J is for…

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Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that you said?

I love alliteration, and I’ve been having fun with this meme, but this letter, J, is difficult for me.

I thought about Jello. It’s not just a brand, it’s a symbol. Kathleen Norris, in her book Dakota: A Spiritual Geography suggests that the popularity of the Jello mold in midwestern cuisine has to do with the fact that the rural midwest was the last part of the continental USA to have refrigeration. Summers there can be brutal, so anything that is cool and fruity is worth celebrating, I guess.

Personally, I associate Jello with college parties: Jello shots and jungle juice (fruit juice mixed with everclear), jalapeno poppers, tequila shots, and conversations (and hangovers) that jangled in your head for days after.

Jingle and jangle. Can’t you hear keys clicking against each other, or a klaxon alarm when you read those words? I’ve never thought of them as examples of onomatopoeia before, but they demonstrate the concept well.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.

Note: Song lyrics are from “The Windmills of Your Mind,” by Alan & Marilyn Bergman & Michel Legrand, and “Mr. Tambourine Man,” by Bob Dylan.

3 thoughts on “J is for…

  1. Jello, I believe, is a particularly American term, mention the name over here in the UK and the majority would look puzzled.
    Our term fot it is Jelly, I believe you spread that on your bread, if so that’s jam over here.
    I am..lol

  2. Jello (more accurately Jell-o) is a brand name for gelatin desserts. Knox makes unflavored gelatin, I think.

    Jelly is a gelatinous fruit spread, that doesn’t generally have recognizable bits of fruit in it.

    Jam and preserves have actual recognizable bits of fruit in them, and are a bit less gelatinous.

  3. No wonder English is reputedly the hardest language to learn.
    Ever wondered why English in the USA has never been renamed “American”?
    As George Bernard Shaw said
    “England and America are two countries separated by the same language”.

    Mail you later about the other.

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