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November 23, 2012

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I totally--strongly!--agree with you about rhyme and meter in parodies. On the other hand I note that the original poem rhymes "Vixen" and "Blitzen".

@empty: In the early 19th century, "tz" was pronounced like "x."

OK, I just made that up.

It makes no sense at all. Perhaps Spanx outsourced the ad copy to non-English speakers?

Bizarre! I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that with "alas" before.

I'd give them a pass on the "snug"/"glove" half-rhyme. As far as I can tell, their little quatrain bears no relation whatsoever to the poem alluded to in the headline, so I think the most charitable response—'tis the season for charity, after all—would be to assume that it's not intended to. (That would make it a non sequitur, rather than a thoroughly inept attempt at parody. I think that's a lesser sin.)

They do, however, lose marks for the backward apostrophe in "“Twas" (like the one you pointed out in one of the 'tis-ers in your post from last year).

OK, I just made that up.

I actually considered believing you for a moment or two before I read that. This is some sort of testament to my gullibility or your well-earned authority, or both.

I have occasionally run into this kind of misuse of "alas". The first time was about 7 or 8 years ago, in a classroom newsletter written by a very smart and seasoned preschool teacher. Shocking.

Geez. Now that I reread the post again, I find that left to my own devices I might not have even recognized this as a reference to "'Twas the Night ..." or whatever it's called: the scansion is that bad. Also there is a grammatically irritating something--a lack of parallelism or something--about "When slipping ... and the fit is".

Banned holiday cliches where I work:


— ’Tis the season
— bah, humbug
— it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (or like anything else)
— yes, Virginia
— ho, ho, ho
— holidaze
— Christmas came early (for anyone or anything)
— Calling anyone or anything a Grinch
— deck the halls
— the white stuff (in reference to snow)


@Andrea: Your list is in sync with John McIntyre's: http://bsun.md/T2NyLd

Anyone who has ever struggled to squeeze into a Spanx will agree that voilà! or presto! definitely don't describe the experience.

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