It’s a beautiful day, and the Commonplace Fun Facts writing staff has been promised a brief furlough from the dungeon once today’s article is complete. With that motivation, we present a limerick […]
The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
Here at Commonplace Fun Facts, we love words. We also love limericks. When we stumbled across The OEDILF, we thought someone had been taking a peek at our Christmas gift wish list.
Quoth the Parrot, “Pretty Boy… Nevermore… Polly Got a Cracker? Nevermore…”
One of the most famous poems in American literature started as something quite different. The eponymous talking bird who is featured in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was originally cast as a […]
Depression, Tragedy, Suicidal Thoughts, and the Man Who Overcame Them
He had so many nicknames and titles throughout his life that we’ll just call him G.E. for now. His name isn’t nearly as important as his symptoms. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist […]
How to Write 100,000,000,000,000 Poems
A sonnet is a one-stanza, 14-line poem, written in iambic pentameter. William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all of which are required reading for students of great literature. Shakespeare may be the most […]
The Chaos — The Aptly-Named Poem About the Insanity of the English Language
Those of us who love the English language have to admit to a bit of schizophrenia about the love affair. On the one hand, English is an utterly-flexible and ever-changing language, allowing […]
The Hymn Writer and the President
Frances and Stephen were unlikely friends. For one thing, she was seventeen years his senior. Beyond the obvious difference in their ages, the two could not have been more different.
Do You Have a Case of Mulligrubs?
Do you know someone who has a case of mulligrubs? No, it’s not a bushel of strange worms. It isn’t a gross rash resulting from poor hygiene, either.
This Tree Is So Deadly That You Can’t Even Stand Near It Without Danger
Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…” Kilmer intended to express the beauty and serenity embodied by trees. If Kilmer’s inspiration had […]
Iceland’s Terrifying Christmas Traditions
Although Christmas is generally considered the most joyous of holidays, it does generate its share of stress. The pressure of Christmas shopping, meal planning, and holiday travel can cause anxiety for even […]
Cut Loose of the Misuse of the Mispronounced Name of Dr. Seuss
Theodor Geisel is known around the world by his pen name Dr. Seuss. The author and illustrator of more than 60 children’s books such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs […]
Two Hotheaded Boys and Two Patient Mothers
David and Leslie had a couple of things in common: each had volatile tempers, and both of them had mothers who believed those tempers could and should be controlled. David was known […]
Lessons on Friendship from the Man Who Owned Broadway
George M. Cohan (1878-1942) racked up an amazing number of accomplishments in his lifetime. As a spectacularly-successful singer, dancer, actor, playwright, composer, lyricist, and theatrical producer, he rightfully earned his reputation as […]
The Volcano That Triggered a Year Without Summer, Defeated an Empire, and Gave Birth to a Monster
In terms of volcano celebrity status, Mount Tambora’s name is rarely mentioned. If someone asks you to name a dramatic volcanic eruption, more than likely, it is Mount Vesuvius, Krakatoa, or Mount […]
Read Michelangelo’s Poem of Despair About Painting the Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo (1475-1564) was not only sensitive to criticism and bore some questionable quirks (as has been documented in these posts), but he revealed himself to have at least one thing in common […]