0856: "Trochee Fixation"

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StClair
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby StClair » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:58 am UTC

iamb what iamb, and that's all that iamb.

Seidon
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Seidon » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:31 am UTC

I think you guys are missing the bulk of the satire by focusing on the grammar rather than the internet-bred lack of originality. It was a clever observation -- it never occurred to me that most tired internet catchphrases are mostly trochees -- but that's not really a big deal.

Someone mentioned earlier that most English words have stress on the first syllable, and that there are plenty of 2-syllable words. I'd like to add that most adjectives have more than one syllable. If there is a real linguistic problem here it's that people are using recycled nouns in lieu of adjectives trying to make something interesting. As a result we lose a big chunk of our vocabulary and replace it with overused quotation.

But screw nouns and adjectives. It's not about grammar, it's about trying way too hard to sound creative.

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alfa
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby alfa » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:36 am UTC

mooncow wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:
alfa wrote:100000 posts... Congratulations XKCD forums!

You're []four years too late[], but thanks for trying.

... or did you mean the 100,000th post to the Individual Comic Forums? Because that's just a tiny subset of the Forums. Most people forget it's even here.


Yes, it was 100,000 posts to the individual threads: see Caffeine's reference a few posts earlier (99,997, I think!)


I meant the individual comic forums. And I think that this place at least resides in the back of the mind for most people, even if they don't actively participate in all this.

sircrayons wrote:I know this is the Internet, but any good dictionary will answer the "is X a trochee?" question.

Also . . .
alfa wrote:Edit: A new generation of posting

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/2272/100001.png

I think it's time you invest in vertical tabs for your browser.


I just moved from IE to Chrome and IE handles my level of tabbing better by capping it and allowing you to then scroll through. I've started keeping two browsers open just to have enough room for it all (and a third when I check up on the ~25 webcomics I read).


LordBritish wrote:
Midnight wrote:
HighwoodFool wrote:and yes, trochee is a trochee.


in German, "trochäus" is a iamb. Anybody knows, if the greek word τροχός is a trochee or a iamb?


In English that'd appear as "trohos". That's all the Greek I know.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby GhostlyKarliion » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

Seidon wrote:I think you guys are missing the bulk of the satire by focusing on the grammar rather than the internet-bred lack of originality. It was a clever observation -- it never occurred to me that most tired internet catchphrases are mostly trochees -- but that's not really a big deal.

Someone mentioned earlier that most English words have stress on the first syllable, and that there are plenty of 2-syllable words. I'd like to add that most adjectives have more than one syllable. If there is a real linguistic problem here it's that people are using recycled nouns in lieu of adjectives trying to make something interesting. As a result we lose a big chunk of our vocabulary and replace it with overused quotation.

But screw nouns and adjectives. It's not about grammar, it's about trying way too hard to sound creative.


I bow to you sir, you hit the proverbial kitty on the head.

I fear this is a problem with our current generation, something similar happened to the greco-roman civilization just before it collapsed, as did the medieval synthesis just before it collapsed. In addition to the loss of words in our language, it is becoming increasingly abstract, a common theme in the afore mentioned civilizations.

My question has now moved from "is there a way to correct this?" to "is this a symptom or a cause?" are we observing the first unravellings of our civilization as we know it?

and... will there be cake?

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby clashmo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:09 pm UTC

koipen wrote:Those brains are shaped like Australia:


My first thought too

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby humanalien » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:14 pm UTC

Nova wrote:Call me old-fashioned, but calling the vocal folds "chords" instead of "cords" drives me right up the wall.


I entirely agree. I always spell it "cords," even though descriptivism dictates that "chords" has probably become the correct spelling. It's just... "chords" doesn't make sense; it refers to a sound, not to the shape of the thing that makes the sound. At least Wikipedia is on our side, for now, anyway.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby StClair » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

GhostlyKarliion wrote:I fear this is a problem with our current generation, something similar happened to the greco-roman civilization just before it collapsed, as did the medieval synthesis just before it collapsed. In addition to the loss of words in our language, it is becoming increasingly abstract, a common theme in the afore mentioned civilizations.

