Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun with the "Be" words

At this table, very soon
a belated Anniversary dinner,
for two

I was out of the country on our real anniversary date back in October. Wine and sunshine and your mate, what more do you need?  Even the wine bottle opener wants to celebrate.  :) 

Placing those words just now under the picture, I'm intrigued by that word "belated", for some reason.  Be-lated.  What a strange word.  I am going to be late for something.  I will be be-lated.  If I were trying to learn English, I might ask, "Why not just say 'I will be "lated"?  It got me thinking for some reason about some other words that start with the letters "b" and "e".

Beware!   --  A contraction of "be" + "aware"
Begone!   --  A direct command.  Make yourself gone. 
Bejesus!   -- As in, "He scares the bejesus out of me"

Beseech, bequeath, believe ... take away the "be", and "seech", "queath" and "lieve" slip into Nonworddom.

Beyond, before, betwixt, between, beneath --
"yon", "afore", "twixt", "tween", and  'neath', can all lose their be's and still be functional.

More "be" words:
because, become, bedarken, befit, befall, before, befumble, beget, begin, begotten, behave, behead, behind, behold, behoove, belated, belief, belong, beloved, bemuse, behead, belittle, beneath, benign, benumb, bequeath, bereave, beseech, beset, beside, besiege, besotted, bespangle, bespatter, bespeak, besprinkle, bestir, bestow, bestrew, betroth,  bewail, bewilder, bewhiskered, bewitch.

Word Challenge for the Day:

See if you can come up with a little story, not to exceed 500 words, using the list of words above, in the order in which they are presented, i.e., alphabetically.  You can add the letters "s", "er", "ed" , "ing" and "ment" ... the only rule is, it has to make sense.  The reader must be able to get beyond the be-ness of the be's, that is, become so enmeshed in the story that the repetition of the "be" sound does not distract.  (To make it easier, you can also occasionally "un-be" a "be" word.  You are, however, limited to only two "un-be" attempts.)

Be-words used are in red; "un-be'd" be-words  must be marked in blue (for purposes of keeping track).
No cheating allowed.

Let the game begin. 

Here is what I came up with.

How Not to Write a Story

           Because you have lately become rather a recluse, your room now darkened by soft cover of night befitting the mood that befalls when you find you have nothing left to say, you fumble, begetting patterns that begin the long, slow progression backwards, begotten of another time, another life.  "Behave," you whisper to the cat perched on the windowsill, its shadow moving across the wall like a beheaded black blob.  Behind you, the candle flickers, so that what you behold is not the cat, nor its shadow, but the overwhelming spaciness of this space in which you have deposited yourself.

          It would behoove you, albeit belatedly, to leave your beliefs behind, just this once, stop trying so hard to belong when it's clear you do not, in that company of writers whose beloved works line your deep, stuffed wooden shelves.  

          To bemuse itself, the cat toys with the curtain, its own peculiar way of belittling this, your latest pretension, that this absurd scripted exercise will produce something of merit.  Beneath the pile of papers lies your pen, its ink dried out, the result of benign neglect.  Benumbed by inertia, you consider bequeathing this, your favorite writing instrument, to one more worthy, not considering the swell of instant bereavement that will surely follow from such  foolishness.

          "I beseech you, Darling, come out," pleads your mate from behind the locked door.  "I am beset with worry for your health.  You have not eaten in days.  Besides, you are missing "Frindge", it's starting in three minutes!"  Besieged by distractions such as these,you wonder if anything can ever come of this hiatus from staid normality.  The cat, as if besotted, echoes your mental bespanglement; it skitters to the floor, bespattering yet another pile of papers left waiting on the chair.  This, of course, definitely bespeaks of chaos, proof positive that you should not allow your pets to infiltrate your inner sanctum if you are serious about writing.  Not even if you generously besprinkle catnip in strategic corners will that feline respect the  bestirring of the awakened  muse, nor care that she's about to bestow her gracious inspirations.

          Meanwhile, outside the door, your mate awaits, impatient, his thoughts bestrewn elsewhere, towards the living room.  "Can you send out the cat?" he asks, this gentle soul to whom you were betrothed eight happy years now, here for you through all your bewailings, bewilderings, and silent quietnesses.  Bewhiskered but benevolent, he leaves you to locate and consult with your muse.  Contrary to popular opinion, you are not bewitched.  You're merely engaging in a favorite pastime, he will say. 

 *Word count: 428

Ouch, ha ha.

Play time is over.  Going to bed.

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