Short Poem About English:
Ditch the IS!

Thank you for taking a look at my short poem about English.  Below the poem I talk further about what inspired the work, and how language extensions can alter perception and behavior.

Ditch the Is
by: Adam N.

We ought to bring back the appears, feels, and seems
The apparently, looks like, the sounds like, perceives.
Our language has gotten lost in a sauce,
of bland tasting lingo, we ought to have tossed.

This verb ‘to be’, ‘IS’, has mired our shine,
The was, were, and I’m, turned us all pantomime.
We can’t blame our parents, who’s parents taught them,
but I’ve checked in the books, it goes back to one man.

High time we restored the way we perceive things,
and hang up the am, are, were, is, and be things,
Let’s build up some cheer for a fight we might win,
Less loud vagaries, and more whisperin’

With the shouts dialed down, and the old verbs restored,
We can feel, look and listen, and find the ignored.
We’ll go even further, right down to the term,
and hunt out the last of the was and the were.

Get rid of the am, isn’t and ain’t,
Mind as well shave off before and too late,
Get rid of counting days, dollars and change,
Bring forth the subtle, weird shades of the strange.

Once you do that, then switch-switcheroo,
Since now, you at least have an option or two.
If you don’t like it then, I won’t start to cry,
but prior to that, please give it a try!

Further Reading for Ditch the Is – A short poem about English

short poem about english - old english typography

During my study of E-Prime English, it occurred to me that poetry seems to flout the normal laws of language, especially the identitive properties of the verb ‘to be’.  I suspect that within the figurative media of poetry, we loosen our implicit restrictions that things must conform to Aristotlean reality.  We universally accept that love doesn’t give you literal wings, and we still enjoy saying it.

In Ditch the Is, I appeal to the love for a greater flexibility in self-expression as catalyzed through the E-Prime language extension.  I just enjoy how E-prime encourages me toward increased vocabulary.  I know that most language arts teachers will also get onboard with wholesome vocabulary building exercises. We can achieve respectful debate during these increasingly volatile times.

Finally, presenting in a short poem about English adds a little fun to my whole imperative.  I seem to evangelize sometimes when explaining E-prime, and a poem gave me a way to approach it with less consternation.  The verb ‘to be’ doesn’t need to get totally eliminated, and I’d like to raise awareness about its overuse.


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