* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

English For Beginners

24 July 2003
James is NOT obsessed with words.

(1) Phonetically spelt phonetically is fonnetickly.

(2) If phonetically was spelt phonetically then it would be pronounced pahonnetickallee.

(3) Noun is a noun. Verb is a noun too.

(4) If verb was a verb, then it would be an excellent way of describing the action of transforming a noun into a verb which seems to be particularly commonplace in certain lines of work e.g. "productionise", "physicalise", "commoditise".

(5) If, indeed, we agree with (4) above, then the best name for this process is verbing. And so we have verbed verb, i.e. verb is now a verbed noun.

(6) Continuing from (5), noun is a noun, we can now verb, but nothing is yet adjective. The proposition here is, of course, to use "adjective" as an adjective, or rather, of course, to say that it is adjective. "Nice" is everyone's favourite word of its kind, and I think everyone agrees that it is particularly adjective. It even sounds the part- a bit like compulsive, but more like obsessive.

(7) To avoid confusion, it is worth noting that there is no such accompanying noun as "adject", even though it sounds like there should be. There is a word "abject" (as in abject poverty), but this "abject" is adjective, and not related. Incidentally, the noun for the adjective abject is abjection, which is rarely used. There is also an unrelated word "adjection", which is a noun, but means "the act of adding".

(8) To summarise so far: Noun was a noun and remains one. Verb was a noun but we verbed it. Adjective was a noun too, but it has now become supremely adjective.

(9) Among all this, there is one remaining island of incongruity. "Adverb" presents a problem, but is solved by being described adverbally. "Quickly", for example, is best described adverbally. And in doing so, we have adverbally verbed a formerly adjective noun.

(10) The word for word is word.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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