Only in the sense that every generation assumes that civilization is surely about to end because of the excesses and ignorance of others...
(We have written examples of this sentiment going back as far as writing itself.)

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Eddurd » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

Sing to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" ...

CHORUS:
Stress the proper syllables and you'll create a trochee!
Writing them as easily as Mama cooking gnocchi!
I can keep this up all day, but try to keep it low-key!
Stress the proper syllables and you'll create a trochee!
(stress-on-a-syllable-and-rest-on-the-next, stress-on-a-syllable-and-rest-on-the-next...)

While reading funny comics on a Friday morning dim,
I'll channel Eddurd's awesome mental powers on a whim ...
By typing random letters, writing many couplets quick ...
But lacking clever humor, making helpless readers sick!

Oh ... (repeat CHORUS)

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby philip1201 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:12 am UTC

^ awesome.

GhostlyKarliion wrote:I fear this is a problem with our current generation, something similar happened to the greco-roman civilization just before it collapsed, as did the medieval synthesis just before it collapsed. In addition to the loss of words in our language, it is becoming increasingly abstract, a common theme in the afore mentioned civilizations.

[citation needed]. Seriously. For pretty much everything you just said. (1) That Greek and Latin became abstract and words became extinct during the 4th and 5th centuries (if my classical languages teacher is correct, Latin was "a dead language" (as in, unchanging) since before the empire). (2) That medieval languages lost words and became abstract before the mostly fluent transition into the renaissance. (3) That medieval synthesis "collapsed" (or, alternatively, that the middle ages "collapsed"). (4) That such abstraction is properly correlated to the collapse of civilizations (or just these civilizations in particular). (5) That such abstraction is actually causally related to the start of collapse of civilization (and then as a cause rather than as an effect). (6) That abstraction of language is a bad thing. (7) That (the problems of) abstraction of language is limited to this generation.

I wouldn't be so hard on you if you hadn't insinuated the collapse of our civilization within the next one or two centuries, an opinion which I find particularly annoying and annoyingly common. (I, for example, think the Drake equation uses unrealistically short lifetimes for radio-capable civilizations. Perhaps it's an average time for radio-dependency instead).

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arbivark
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby arbivark » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

stopped by (from 1960) to say that there's a trochee chart in the blag.
also check out this ninja mermaid pirate narwhal picture.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Poohrific » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

beslayed wrote:I think it should be "trocheeectomy" (trochee-ectomy) and not "trocheeotomy". See http://staefcraeft.blogspot.com/2011/02/trocheeotomy.html

Indeed, a trocheectomy would be most appropriate for our patient. This implies removal of her trochee(s). A trocheeotomy would imply cutting her trochee which doesn't make as much sense...
By comparison, a tracheotomy is a procedure in which the trachea in incised to open the airway to bypass some blockage above the trachea. A tracheectomy would be removal of the trachea, e.g. to slice out a cancer.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Vroomfundel » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:40 pm UTC

alfa wrote:
sircrayons wrote:I know this is the Internet, but any good dictionary will answer the "is X a trochee?" question.

Also . . .
alfa wrote:Edit: A new generation of posting

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/2272/100001.png

I think it's time you invest in vertical tabs for your browser.


I just moved from IE to Chrome and IE handles my level of tabbing better by capping it and allowing you to then scroll through. I've started keeping two browsers open just to have enough room for it all (and a third when I check up on the ~25 webcomics I read).


I use several windows, each with x tabs - keeps it all organized and gets me rid of the problems with too many tabs. Using two browsers adds another level of separation - e.g. chrome for work-related, firefox for everything else. I only use IE for testing - consumes too much resources and crashes under my normal load. For that matter, firefox and chrome do it too on my old PC but it takes longer - about 100 tabs in 6-7 windows for a core 2 duo 3.5GB DDR2 5400rpm HDD. I recently switched to quad core i7 with 8GB DDR3, dual 7400rpm HDD - I haven't crashed the browser on it yet.

alfa wrote:
LordBritish wrote:
Midnight wrote:
HighwoodFool wrote:and yes, trochee is a trochee.


in German, "trochäus" is a iamb. Anybody knows, if the greek word τροχός is a trochee or a iamb?


