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A Surfeit of Words

The Shorter English Dictionary

has pages twelve hundred and thirty three

and that’s only the first volume from A to M

as from N to Z there are twelve hundred and ten


And many of these countless thousands of words

are ones that you’re likely never to have heard

if you lived to the ripest old age that could be

you’d not plumb a tenth of this lexicon sea


There are specialized names from professions begotten

derivatives culled from ancient Greek and from Latin

with multiple schpellings of Teutonic pattern

and occluded inclusions of origin forgotten


But we’ve only the tip of this verbal ice broken

consider the seven thousand languages spoken

in dialects to confound the most Higgins-like ear

a monstrosity of verbosity - verbal diarrhea


Thus to take a conservative guess exponential

we may expand Oxford’s half million to its dialectic potential

and divide that number by the worlds populace

which would yield less than four words for each one of us


So think of it this way when you’re searching your mind

for the most precise term you can possibly find,

how you’d explain the unexplainable, pinpoint your muse

with only four simple words from which you could choose

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© Johnmichael Simon



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