New words

“I like good strong words that mean something.”
– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

I love it when I find new words.  Today’s new word is ACROSTIC.  I had no idea what this meant when I read Vivinfrance’s blog today.  So to my trusty dictionary and there it was :

“Acrostic n.  A number of lines of writing, such as a poem, certain letters of which form a word, proverb etc.  A single acrostic is formed by the initial letter of the lines; a double acrostic by the initial letter and final letters and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle and final letters”  Collins 1998 edition

I guess it’s close relative is mnemonic – we all use this as a memory jogger.  But to write a poem in this style absolutely floors me.  I am amazed and delighted at the skills some of our fellow bloggers display.

And of course, this is one of the forms used by our old friend Edgar Allan Poe .  I found this one in a book today (more research after finding the word):

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
Love not” — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His folly — pride — and passion — for he died.

And the one mnemonic that we all learned in school to remember the colours of the rainbow:

Richard – red
Of – orange
York – yellow
Gave – green
Battle – blue
In – indigo
Vain – violet

And this segues beautifully into my rainbow.  So here it is once again.  Enjoy!


My rainbow

Oh and thanks to my blogging buddy Viv for this new word to add to my vocabulary – but that supposes I shall ever use the word in a sentence when speaking to my friends.  “Have you read any good acrostics recently?”  Well maybe not.

“You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have …”
From “Words” by the BeeGees

15 responses to “New words

  1. We learned Roy G Biv for the colors of the rainbow. I’m glad your rainbow showed up again!


  2. Strange…I use the word acrostic on a daily basis. 🙂


  3. Here’s one for the points on the compas …
    Naughty Elephants Squirt Water !


  4. The crostic or acrostic is also similar to a crossword puzzle. Except that the clues have us write in letters in the grid that make a quote. And the first letter of the clues written under the grid, read in descending mode reveal the author and source.


  5. What a neat way to remember the colours of the rainbow – missed out on that one here in Canada! Now I will remember though.


  6. Thanks Joss. And one of the comments above said they used Roy B Giv to remember and a friend here in NZ used the same promopt. Small world eh?


  7. Acrostics are fun for all ages. I love writing them–mine are very simple.
    Thanks, Ellen


    • Thank you for the comment. I have been over to your blog and will be back again. Oh and I love the photos. We are both lucky in that we live in beautiful parts of the world.


  8. Pingback: Madman, Murderer and Words. | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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