Grandmother was a lexophile, erudite and bossy.
She said that I was malapert when she meant I was saucy.
She sat astride her horse for she was loath to simply straddle it,
and she “installed her pillion.” She didn’t merely saddle it!
Every sentence that we spoke required mediation.
Nothing was radioactive. It “emitted radiation!”
Cannibals weren’t maneaters, but rather “anthropophages,”
and prom dates brought us sprays of roses, not merely corsages!
Her mania for polite words was nothing less than ludicrous.
When dealing with the birds and bees, “womb” subbed for the word uterus.
Gentlemen had “members,” for their penises were banished—
“boobs” and “knockers” terms for bosoms that somehow had vanished.
It seems she put small value in words that spoke directly,
for it was more important that we chose words correctly.
Dictionaries were her Bibles, and they had the final word
when we used terminology that Grandma found absurd.