Category Archives: Random Thoughts and Musings

Perlocutionary -Friday’s Word of the Day


Today’s word of the day on 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


Mixed Message – A Cleave Poem

Mixed Message

you can be anything you dream / watch how you dress
you are beautiful / you don’t want to give the wrong impression
you are intelligent / but don’t worry that pretty head of yours
you are strong / men will protect you
so take your rightful place / as long as you know your place
use your voice / and know who’s in charge
to change the world / always remember
step up and be counted / behind every successful man
your limitless potential / is a woman
waiting to be realized / a beautiful trophy
is your birthright / to impress the guys
for you are a woman / the weaker sex
magnificent in every way / emotional, compassionate
don’t let them tell you / it’s why women can’t be leaders
who you are / because it threatens manliness
what you can or cannot be / to be considered equal?
it is up to you / it’s just not going to happen
so fly my darling girl / don’t make waves
the sky’s the limit / smile and look pretty


A Cleave Poem is three poems in one. Read the left column, top to bottom, then the right column, top to bottom. And finally read each line across.

Twittering Tale #54 – 17 October 2017


About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story based on that prompt in 140 characters or less. Be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. Have Fun!

Twittering Tale #53 – The Roundup


Photo by Antranias on

From Kalpana at Gemini in the Sky:
Her pen spews venom on paper in the sunlit forest log cabin . 
She dons her nocturnal skin and slithers for prey in the concrete jungle. 

From Reena at ReInventions:
“WOOOOOW! There is someone in deep meditation inside. Wonder for how many years ….”
“This place is built as a tourist attraction. People are paid to sit there for a day.”
(140 characters)

From My Feelings My Freedom:
The eerie sound in the woods ran shivers.
“Someone’s stalking us!”
“I wish we’d heeded to mom’s advice,”
“Our tree house!” rejoiced my sis.
(137 characters)

From Leena at Soul Connection:
Yes,Take Ur Lil Sis Wd U Too
Lk Sme1 Alrdy Playng
Hi Can V Join U Up Thr
Ohh Yes M Bored Plyng Alone Since Last 100 Yrs.

From Hayley at The Story Files:
As kids we said the tree house was haunted but it wasn’t till we were adults that we found out the truth.

From Di at Pensitivity101:
When you said ‘Come Up to My Place’ this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.
(74 characters)

From Fandango at This, That, and The Other:
You gotta come by and see my new tiny house. It’s a two-story tree house. I built it myself just like those guys who do it on HGTV.
(132 characters)

From Willow at WillowDot21:
Even in the worst of winter it was the safest option for them. They had secreted blanks gloves and bed socks. Huddled together they kept warm.

From Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
“Darling, this place is perfect for our rendezvous!” said Ann.
She froze when she saw Jim point the gun at her, “That’s why I chose it!”
Letter count : 138

From Irena at Books and Hot Tea:
People are destructive. It’s better without them, among the trees.
But they might come, with their trucks and saws.
I’ll be ready.

From Peter at Peter’s Ponderings
Will Mum still be up there Dad?
Yes, don’t worry, she’ll be there!
Are you sure Dad?
I’m sure son, you’ll see. She’s staying up there forever!
(140 characters)

From Kathryn at Another Foodie Blogger:
Art and Lilly stood arm in arm, gazing up for a final look at their childhood fort, tears in their eyes. The roar of the bulldozers started.

From Vivian at Smell the Coffee:
The hapless workers and Martha were at a stalemate.
“You have 30 seconds!” shouted the foreman.
“Do your worst,” she screamed, “I dare you!”

And I started us all off with a cliffhanger…
“There it is! Come on.”
“Nope. I’m fine down here.”
“Suit yourself. Have to see if it’s still there.”
“What’s so important?”
“Is tha…”
(140 Characters…exactly)

Some of you were quite clever this week. As always you touched on every genre imaginable…mystery, mayhem, melancholia and murder. And some of you followed my example with cliffhangers of your own. To give those of us in that latter category an opportunity to make amends I am offering everyone the chance to extend their twitter tale from last week using this week’s photo prompt from StockSnap at…a view from the inside. Of course if you’d rather leave us hanging, that is okay too. Finally, if you finished your story last week, you are invited to write a totally new tale based on the prompt. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Most of all, have fun! 🙂

Twittering Tale #54 – 17 October 2017


Photo by StockSnap @

Part 2…

“It’s my Captain Midnight’s Secret Decoder Ring!”
“You dragged me here for a stupid kid’s ring?”
“I did.” He knelt on one knee, “marry me?”

(139 Characters)


(p.s. I can’t leave you hanging this week…she said yes. 🙂

Leaf – a Haiku

consider the leaf
trunk to stem, veins to branches
trees in miniature


For Haiku Horizons Challenge, prompt word, Leaf.

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 October 2017

If there is one thing you can expect from me, dear reader, it is raw honesty. The good, the bad and the ugly. At least from my perspective. Because that is all any of us has. We see the world through our own personal lenses. Some of us take the time and make the effort to inform our opinions with fact. And some of us let others do the work for us, gravitating to the truth that feels good to us.

Welcome to modern day America where news is fake, opinions are truth, there is us and them, and fear trumps love and reason. I saw it coming. This hotbed of extremes we find ourselves in. I tried to warn those closest to me that their support and vote for evil would not end well. I hate being right.

There is no satisfaction in having my greatest fears come true. There is only heartache compounded by the battle scars that I’ve sustained in the aftermath. My adult children, their spouses and extended families all voted for Trump.

Was I wrong to be angry? Was I wrong to feel betrayed? Was I wrong for being sad to realize the truth about those closest to me? I can tell you it makes me feel like a total failure as a parent. Though, with middle-aged children, when does the responsibility for their actions cease to be my fault? Mothers are too easily blamed.

And so I find myself in a new reality. A casualty of these divided states of America. Because I have refused to remain silent in the face of the injustice and the assaults on freedom, democracy and liberty for all, my own universe has imploded. My punishment for being other is to be outcast, separated from my beloved grandchildren, and disowned by everyone but my partner…and my dogs who still love me unconditionally. No more birthdays, mother’s days, grandparent’s days, thanksgivings or christmases to look forward to. Living death in the face of everything I held dear because I could not bury my emotions from those I had always considered safe.

Honesty, reality, truth, compassion, empathy, love. They still mean something to me. I have paid a dear price for these things. It is all I have left of the me as I struggle to find my way in this new reality. My heart grieves everyday. Being dead while living is not for the faint of heart. But I still believe in truth and honesty…and love. Even when it hurts.

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 October 2017

left to wither alone
warm flush reducing me to ash / over the edge, swirling shards of bone
What’s so important
troubling my heart…
no one wants to know
phantoms in the mist
Oh my god! What happened?!”
That day the world felt too big.
I never believed in signs.
the moribund harbingers
it was never love
on the wind take flight
there’s a battle
power to change
it is now
to be forgotten


A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

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