The Phonemes Phenom.

I'm not sure what Stephanie is on when she writes her unique brand of verbal anarchy, but I wish she would fax me some! Worryingly, Stephanie is a teacher and librarian at a prestigious private school in London. - Oramancer.


1. Fo Neme - a martial art

Onomatopoeic - this is the sound emitted by followers of this particular form of Tai Chi as practised on a remote island just off the Chinese mainland. Designed as self defence for the over 50's, it includes tripping other people up in self defence, but is generally a low impact, low contact sport. Mostly it puts off any putative attacker because those who indulge in it appear to be totally bonkers.

2. Foegneme - what fairies believe in

Mortals clap their hands if they believe in faeries: gnomes grab their earcaps and run like hell if they believe Foegnemes are around. This isn't surprising. Foegnemes travel in playgrounds, and sound like an infant school swimming gala. This is particularly hard on gnomic hearing which picks up the same frequencies as bats do.

3. Phoneme - a cactus

The cactus you threw away after 20 years tender and devoted care, despite its slightly odd smell, because a comic friend gave it to you at your wedding as an aphrodisiac.

Of course, once immersed in the compost heap, and subjected to the average British winter, it not only flowers magnificently and smells wonderful, but it also proceeds to rampage over your entire herbaceous border.

4. FenOme - a chemical term

This is simply an exponential measure of entropy in rust as measured by geologists.

For non scientists: you want to buy garden equipment with a low FenOme rating - this indicates that it rusts relatively slowly. A 1 indicates one square centimetre every 10,000 years; over 6, and you need to start worrying. The rating of 10 appears to be speculative: 100,000 square metres every minute.

5. Phone Me - a song from a film

On the cutting room floor, in a remote studio, in the furthest corner of Scotland, lie the remains of a film, abandoned and decaying. The high point of the film was a song entitled Phone Me, to be sung by a homesick baby alien named EM. Unfortunately someone else got there first.

Stephanie Potter
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