Python limericks (was Re: Text-to-speech)

Tim Churches tchur at
Mon Mar 21 05:39:45 CET 2005

Steve Holden wrote:
> Tim Churches wrote:
>> There once was a language called Python...
>> (which is pretty close to having three anapaestic left feet)
>> or more promisingly, rhyme-wise, but metrically rather worse :
>> There once was a mathematician named van Rossum...
>> Tim C
> Of course this last suggestion clearly has the wrong meter for a good
> limerick. 

I did say it was metrically worse...

> Not everyone knows the ingredients of a good limerick, which
> led to the following (which has been around in various forms since God
> was a lad):
> There was a young man from Japan
> Who never quite learned how to scan.
>   He got on quite fine
>   Until the last line
> And then somehow he could never quite get the number of syllables
> right,or make it rhyme.

This page on meta-limericks is worth a look:

> So, let's accept that the first line should scan correctly, that would
> make the following first lines acceptable:
> A mathematician named Guido ...
> The inventor of Python, called Guido ...
> A mathematician (van Rossum) ...
> Van Rossum, inventor of Python ...
> Hopefully that will begin to get the idea across.

The Wikipaedia page on limericks is also worth reading:

> Since it's PyCon week, I will offer a prize of $100 to the best (in my
> opinion) limerick about Python posted to this list (with a Cc: to
> pycon at before midday on Friday. The prize money will be my
> own, so there are no other rules. I will post my judgment when the PyCon
> nonsense has died down a little, but the winner will be read before the
> entire PyCon audience. Get to it!

My first attempt (which does not scan properly):

A Dutch mathematician most prophetic,
Did invent a language, name herpetic.
  With design quite intelligent,
  And syntax mostly elegant,
Big ideas could be made non-hypothetic.

Tim C

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