Category Archives: Haiku

Perlocutionary -Friday’s Word of the Day

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Today’s word of the day on dictionary.com is a whopper, and therefore quite the challenge when constrained by the limited syllable budget of a Haiku. I shall nevertheless give it its due. Perlocutionary is an adjective that describes a type of speech that persuades, enlightens, inspires, frightens, or amuses the listener, causing them to act. Philosopher, J.L. Austin explains it perfectly in this excerpt from “How to Do Things with Words”, written in 1962: “We can similarly distinguish the locutionary act ‘he said that’ …from the illocutionary act ‘he argued that’…and the perlocutionary act ‘he convinced me that’…”

The word perlocution has been around since the 16th century originally meaning the act of speaking. It basis was formed from the Latin locutio, “speech, speaking, discourse”, a derivative of the verb loqui, “to speak”. Its present iteration as a noun and adjective did not enter the English language until the 20th century with the addition of the prefix ‘per’ meaning “through, complete or perfect” (as in brought to completion).

I learned that there are stages in the application of locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. While it would seem that the latter is the more refined direct act of the three I was surprised to discover that, in fact, infants between the age of 0-8 months are masters in the art of perlocutionary discourse through the use of sounds and gestures. Every whimper, coo and cry has an affect on the hearer, causing them to act. Eventually the child begins to repeat actual words (locutionary acts) and to apply them with meaning as in the words “no” or “why” (illocutionary acts).

It’s all very interesting of course. And way over my head. I have rarely bothered myself to determine whether a speech or statement is locutionary, illocutionary or perlocutionary, but I do admit to being moved and swayed by words. A simple cry for help raises my adrenaline and propels me into help mode. And a temper tantrum can shut me down in no time flat.

We are so easily convinced by words. I doubt that I’ll take time to analyze the words that move me, next time it happens. Even though I now have a word for it. Perlocutionary acts…my biggest challenge at the moment is figuring out how to fit a six syllable word into a Haiku. But at least now you have a new word to file in your vocabulary drawer under “words that are nice to know”.😊

words of gloom and doom,
perlocutionary acts,
drive fools to folly

~kat

http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/2017/10/20/perlocutionary


Calm Lake – A Haiku

pearlescent skin
translucent, placid surface
misty lake at dawn

~kat

A Haiku for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge, prompt Words, Lake & Calm (placid).


Moribund – Friday’s Word of the Day

It’s Friday the 13th! I missed last week’s word of the day post…technical difficulties. But I’m back this week with a word from Dictionary.com that is quite apropos for this bleak rainy (at least in my corner of the world) Friday…Moribund.

It originated in Latin from the adjective moribundus as well as 16th Century French moribond both which mean about to die, dying and is a derivative of the Latin root mer- (to die). We picked up this word in the English language in the 18th century and carried over its meaning as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective it means: in a dying state; near death; on the verge of extinction or termination; not progressing or advancing; stagnant: a moribund political party for example. And as a noun: a person who is dying. 

Several heavy metal bands have incorporated this word into their names, record titles or songs. For example, Moribund Oblivion, a Turkish black metal band from Istanbul, Moribund (album), a 2006 album by the Norwegian black metal band Koldbrann, “Moribund the Burgermeister“, a 1977 song by British progressive rock musician Peter Gabriel, and Moribund Records, a heavy metal record label.

This term is also used in medical circles, as one might expect, referring to end of life symptoms, characteristics and stages: ‘on examination she was moribund and dehydrated”.

And of course one can also find it coined in political commentary and all manner things that are near death, fading, or not thriving: “But that market has been moribund, to say the least.” “Blowhard politicians trumpeted moral outrage to gratify moribund anti-communists.” Or “Prices in Japan are falling, so moribund is the economy.”

I can’t believe I haven’t come across this scrumptious word until now. But thanks to this little weekly exercise I have one more word in my toolbox. Moribund. It has such a smooth poetic sound, don’t you think? And I expect it will be quite useful when I’m in a melancholy mood.

Here are a few Haiku/Senryu then. Have a great weekend!

treetops of crimson
moribund leaves once verdant
on the wind take flight

it’s over you know
this moribund ruse of ours
it was never love

tempests and earthquakes,
the moribund harbingers
of an earth dying

~kat


Mist – a Haiku

haunting trills
phantoms in the mist
loons at dawn

~kat

For Haiku Horizons Challenge, prompt word, Mist. Photo by StockSnap at Pixabay, digitally enhanced by K. Myrman.


Bleeding Hearts

no one wants to know
about that heart on your sleeve
we are all bleeding

~kat

For Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge, prompt words, Heart & Need (want).


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