September 1st was apparently National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day! I first mentioned it in a Sunday Scribblings post the Sunday before September 1st last year. And as I looked back at that post, the title read ‘Sunday Scribblings #44: Sighing in Relief a Little More Freely.’ I was talking about how the wildfires that were ravaging the area too close for comfort had eased up finally. But now, once again, the wildfires are razing California all over; like I mentioned in my IG post from yesterday.
Keeping all those people in mind and praying for them. And hope that the weather cooperates enough to help the firefighters…
As for our area, we have had a few days where we wake up to the smell of that smoke which hangs around us in the air throughout the day no matter what; and those days then turn into nights with a reddish moon. While that moon does look cook, I am truly wishing for clear skies with that bright white moon shining down on us.
But now, let me get back to rhyme and reason and making a difference, as the blog title says..
No Rhyme Nor Reason
The Phrase Itself
This phrase simply means something that makes no sense at all, either literally or logically or any which way. Its first known occurrence was in a poem by John Russell, in The Boke of Nurture, around 1460:
As for ryme or reson, ye forewryter was not to blame,Archive.org – The Boke of Nurture
For as he founde hit afore hym, so wrote he ye same.
Later uses saw the more widely used ‘no rhyme nor reason’ phrase, with one of them from the Bard himself, when he first used it in the Comedy of Errors (1590).
Dromio:William Shakespeare – Comedy of Errors
Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?
And again in As You Like It a decade later.
ROSALIND: But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
ORLANDO: Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.William Shakespeare – As You Like It
As for myself, I do love this phrase and I think it is one of those I actually have found myself using actively, even in conversations with others. I now need to think of other phrases that I tend to really use vs those I simply admire when I see them in print somewhere.
What about you? What are some phrases or idioms that you use in casual spoken conversations?
Next Up, the National Day For No Rhyme Nor Reason
There is certainly no reason for such a day to exist, but someone (origins unknown according to the national day calendar) thought to create this day anyways. And since it is here, why not celebrate it? Also, no reason at all that it can be celebrated another day of the week, or month, or year, right?!
Here is some more about the day and how to celebrate it…
This day aims to recognize refractory rhymes – aka – words without rhymes (orange is one of the most famous ones!) It also encourages us to be spontaneous in other things, to do something without having a reason behind it (but yes, within certain sensible boundaries at the same time).
You can celebrate it by:
- Make a list of words that you think are rhyme-less, or refractory rhymes. You can check your list against lists online, like this one on Wikipedia, or this one here.
- Take it one step further. Try to come up with near-rhymes to those words. You can comment on this post with any one word and its near rhymes if you wish!
- One more step up! Write a poem using a few such words and make sure the poem is one with a rhyme scheme; maybe just a series of rhyming couplets, like aa/bb/cc/dd.. and so on.
- Do something without a reason. As it was also World Letter Writing Day on September 1st, maybe just write down a few words on paper and send it off to the first person you can think of – friend, family member, neighbor, or even a celebrity, or online friend. I simply used the global celebration to give you a suggestion; that doesn’t make it a reason to write a letter!!
- Make a difference. Write a poem without rhyming words, or write a poem with refractory rhymes and their near-rhymes, about something that you feel strongly about. Make a difference with your words. Do that random act of kindness without thinking much about it, and make a difference in someone’s life.
Random Related Stuff
The Phantom Tollbooth references both rhyme and reason royally! We have the Princess of Sweet Rhyme and the Princess of Pure Reason. And when they are banished from the Kingdom of Wisdom, chaos ensues. Proving simply that we need both. Have you read the book? If not, you should read it now. I realized I did not actually review the book at all but did talk about it earlier here. Reading this book is eye-opening and relevant even today. While it is a children’s book, there is so much I learned when I read it. It is one of those rare ageless and timeless books. So read it now..
Musicians certainly take on the challenge of rhyming many words; rap artistes do so more often though they do have to resort to near rhymes or slant rhymes as they are called. You can check out this video of when Eminem rhymes with orange!
Related Reads and Activities
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, what do you think about days like these? For me, even the most ridiculous ones simply remind me to stop and smell the roses; while it is simply impossible to celebrate all these days listed in the various national day calendars, they make me pause and ponder, at least about some things. And they help make a difference, in their own way; help me make a difference, in whatever way I can.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Feel free to comment about zany rhymes, make up words to create rhymes for those refractory rhymes, and just about anything.