This dose of MFD, from 26 June, raised a lot of discussion of BrE versus AmE in the comments:
The comments at MFD were mostly about (mostly BrE) pussy versus (mostly AmE) kitty and the use of having as a light verb in the first sentence. But what struck me, because Better Half strikes me with it all the time, is the use of stroke for where AmE speakers would use the (originally Scottish English) verb pet. So, when I say to Grover Are you petting the kitty cat? Better Half is not far behind with Stroking! Stroking the cat! (He tolerates kitty, no doubt because of the nudge-nudge, wink-wink effect of pussy.) I'm starting to say stroke in this context, in the interest of marital harmony and getting my own back later, but to my AmE ears, it sounds a bit more, um, sexy. This, of course, makes not a lot of sense, since (orig. AmE) (heavy) petting is about (probably orig. AmE) feeling people up. But why should English and my feelings toward(s) it start making sense at this late date?
At any rate, I thought an introduction to a very funny website would work as an introduction to our very funny limerick competition. As promised, the judging involved a panel of my friends, whom you may know through their SbaCL-character alter-egos: the Blinder, Maverick, the Poet--and of course Better Half. (With the exception of the ubiquitous last judge, the links take you to their first appearances on the blog.) I asked each to send me their three favo(u)rites, assuming that the cream would rise to the top and there would be a clear front-runner. But there was too much cream. A few got two votes, thus limiting the field a little for my final judging. It came down to Dunce's Rubber and Richard English's Hooters, re-published here:
An eager young Yank on the makeMy decision comes down to the fact that one of these poets had other efforts in the judges' top threes. So, congratulations, Richard English! Your copy of Britannia in Brief will be on its way to you soon, and the authors have asked to reprint the winner on their blog. (Let us know if that's not ok with you!)
Thought he'd finally had his big break.
She asked for a rubber
but she wasn't a scrubber.
Just had to erase a mistake.
My girl has a fine pair of hooters
Attractive to gentleman suitors.
But don't rush too far
They're both on her car
And she toots them to warn slow commuters.
On a last humorous note, British-Canadian singer-songwriter Luke Jackson (shouldn't he have a hyphenated name?) has sent me a link to the video for his song 'Goodbye London'. This animated treat might strike a chord for the American exchange students out there who've headed back home.