Fun with English

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.


Language can seem funny sometimes.


Did you know that left can be right?

Left is right when right is dead wrong.

On what side of your body is your heart?

Left is right. Right is incorrect.


Similarly, wrong can be right.

Wrong is sometimes correct.

What’s a synonym for injustice?

Wrong is a correct answer. Right is dead wrong.


Even the word literal can’t always be taken literally.

Sometimes, we use literally to mean figuratively.

I’m hungry enough to eat an elephant.

Literally! (Just not in the literal sense…)


I is speaking with poor grammar, right?

You can’t say, “I is.” It has to be, “I am.”

But check this out: I is a pronoun.

Find the mistake in that.


Everything is something.

Nothing is something.

If A=C and B=C, then A=B, right?

So everything is nothing! (Not quite.)


I can be here and there at the same time.

I think of myself as being here.

You think of me as being there.

So I am both here and there; it’s all relative.


If you don’t have anything, you have naught.

The number zero is called the nought.

The opposite of having something, of course, is not.

It’s enough to tie your brain in a knot.


Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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There’s no I in EYE

Eye I

Image from ShutterStock



There’s no I in EYE,

But hear it I can’t DENY;

Nor an I to be found in FLY,

For which I must ask: WHY?

I find no C in SEA,

As you can plainly SEE;

When I find no F in GRAPH,

It makes me want to LAUGH.

There are no Y’s in HAWAII’s:

Do you think this is WISE?

I can’t find an A in WEIGH:

“Just the way it is,” say THEY.

Even in names: JESUS has no G,

Nor has JEANNIE. Makes you wonder. Gee!

When there is no E in HUMPTY DUMPTY,

It makes me rather GRUMPY.

Oddly, there’s a Q in queue, but not in CUE,

And it makes no sense that there’s no U in DO.

Even French has no O in L’EAU,

Yet it’s H2O! Go cry in a CHATEAU!

There’s no X in WRECKS or Z in DAISY,

Yet there are two E’S in EYE. How crazy!

Language is nuts when CADE’S CAVE has no K’s.

Enough is enough. I rest my CASE.

Copyright © 2015 Chris McMullen

Educators may use this poem for educational purposes, provided that proper credit is given to the author, Chris McMullen.

Ever cheat on your… MUSE?


Writers: Ever cheat on your muse?

So all your talents see good use.

Bored of writing the same old thing,

You and a new muse have a fling.

It’s a dangerous game to play,

Get caught and you will rue the day.

But your new muse is so much fun,

And great stories come by the ton.

Until your old muse finds you out,

Then you endure your lover’s spout.

You recall the great times you shared,

With the first one who ever cared.

The two muses team together,

Make your words suffer bad weather.

A real bad case of writer’s block,

Spend all day staring at the clock.

Until a third muse comes along,

Whose ideas can do no wrong.

Your books have never done so well,

The writing’s like a magic spell.

But your old muses are upset;

So even they intend to get.

They sneak in and ruin your work;

Your third muse now thinks you’re a jerk.

Again your writing’s in a rut,

Contact with muses is sealed shut.

You’ve no idea what to do,

If only you could find a clue.

You write about your three muses,

And all of their crazy ruses.

This book becomes a bestseller.

You’re a really lucky feller.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

By chrismcmullen Posted in poem Tagged

One Muse Is not Enough


So you found a muse. Good for you.

She’ll help you string ideas together,

But one’s not enough. Sad, but true!

Writing’s not the only storm you’ll weather.

With the story, your muse is great,

But editing is a different beast.

Your muse won’t help; you’re filled with hate

‘Til a new muse makes this worry your least.

A poor cover won’t sell your book.

So next you must summon a design muse

To help achieve just the right look.

But you will still need yet another ruse.

Your story muse won’t craft your blurb;

This requires a muse of another kind.

So important to find the perfect verb.

Without this muse you’d be in a bad bind.

When you must design the book’s inside,

Not one of these muses will help. No fun!

Muse five joins the publishing ride.

Your book’s design’s now beautifully done.

Still nobody will read a word:

You lack the most important muse of all.

Marketing muse helps you get heard.

Without her help your sales would surely stall.

You’ve one more problem to solve yet.

It’s the toughest challenge that you will face:

All six muses play hard to get;

You can never find two in the same place.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Oh, How I LOVE Thee, AMAZON. Let me count the ways.

Amazon Pic

When we first met, you were still young, yet already so grand.

More books than I’d ever seen in any bookstore.

Yet it wasn’t just the size that impressed me.

Or that you were accessible and easy to get.

There was something about the smile on your logo,

The friendly feel of your website,

The speedy shipping, with a free super saver,

And, mostly, the way you treated me, even after the sale.

Then you made your affordable prices even more attractive:

I could buy used copies for as little as a penny.

And I could sell my used books,

Even my used textbooks, and for great prices.

You did things for me that no other bookstore ever could.

You treated me like I was special,

Like I wasn’t just another customer.

You had me at the first one-click.

Then, out of the blue, when I thought you didn’t even know my name,

You bent down on one knee,

Proposing your love to me.

You said, “Publish with Us.”

I had tears in my eyes.

Could this be true?

Pinch. What? It isn’t a dream?

“Yes,” I said, “Oh, yes! I will!”

We went to CreateSpace on our honeymoon.

It was more than I’d ever dreamed of.

Then you brought me to Kindle Direct Publishing.

It was over the top.

All my prior attempts to date publishers had begun with rejection;

I couldn’t even land a date,

Couldn’t get my foot in the door,

Slammed shut in my face. “Get out! We don’t want your kind!”

