp an edge and a bicuspid a tooth?? I’ll have to look it up.

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      2. lifelessons Post author

        Okay, Christine and forgottenman. I have one for both of you. What is a “cusp of Carabelli?” Yes, I just discovered it, too, while looking up “cusp,” which is not only an edge but a pointed edge or place where two things intersect. Word sleuths.

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  2. Christine Goodnough

    Actually I did know that “cusp” is an edge, but this cusp of Carabelli I had to look up. An intriguing odd dental formation!

    Since you asked, my first verse: I originally had “mushrooms”, but that gave a slur I didn’t like: “mu-ush-rooms”. so I changed it to giant/jumbo shrimp. Maybe I could use tiger prawn — but do the kids know what those are?
    Hey, bring us home a pizza, Sis; there’s nothing here to eat.
    Get pepperoni, sausages, ground beef and double cheese
    on half and get the other half with pineapple and ham,
    and have them add some jumbo shrimp that don’t come from a can.”

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Sounds good. Really cute. Forgive my potential meddling, but I’d change “eat” to “please” so it would rhyme with cheese, but then I’m a stickler. The kids won’t care. Unless you are in Australia, I don’t think the kids would understand prawn unless it has come into general usage in Canada and the U.S. while I wasn’t looking. You are Canadian, right? If “There’s nothing here to please” doesn’t please, you could say, “There’s no food here to please.” Or you could say “There’s no food here that pleases. Get pepperoni, sausages, ground beef and double cheeses.” Or. . . . .

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    2. lifelessons Post author

      I didn’t know it was a pointy edge, though.. thus the bicuspid! I’ve learned more through blogging than I have in all the years since college.. at least in terms of words.

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  3. Christine Goodnough

    Ode To Periphrasis

    The persiflage of my propinquity
    Thanksgiving afternoon
    led to my iniquity
    of falling asleep to the croon
    of Uncle Freddie’s monologues
    of riparian success,
    anadromous angling,
    and somehow in the mess
    I muttered words inchoate
    that enthralled my kith and kin
    disrupting Fred’s rhodomontade
    in the middle of his spin
    then all ears were attentive
    to what I might reveal
    of dissolute behaviour
    in my half-conscious spiel.

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  4. Pingback: Word-lovers’ Camaraderie | Christine's Collection

  5. Christine Goodnough

    Thanks for the tip re: cheese and please. Cheeses/pleaases would need an extra note. could be done.
    Aas the song goes, they decide to order two, then invite the cousins and order three — with various toppings, gluten-free, no spices for Grandma, soft crust for toothless Uncle Herb. Finally Mom says, Enough! “Just bring home buns and wieners and we’ll have a barbecue.”

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      1. Christine Goodnough

        Since it was e-mailed to me, I’ll forward it.
        Note: We did go back to the mush-rooms. The way she sings it —the woman who wrote the notes for me— it sounds like a quick slur. 🙂
        And Note: our children learn shaped notes. It’s easier.

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