This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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21 March 2012

Wishing you the joys of … Limerick

Happy St Patrick’s Day … for last weekend. We’re celebrating late, not with Guinness but with words.

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Limerick is the third largest city in Ireland. There’s no doubt the verse is named after the place, but the reason is debated. Wikipedia says the link may come from a parlour game of nonsense verse that included a refrain ‘Will you come up to Limerick?’.

 We like a laugh with words when we’re not clarifying clauses and untangling the technical. Will you join in the game?

Post a comment — your favourite limerick. Keep it clean, and we’ll put them on Facebook. Here’s another, to start you off.

There was a young lass from Kildaire
Tried to steal out of church during prayer
The squeak of her shoes
So enlivened the pews
That she sat down again in despair.


  1. As trusted advisors for Write
    We squelch each abstraction on sight:
    Wrestle to '..tion' to the curb,
    Turn that noun to a verb,
    And our passives are active all night!

  2. Archimedes, the well known truth-seeker,
    Jumping out of his bath, cried "Eureka!"
    He ran half a mile,
    Wearing only a smile,
    And became the very first streaker.

  3. There once was a bit of a burke
    Who seldom finished his work
    He tried, the poor toff
    But then wandered off