In English that'd appear as "trohos". That's all the Greek I know.


You're called alfa and that's all you can do, c'mon?!... I suspect it trohos is a trochee in greek, that's how it fits better with the Greek words that I know but still I don't speak Greek... I only speak geek ;-)


So, o means unstressed, / means stressed
alfa wrote:...
---o-----/----o--/--o---/---o---/--o-/---o-----/--o----/
While reading funny comics on a Friday morning dim,

o----/---o---/---o------/---o------/---o----/---o---o-o---/
I'll channel Eddurd's awesome mental powers on a whim ...
By typing random letters, writing many couplets quick ...
But lacking clever humor, making helpless readers sick!


Your verses made the day for me
Your meter - smooth as it happens to be
I'd say is rather an iamb, not a trochee
at least that's how it seems to me
lexicum.net - my vocabulary learning platform

Lerkistan
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Lerkistan » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

Common stress pattern or not, I came here to say that I approve of this comic so much... 'cause frankly - ninjas and pirates? How's that in any way funny?

Jonathan589
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Jonathan589 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

Should you ask me whence these trochees
Why they started in the childhood
Of the modern generation
It was not just Teenage Mutant
Power Ranger Ninja Turtles
No it started long before then
In an earlier carnation
I was brought up on Longfellow
On his tales of Hiawatha
Hero tales of Hiawatha
It was merely strengthened for me
By my children watching TV
Many hours of the TV
Watching Barney and the Care Bears
God, those awful fuzzy Care Bears
God, that dreadful purple dino.
Was it our fault, we who listened
To the tales of Mudjekeewis?
To the songs of Minnehaha?
No it was our fathers’ fathers
Who first gathered up these stories
All these legends and traditions.
Was it them then, our ancestors,
Those who lived when flintlock muskets
Were the favoured killing method?
No, it started long before then
By the lakes of ancient Finland
Snowy lakes of ancient Finland
Through the forests round the lakesides
Where the shamans sang the stories
Sang the songs of Wainamoinen
Sang about the Fate of Aino
Sang of Seppo Ilmarinen
Hammerer of gold and iron
Now I’m stuck in trochee limbo
Mind and tongue with single meter
never able to resist it
Even though I understand it
Even though I recognise it
I can never let it leave me
I can never stop this rhythm.
Who will save me from these trochees
Which are driving me distracted?
Randall, if you’d only listened
to the little voice of conscience
to the voice that told you it was
Dangerous to draw a comic,
Threatening to write a story,
Just enhancing and enforcing
Childhood mem’ries, childhood fixings
Now you’ve done it, now the patches
That I stuck above my elbow
Show themselves to be placebos
Show themselves to be quite useless
Now there’s nothing left for me but
To go out into the snowfall
Off into the sparkling snowfall
And to tell my silent children
And to smile at nervous helpmeet
I’m just going outside darlings
I may be a while returning …

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JohnTheWysard
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:16 pm UTC

Intensive limerick therapy is the only hope.

There was a web comic, XKCD
Which brought much amusement to you and me.
Its linguistic bent
Was quite heaven-sent
Though it sometimes drove people right up a tree.

chrisdlugosz
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby chrisdlugosz » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:55 am UTC

http://pixelcomic.net/216.shtml

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby mxyzptlk » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Her head is full of two-syllable words with the accent on the first syllable


I think it's this part I don't get.. I gather from the strip that trochee = the underlined bit above but.. ah.. well, I'm having a hard time understanding the same underlined bit.. what i mean is, I can't figure out how "accent on the first syllable" sounds... I don't even know what is meant by "accent" :oops: I'm not picking that part up in text, maybe if could hear it out-loud?? I dunno.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Eddurd » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:15 am UTC

mxyzptlk wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:Her head is full of two-syllable words with the accent on the first syllable


I think it's this part I don't get.. I gather from the strip that trochee = the underlined bit above but.. ah.. well, I'm having a hard time understanding the same underlined bit.. what i mean is, I can't figure out how "accent on the first syllable" sounds... I don't even know what is meant by "accent" :oops: I'm not picking that part up in text, maybe if could hear it out-loud?? I dunno.


