Post by HVS Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden Post by Lothar Frings Post by Hen Hanna
famous limerick by Lear
There was an Old Person of Dover,
Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
But some very large bees,
Stung his nose and his knees,
So he very soon went back to Dover.
If I may cite - as a humble German - one
("2:02" has to be read as "two-two")
I think your first English textbook was mistaken. OK, it _can_ be said
like that, but there is no "has to" about it. I'd be much more likely
to say "two oh two".
Post by Lothar Frings
There was a young man at the Zoo
who wanted to catch the 2:02
When he came to the gate
they said "You must wait,
it's one minute or two to 2:02".
There once was a fellow named Tate
Who dined with his girl at 8:08
I'm sorry to state
That I cannot relate
What Tate and his tete-a-tete ate at 8:08.
In that one, the second "8:08" obviously has to be pronounced "eight-
eight". (The first one could be "eight-oh-eight" or "eight past eight",
but that screws up the scansion.)
Speaking of which, Lothar's example reminded me of that limerick too,
but this seems to be the original version:
There was a young person named Tate
Who went out to dine at 8.8.
But I'd hate to relate
What that person named Tate
And his tete-a-tete ate at 8.8.
The other one I know in this sub-genre of piling up similar syllables
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?
This site attributes both of those to one Carolyn Wells.
(Sorry, I don't know how to fix that URL.)