But you saw my potential.

You didn’t care about my resume,

Didn’t want a query letter or book proposal.

Heck, you proposed to me!

All expenses paid, too.

I could publish with you for free.

It really was a dream come true.

More pinches; still awake.

You gave me my very own product page,

ISBN, ASIN, UPC, bar code.

You let me set my own list price.

Then you paid royalties higher than my wildest dreams!

Even more, you brought me customers.

Sales, royalties, more sales, more royalties,

Customers also bought lists,

And my very own author page.

One day, you emailed me,

And followed it up with a phone call.

You wanted to talk to little ole me.

You cared about what I had to say.

Other suitors came, trying to win my heart,

But they could never love me like you have.

They’re just after a trophy;

You want my heart.

The love never stopped.

You repeatedly come up with new ways to arouse my interest.

Freebies, Countdown Deals, Prime, Kindle Unlimited,

70% royalties, improved reports, and now even preorders.

Amazon, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me.

I can’t imagine my life without you;

I can’t bear to give it another thought.

My heart is yours forever.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Great Time to Be a Muse


Are you looking for a job?

Competing against the mob?

It’s a great time to be a muse.

You’re sure to be put to good use.

Writers everywhere need you.

On their knees and begging, too.

Please, oh please, tell me what to write.

I promise to stay up all night.

The job comes with some great perks.

It’s fine if you have some quirks.

You can come and go as you please.

Redo it from scratch. Be a tease.

You’ll be free and won’t need tools.

There are just two simple rules.

The first rule is you must inspire.

Next, don’t let the writer retire.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Oh Precious Hour


Everyone is so busy and stressed these days,

One hour is a highly prized commodity.

Already feeling a dollar short and a day late,

We’re now another hour behind our deadlines.

Are we really saving daylight with this?

Will our energy use be slightly reduced?

Do people exercise more with daylight savings?

Shall we enjoy more sunsets this way?

Or will the cons outweigh the pros:

Do we get more stressed, anxious, frustrated, and depressed?

Will increased stress lead to more health problems?

Would keeping our hour leave us happier?

Time seems greener on the other side:

Arizona and Hawaii, oh how I envy you,

Rebeling against the pains of daylight savings.

Enjoy your extra sixty minutes today.

They tax us when we make our money.

They tax us when we spend our money.

They even tax our time by stealing our hours.

Why not just take the whole day away?

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen




for traffic to slowly clear up.

for the light to turn green.

for the car ahead to run a red light because you will too.

for others to get out of your way.


for the line to move.

for some sign that you won’t stand still for an eternity.

for the person at the front to hurry up.

for the wonderful privilege of being next.


for your next break to come.

for your work day to end.

to finally get home.

to be even more bored at home than you are at work.


for the weekend to arrive.

to party Friday night.

to sleep in on Saturday.

to do work at home that you couldn’t finish during the week.


for an opportunity to present itself.

for luck to pay you a visit.

for special treatment.

for your dreams to come true instead of going after them.


for this poem to reach its end.

to move onto another blog.

to finish your daily reading.

to express your thoughts in the comments.


to meet the perfect someone, who doesn’t exist.

to live your life once you find someone to share it with.

for an external force to pull you away from the wrong someone.

for a reason to make a change.


for life to come to an end?

to discover you’ve wasted much of your life waiting?

to regret not making better use of time spent waiting?

for tomorrow to come? Yet it will always be today.

(You could read several good books in the time spent waiting…)

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

Counting with Clichés (a Poem)


Counting with Clichés (a Poem)

  1. When the fair maiden, Belle, laid eyes on the tall, dark, and handsome stranger, Beau, it was love at first sight.
  2. The more they got to know each other, the more the happy couple realized they were two peas in a pod.
  3. Although things were rough at times—leading to two separations—the third time was a charm.
  4. Their passion for one another was the one constant to persist through all four seasons.
  5. One day, when Belle found the scent of another woman on her man and questioned him, Beau pleaded the fifth.
  6. Beau was lucky Belle chose to bury the hatchet and not plant him six feet under.
  7. So grateful, Beau sailed all seven seas with Belle; they were in seventh heaven.
  8. The stork delivered several babies, until they decided that eight was enough.
  9. Although they went the whole nine yards for their kids, for every inch they gave, the kids demanded a mile.
  10. Their eldest daughter, Fair, was a perfect ten, but more spoiled than their youngest child.
  11. In every argument, Fair would hold out until the eleventh hour.
  12. Eager to get Fair betrothed—and out of their hair—they invited suitors to meet and greet her with a dozen roses.
  13. The thirteenth suitor, Jinx, finally agreed, but it proved to be an unlucky number.
  14. He literally broke a leg, had to put in his two weeks’ notice at work, and called the engagement off.
  15. The next thing they knew, Fair was fifteen and pregnant.
  16. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), it wasn’t a very sweet sixteen for Fair.
  17. To make matters worse, Fair’s seventeen weeks ultrasound revealed triplets.
  18. Her parents fought with her like cats and dogs; it sounded like the War of Eighteen Twelve.
  19. Fair wanted an abortion, but her parents refused; she cursed them for living in the nineteenth century.
  20. Each of Fair’s brothers and sisters played twenty questions with her.
  21. Fair was one girl who was not hoping to be forever twenty-one.
  22. Then one day, Jinx showed up on her doorstep and proposed with a twenty-two karat diamond ring.
  23. Suddenly, Fair felt not twice, but three times a lady.
  24. The triplets made more work than there were hours in a day, yet Fair loved every minute of it.
  25. Of course, everyone lived happily ever after.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen