Moriarty went back to his guitar, strumming and, noodling around with lyrics. “I will buy you a bracelet of silver … that every thief would want to pilfer … Ah, that’s no good. Hey, what rhymes with silver?”
“Nothing, really. It’s one of those un-rhymable words. Silver, orange, purple.”
“You never noticed, mister poet? It’s weird they’re all colors. One of those odd groupings that make me wonder about the English language. Have you also noticed most of the words that have the same singular and plural are nearly all animals? Deer, moose, fish, rutabaga.”
“I don’t think rutabaga is an animal.”
I laughed. “Just testing. It also uses a normal plural.”
“And isn’t the plural of moose meese?”
“No, you’re thinking of meeses, and that’s the plural of mice. And it’s not the real plural, it’s a joke cartoon plural.”
“Oh, right. But nothing rhymes with orange?”
“Can you think of anything?”
“Borange, morange, porange … no I guess not. That’s so incomplete. We need to make up words that rhyme so songwriters like me won’t get stuck. Let’s see. We’ll do gurple, pilver, and lorange.”
“But what are they going to mean?”
“Say a couple's gettin' it on. So he puts his gurple in her pilver and reaches for her lorange, which will be her boobs, and—”
“It doesn’t count if you’re just making up slang terms. Besides, we’ve got enough words for genitalia already. You need to use the new word to fill a definition that doesn’t exist yet. Find some new shade of meaning, or a way of relating two things, or wait until we invent a new technology and lobby to have the word used instead of J.A.A.”
“J.A.A.?” Morty asked.
“Just another acronym.”
“Gotcha. But wait, you want me discover some way of describing the world that nobody who speaks English has ever needed so far, but that’ll make sense to everyone once explained?”
“That sounds hard.”
“Keep in mind, since you’re inventing these words to rhyme with other words, they also need to go together. It wouldn’t do any good to decide lorange is a step-aunt’s second cousin and then still not ever be able to use it in rhyme with orange. Unless she’s been eating too many carrots or something.”
“You know what, let’s just forget it.”
“And that’s why we don’t have any words that rhyme with orange.
This was an excerpt from Chicagoland. The complete novel is Kindle format through Amazon.