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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Poetic syllogism helps to remember vocabulary in a new language

March 9, 2013 | 10:00 a.m. CST

Margaret Prezioso-Frye is a single mother of two children who moved to Columbia in 1987. She wrote some verse that helps her learn a new language.

This bit of verse followed a language lesson for me one day. I was a teacher living abroad, decided to take some formal lessons, and my passion for learning set itself free, or you could say just went wild. When I stopped writing and looked at what I’d put on paper, I realized I’d come up with a syllogism combining English and Spanish proving I should definitely keep studying, which then inspired my titles and a little embellishment of the opening verse. As you read, pretend it's you on my brain like those advertisements comparing fried eggs to drugs. Believe it or not, writing like this helps me to remember vocabulary. We all have our crazy ways to study. I am and was: 


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An Italian-American Studying Spanish In Spain
Syllogismo Hypothetico 101
Or hypothetical syllogism on a
Developing Spanish brain
Habla No Español
Could be a crying shame
After all is said and done
This is what I have to say
Poco Loco
No muy pero
Mucho Loco
Cocoa Loco
Coco Loco
Coco Richo Bicho
No poco dinero
Muy Mucho
Loco mucho dinero
Wanto be richo
Richo like bicho
No bicho es bug-o
Bicho es richo con mucho dinero
Mi scrive con headacho
Es scrive ‘Taliano
Pero mi Italiana
Scribo escriva
Who cares!
Con huevo
Con hueso
An egg or a wrist
Make my food by hand?
If you insist!
Para aqui? Si si!
Aqui para me
No mi pero me
Poro mi? See, see!
No sea, no see
pero si, si, si, si!
Some espresso con tearos
Bitteros, Bitter?
Tearos no 'spañol
Españolo para tearo?
No tiendo!
No tieno?
I don't knowlo
Understando oro havo
Oro goldo
No goldo!
Oro tieno.
Hasta luego
Luego see you latero
Latero lateral
Lateral no Españo
Lateral es linea
Linea es tren
Linea es meho
Meho es pano
Español es ce (they)
They uno
They dos
Dos progama o programo uno eme
Emmy is nombre
Nombre es name-o
No number is numero
Medicino assistencia
Para Headacho
Headacho Españo
Braino paino
Oh... oh...
I don’t know.
Fell lightheaded, no feel lightheaded es
Illuminato Italiano?
Illuminato Demolitionato Mano?
Illuminata Italiana, so vero.
Si vero, Italiana Españana, Españata?
Posiblo? No, posibla!
Finito Syllogismo-o-a
Si, si here it goes.
Aqui es so, boy, yo?
Habla Español?
:. No


This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.