Read “Lederer on Language” every Saturday in the San Diego Union Tribune and on this site.
Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

A few weeks ago, I featured the clerihew, a form of nonsense verse invented 125 years ago by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). The clerihew (usually lowercased) is a whimsical, pseudo-biographical quatrain (four lines) rhymed (often outrageously) as two couplets with short, pithy lines of uneven length and meter. The name of the individual who is the subject of the quatrain usually supplies the first line.

I invited you. my verbivorous readers, to submit your original verses, and more than a 125 cleverly comical clerihews poured in, the most popular personages therein being Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

Based on the dexterity of the rhymes, insight of the humor and impact of the last line, I award signed copies of my nonsense book “Monsters Unchained!” to three readers who raised an ear-catching clerihew and cry:

Donald Trump

Is going on the stump,

His speeches cartoonish,

His hair baboonish.

—Eric Gibson, Bay Park

*****

The septuagenarian Rolling Stones

Are long in the teeth and creaky in bones.

You would think dancing to “Satisfaction”

Would put Mick Jagger in traction.

—Dennis Kitchell, Spring Valley

*****

Will Shakespeare,

It’s quite clear,

Was a bard and a scholar

And a tough act to foller.

—Lyn Lake, Carlsbad

And honorable mention to all:

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Certainly seems bent on

Living again in the White House,

Making Bill the First Spouse.

—Marsha Harden, San Marcos

*****

President Barack Obama’s

Had his full share of dramas.

Gridlock, shootings, wars and ISIS

Every week another crisis.

—Linda P. Hughes, Lakeside

*****

Esteemed newsman Brian Williams

Told a lie, offended millions.

He said his plane was hit by flak,

And started his own career attack.

—Gail Shatsky, University City

*****

Gourmet cook Wolfgang Puck

Serves up a savory Peking duck.

But unless you have lots of pennies,

Better plan to eat at Denny’s.

—John Gross, Carlsbad

*****

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Practiced on the cello;

His neighbor sent him a letter:

“Writing poetry would be better!”

—May Reeves, Oceanside

*****

Fortunate Bud Black

Should run and never look back.

He managed a team so lacking

That his merciful bosses sent him packing.

—Tracy Fox, Del Cerro

*****

A-Rod, the disgraced Yankee,

Has confessed to hanky-panky.

Sadly, his affinity for steroids,

Caused him more pain than his hemorrhoids.

—Jim Dela Rosa, Bay Park

*****

Captain James Kirk

Had plenty of space in which to work.

No one was braver or cleverer than

This most Enterprising young man.

—Terry Miller, Escondido

*****

Young Humphrey Bogart

Was driving a go-kart.

He was yet too small

To be seen with Bacall.

—Fred Shatsky, University City

And a special honorable mention to Luisa Larson, of La Jolla, who at the age of 98½ winged me this:

Bruce Caitlyn Jenner

Evolved from bass to tenor.

His triumphs Olympic

Trump her body terrific.