December 10, 2012
A funny thing happened after I published the following post. I found out the word I thought I made up was actually a real word. I did what I always do in such situations—panic. I “unpublished” the post before the scandal that surrounds the real “foetry” could leave a mark on my permanent record.
After the panic subsided (with a little help from a mug of mulled wine), I decided to publish the post anyway because:
A. I didn’t have a back-up post.
B. Maybe my mistake will teach others to practice due diligence before posting things on the internet that will be available to the entire world to read forever. Unfortunately, I know from experience that I probably have not learned my lesson yet.
Below is the now obsolete post, although I think a vote is still appropriate. After all this hoopla, I’m sure the word will make the dictionary someday. But I think I’m getting ahead of myself…
A few weeks ago a new word came to me. I’m not sure if it was a humorous inspiration from my muse, or a dig about my poetic posts from my hyper-critical internal editor. The word came to me after I visited the Query Shark and read:
”Bad poetry is very easy. Good poetry is hard. Poetry that illuminates and enhances art work, uses language for developing minds, and doesn’t bore the pants off the adults reading it either…well, that’s a real trick.”
-Query Shark aka Janet Reid
Reading that brought to mind the few poesies that had flowed with relative ease out of my head and onto my blog—The Ubiquitous Earworm:A Ballad and Black Friday Blues— to name a few. And I felt a tremor of anxiety. It hadn’t occurred to me when I posted them that they might in fact, be taken as serious poetry or even worse, that someone might think I had taken them as serious poetry.
Then it hit me. What I wrote wasn’t poetry. I wrote foetry. Or was it fauxetry?
Before I could enjoy the new-found word, I encountered the dilemma. Which way should it be spelled? Both rhyme with poetry, and although foetry makes more sense and looks better, it will inevitably on occasion, be pronounced fo-tree, thus rendering it useless. Fauxetry, on the other hand, is very awkward. But the chances of mispronouncing it are rare, unless one is unfamiliar with the word “faux” and those people won’t care about the spelling anyway.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Merriam or Collins get a hold of this word. It’s imperative that we, the people, decide the spelling now while it’s in our hands. But in order to make an informed decision some pertinent information, such as the definition, is needed.
Definition of FOETRY/FAUXETRY
Examples of FOETRY/FAUXETRY
- Any verse that contains the word Nantucket is an example of foetry/fauxetry.