It's also sometimes called the "stressed" syllable. As another commenter pointed out ...

A Hollywood producer might have an idea for a new film project. (PROJ-ect = accent on first syllable)
After the film is done, the manager of the local cinema will project it onto a screen. (pro-JECT = accent on second syllable)

Hope this helps.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Platypodes » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:22 am UTC

Wow, I've never heard kitty pronounced without strong emphasis on the first syllable. Must be a regional thing. Question for those who pronounce it differently than I do--what about the other words that I'd consider to rhyme with it: city, gritty, shitty, pretty, pity, ditty, titty, itty-bitty...? (Now I'm thinking of this song...)

Vroomfundel wrote:
alfa wrote:...
---o-----/----o--/--o---/---o---/--o-/---o-----/--o----/
While reading funny comics on a Friday morning dim,

o----/---o---/---o------/---o------/---o----/---o---o-o---/
I'll channel Eddurd's awesome mental powers on a whim ...
By typing random letters, writing many couplets quick ...
But lacking clever humor, making helpless readers sick!


Your verses made the day for me
Your meter - smooth as it happens to be
I'd say is rather an iamb, not a trochee
at least that's how it seems to me


You guys led me to a bit of web-searching... From the comic, I thought that the term trochee was a type of word; I know now that it's a type of foot. (I already knew about iambic verse, but not the names of any other feet.)

Then I realized that the refrain of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is trochaic while the verses are iambic.
Refrain:
"If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious..."
Verse:
"Because I was afraid to speak when I was just a lad..."

mxyzptlk wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:Her head is full of two-syllable words with the accent on the first syllable


I think it's this part I don't get.. I gather from the strip that trochee = the underlined bit above but.. ah.. well, I'm having a hard time understanding the same underlined bit.. what i mean is, I can't figure out how "accent on the first syllable" sounds... I don't even know what is meant by "accent" :oops: I'm not picking that part up in text, maybe if could hear it out-loud?? I dunno.


The accent on the first syllable means that the first syllable is said a little louder/more emphatically than the second syllable. For example, if you say "sleeping," you put the accent (emphasis) on the "sleep" rather than on the "ing." In discussion of accents, they're often indicated with capitalization or boldface... SLEEPing or sleeping.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Eddurd » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:24 am UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:
So, o means unstressed, / means stressed
alfa wrote:...
---o-----/----o--/--o---/---o---/--o-/---o-----/--o----/
While reading funny comics on a Friday morning dim,

o----/---o---/---o------/---o------/---o----/---o---o-o---/
I'll channel Eddurd's awesome mental powers on a whim ...
By typing random letters, writing many couplets quick ...
But lacking clever humor, making helpless readers sick!


Your verses made the day for me
Your meter - smooth as it happens to be
I'd say is rather an iamb, not a trochee
at least that's how it seems to me


I know the original tune is iambic heptameter (aka "common meter"). I used italics to indicate the trochees in my original post. Maybe I should have bolded them too?

BTW, just to prove I'm evil ... get the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" stuck in your head, then go read a collection of poetry by Emily Dickinson. :twisted:

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby bmonk » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:27 am UTC

Spots wrote:
LordBritish wrote:Anybody knows, if the greek word τροχός is a trochee or a iamb?


Iamb: http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/5164.htm. You can listen to it on Google Translate, it's the Greek word for wheel.


You can also look at the word itself: τροχός has the accent on the second ό, so that is the accented syllable, making it an iambic monometer.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Ooddiittyy » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:17 am UTC

humanalien wrote:
Nova wrote:Call me old-fashioned, but calling the vocal folds "chords" instead of "cords" drives me right up the wall.


I entirely agree. I always spell it "cords," even though descriptivism dictates that "chords" has probably become the correct spelling. It's just... "chords" doesn't make sense; it refers to a sound, not to the shape of the thing that makes the sound. At least Wikipedia is on our side, for now, anyway.


