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The Verse Is Yet to Come : Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, No One Can Rhyme Los Angeles--Can You?

November 18, 1990|JACK SMITH

SEVERAL MONTHS AGO,I observed that there is no acceptable rhyme for Los Angeles and published a few inept verses attempting to prove my point.

Since then, other attempts have trickled in, and perhaps it is time to air them, if only, once again, to substantiate my claim.

My readers, however, have made strenuous attempts to achieve the unattainable, with sometimes grotesque results. Notice that in straining for a rhyme, our versifiers have used every known pronunciation of Los Angeles.

For example, from Leonard Pigott:

Stringing words together As I do with these Is one way of end-rhyming Los Angeles.

Los Ang-uh-lees was once in vogue, especially with radio announcers, but is rarely heard today.

Molly C. Rodman finds a similar solution:

What you may drive for miles to see May within our city limits be. So though the smog may make you sneeze There's no place like Los Angeles.

Greg Ehmka of San Diego mixes social commentary with dubious rhyme in this one:

Boyfriend's gone to give it a shot At becoming hot in Los Angeles. Girlfriend's home, miffed and pretty, Playing second to a city, She's at a loss and jealous

A pretty good rhyme is wrought by Misty Poveromo:

If all the gospel preachers leave, Deserting those who truly believe, 'Twould be a loss, Los Angeles Alas would be evangel-less.

That one combines a common pronunciation of angel and a close approximation of the standard luhs . (But can you imagine an evangel-less Los Angeles?)

Doug Drenkow of Arcadia makes a long stretch in this one:

I've read the belief you've been preaching: We can't rhyme a word with Los Angeles. To try it we'd really be reaching, And our reach would be much too phalangelous.

Drenkow defends phalangelous as an adjectival form of phalanges, meaning fingers. One may accept the form, but wonder at its pertinence.

I'm afraid Rita Xanthoudakis Stafford quite misses the mark with this:

I live in a place called Los Angeles Where my life is far less than amorous I'm lonely, it's true And poo, sometimes too, But this town is about future happiness

I suspect Ms. Stafford would have more luck rhyming her middle name.

Betty Darling thinks she has a near miss in this one:

Taking time To find a rhyme For Los Angeles Makes me cuss.

"And that," she says, "is as close as you can get."

Susan Dewey tries rhyming in a comment on the housing scene:

California, here we come. We are going to get us some Undeveloped real estate, Build on it, and speculate. If the slow-growth folks can't handle us, We'll take over in Los Angeles. When it's ruined, we'll skedaddle North and do it in Seattle.

Ms. Dewey's verse, alas, merely suggests that Seattle is as hard to rhyme as Los Angeles.

Helen S. Czaplicki, who might be hard-pressed to find a rhyme for her last name, offers this one for Los Angeles:

Wealth is difficult to assess. Some have more, some have less; But happiness can oft be found, And opportunities do abound For those who seek without duress A good life in Los Angeles

L. M. Dingler of San Pedro puts his finger on the problem--the various pronunciations of Los Angeles:

For those who think it ends in iss An easy rhyme is hard to miss, And all of those who end it us Can find a rhyme without much fuss. It's also simple I would guess, For people who pronounced it ess ; Though probably it should be ace , Remembering those who named the place. Perhaps there is the proper way, To say the words we call L.A., Assuming the above is true, Of course no single rhyme will do.

What most of us say, of course, is Loss Anj - uh - luss , and, I repeat, there is no rhyme for it.

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