Updation, and a Poem

Subject: Updation, and a Poem
From: David Dorbin <ddorbin -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l mailinglist <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 14:17:38 -0700 (PDT)

Apropos of the discussions we've been having about usage--archaic constructions, wierd nominalizations like "updation," using the apostrophe to signal plural, I present the following poem my uncle wrote to/about my father. I had just linked them both to the article dissing Strunk and White:

My uncle is a poet in the Beat mold. My father is a former journalist, limerick writer, and amateur presciptive grammarian who does not respond well to changes in our language or in our accepted usage.

And here is his poem:

"Ready or Not"
for JBD

"So he goes
[dit-dit"] in assertion,
"& I'm like
[dat-dat"] in rebuttal;
& my elderânot older!â
brother's formal forehead
furrows in incredulity,
incomprehension and
fundamental funk
as I explain yet again,
haltingly, lamely
as a comedian
lacing his lingo
with slang from
the previous two decadesâ
some Rip Van Winkle
of the Borscht Belt
done sleeping off
the usage bloozâ
why, though you stuff your
summa-cum-laude finger
in the dike of the
contemporary rifftide,
that irrepressibly populist
freshet of argot will flow
demonic as disease
until it fill
the entire valley
of your outrage
and disbelief.

-Sanford Dorbin

All of which is to say, I think, "updation" is a word.


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