Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Many Epi's are too many Epi's?



The Prude’s teacher pores opened up sometime overnight- possibly from her new ‘Orange blossom’ shower gel.
And open teacher pores mean she is itching to instruct somebody in something.
(she earnestly hopes that the itch is not just a reaction to  ‘Orange blossom’ shower gel)

Since her husband and son tend to vacate the premises, she turns her beady educator eye on you.

Take out your pencils and a clean sheet of paper, please.

There are 4 ‘epi’s’ she wants to introduce to you.  Three of them sound so similar as to remind you of triplets whose mother thought should be named in such a way as to confuse everyone they came in contact with. You know, like ‘Flicka, Ricka and Dicka’
or ‘Nelly, Nolly and Norbert’ 
The 4th epi is like the tag-along little sibling who mom didn’t want to leave out in the cold but wanted differentiated from the triplet pack. Like ‘Flo’ or ‘Ned’.

Epi’s 1, 2 and 3 are:
EPIGRAM
EPITAPH
EPITHET

EPIGRAM is the brief, witty triplet who likes to flaunt a paradox now and again:
-The man who can't make mistakes, can't make anything.
    -- Abraham Lincoln

-Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    -- Winston Churchill
Those of you who know what telegrams are can associate EpiGRAM with a teleGRAM. The writer keeps it short because he pays by the word, and clever because he wants it read.
**********************
EPITAPH, the moody and reflective triplet, is a short verse written in someone’s memory.
Frequently Epitaph shows up on headstones, which could account for the moodiness.
Epitaph, during a blue period, may come up with something somber and vaguely ominous:
GOOD FREND FOR JESUS SAKE FORBEARE TO
DIGG THE DUST ENCLOASED HEARE.
BLEST BE YE MAN YT SPARES THES STONES AND
CURST BE HE YT MOVES MY BONES
William Shakespeare
R.I.P

But Epitaph has a playful side:

Here lies Lester Moore.

Four slugs

From a forty-four.

No Les

No More.

You can remember EpiTAPh’s name if you keep in mind that TAPS is often played at funerals.
************************
Then we have EPITHET. The Prude secretly favors Epithet because this triplet is a word or phrase used in place of someone’s name.
Like Alfred THE Great, Richard THE Lion Hearted, Captain of THE Starship Enterprise,
THE Hobbit, THE Prude.
Epithet, however, is inclined to naughtiness. Never let him use his cleverness to defame, abuse, or deride any person or race or bodily characteristic.
You can remember EpiTHEt by recalling that many epiTHEt’s contain ‘The’
************************
And the tag-along child? The one born after the Epi triplets?
This is the overachiever who makes sure he/she will NEVER be mistaken for any of the those siblings.
Meet my little friend:
EPIC.

1 comment:

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Hey Prude,
At first I thought you were going to talk about dealing with allergies. Epi-pen. I didn't think it would add particularly to anyone's education. So I am relieved to read otherwise. Thanks for the lesson!