Damn, you both beat me to it. I did learn something, however: before I had no idea "chords" was becoming the dominant spelling. Now that I do know, I am of course furious.

Kids these days.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
If you sing in this meter you'll always sound a-trochee-ous?
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby RebeccaRGB » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:35 am UTC

Platypodes wrote:...kitty... ...itty-bitty...?

Image
I had to.
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Fry: Destroyed? Then where are we now?
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Platypodes » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:06 am UTC

Ooddiittyy wrote:
humanalien wrote:
Nova wrote:Call me old-fashioned, but calling the vocal folds "chords" instead of "cords" drives me right up the wall.


I entirely agree. I always spell it "cords," even though descriptivism dictates that "chords" has probably become the correct spelling. It's just... "chords" doesn't make sense; it refers to a sound, not to the shape of the thing that makes the sound. At least Wikipedia is on our side, for now, anyway.


Damn, you both beat me to it. I did learn something, however: before I had no idea "chords" was becoming the dominant spelling. Now that I do know, I am of course furious.

Kids these days.

Or those kids in 1828...

I, too, thought that "cord" was correct and "chord" was just a sign of how everything's going to hell in a handbag and we're turning into a bunch of iggeramusses who can't spell, but I just found this:
Ben Zimmer, an editor at Oxford University Press, wrote:I was careful to say in the interview that vocal cords is the standard American spelling, because the vocal chords variant has long been accepted in the United Kingdom (along with other anatomical uses like spinal chord). Even in the United States, both variants can be found from early on. I did a quick check of historical databases of American periodicals and found vocal cords appearing in 1830, but vocal chords actually shows up two years earlier. It was only later on that American writers settled on vocal cords as the standard version. If we now see an uptick in the usage of vocal chords, likely under the influence of the musical sense of chord, it’s important to note that this isn’t some brand-new “corruption” but a long-standing historical form.

Well, I'll be durned.

Pfhorrest wrote:Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
If you sing in this meter you'll always sound a-trochee-ous?

I love it!!
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby vltava » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:34 pm UTC

This explains how Sean Parker thought "the Facebook" should become Facebook (at least in a fictionalized movie adapted from a fictionalized book - where else do you expect me to get my information about such things?) - to make it trochaic, like his other love child, Napster.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Corydon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:18 am UTC

Ancient Greek verse uses quantitative meter, not stressed-based meter. The meter is determined by how long it takes you to say the syllable, not where the stress falls. Think half notes and whole notes rather than stress.

τροχαῖος means "running" or "tripping." The first syllable is short (IIRC, I'm fairly sure chi doesn't count as a double consonant or liquid), the second syllable is long, and the third syllable may be short or long depending on what follows. So it could fit into a trochaic meter, but isn't trochaic by itself.

On the other hand, lots of medieval Latin verse is stress based and written in trochees. The well known intro to Orff's setting of the Carmina Burana is trochaic:

O' For tu' na ve' lut lu' na sta' tu var' i a' bi lis'

As is the Dies Irae sequence from the Requiem Mass

Di' es Ir' ae, Di' es il' la
Sol' vet sae' clum in' fa vil' la
Tes' te Da' vid' cum' sy bil' la

So it seems those wily medieval monks and Goliards caught on to the power of trochees to stick in your head long before Randall did.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Fixblor » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:59 am UTC

RHCP - BTW

Steaknife
Cardshark
Conjob
Bootcut
Dogtown
Bloodbath
Ribcage
Softail
Songbird
Mainline
Cashback
Hardtop
Last edited by Count Modulus on Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:5l am UTC, edited 13 times in total.
06:23, 18 April 2011 SmackBot (talk | contribs) m (90,899 bytes) (Dated {{Dubious}} x 153. (Build p609)) (undo)

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby WhiteDragon » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

First, they're MONkeys in the JUNgle...
went to JaPAN [oops, iamb] to meet their UNcle...
now they run a delivery BUSiness...
FIGHTing crime as MONkey NINjas.


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