Christmas Song Titles - Taking Grades

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IChristmas Song Titlesin Gobbledygook*by Margaret WhisnantAll together now. . .A Set of Two Or More Hollow, MetalInstruments, Typically Cup-shaped orSpherical, with Internal Clappers,Pellets, etc, That When Suspended fromTheir Vertex and Shaken Will Render aClinking or Tinkling Sound.copyright 2010 Margaret WhisnantAll rights reserved by*gobbledygook gä-bəl-dē-guk -noun Language characterized by high-sounding, pretentious wordingthat is hard to understand; double talk; double s peak; balderdash; gibberishAll Images Graphics Factory.comCopyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant1

All together now. . .inGobbledygookA Set of Two Or More Hollow, MetalInstruments, Typically Cup-shapedor Spherical, with Internal Clappers,Pellets, etc, That When Suspendedfrom Their Vertex and Shaken WillRender a Clinking or TinklingSound.Introduction. . .What if your teacher handed back an assignment and said,“I have affixed the most highly desired alphabet character to yourscholarly endeavor as an expression of its meritorious attributes”?Well, for one thing, your teacher would be speaking gobbledygook!Yes, it’s a real word with real definitions. Here’s one version:gobbledygook gä-bəl-dē-guk -noun Language characterized by high-sounding, pretentious wordingthat is hard to understand; double talk; double speak; balderdash; gibberish; mumbojumbo; baloney.The term was coined in 1944 during World War II by Texas lawyer Maury Maverick while he wasworking for the Smaller War Plants Corporation. Fed up with bureaucratic double talk such as combatemplacement excavator instead of shovel, Mr. Maverick dashed off a memo banning “gobbledygooklanguage.” His made-up word purposely imitated the sound of a turkey call.Rather than disappearing as Mr. Maverick commanded, gobbledygook has become quitecommonplace. Bureaucrats still love it. Consider, for example, a hospital bill that lists disposablemucus recovery system as a chargeable item, or this announcement—Refuse and rubbish shall not becollected from the site or receptacles thereon before the hour of 8:00 A.M. or after the hour of 6:00 P.M.any day—issued by a town in Australia. Translation? Patients must pay for a box of tissue and thetown will pick up garbage between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.It’s enough to drive your mental activity beyond the margins of reason as you leave home wearinggently-used attire and ride in your parents’ preowned vehicle to your assigned institution of instructionwhere you will inhabit the student station designated specifically for your occupancy!Or, you can have bunches of fun with the whole idea! Let’s start with the gobbledygook Christmassong title printed in the upper right-hand corner above the reindeer.Aren’t you glad you get to sing the simple phrase Jingle Bells instead?Here’s your chance to become proficient in spotting, investigating, and decoding this type of verbalpollution. Beginning on the next page, you will find titles of familiar Christmas songs written ingobbledygook. Study the convoluted verbiage and then write the actual title in the blank provided.By the way, you made an A on the assignment. Your teacher said so!Copyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant1

Christmas Song Titlesin GobbledygookPart OneWrite the real titles in the blanks after each flood of balderdash!1. An Anthropomorphic Representation of the Human Form Constructed of Two to ThreeOrbs of Compacted Frozen Precipitation, Hexagonal in Shape, Often with Facial Featuresof Mineral and/or Vegetable Matter with a Moniker Referring to Freezing or Very ColdTemperatures2. That Most Famous of All North Pole Residents Is Approaching at This Very Moment3. The Holiday Celebrated the Twenty-Fifth Day of the Month of December on the GeorgianCalendar and Described in This Particular Musical Composition as Being the Color of PureSnow or the Outer Margins of This Page.4. A Member of a Group of Antlered Animals Inhabiting Northern and Arctic Regions ofEurope, Asia and North America Made Famous by His Glowing, Scarlet ProboscisCopyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant2

Christmas Song Titles in Gobbledygook—Part One—continued5. The Sum Total of My Desired Receipts for the Yuletide Season Consists of a Set ofCentral Incisors Within My Oral Cavity6. This First Person Singular Personal Pronoun Observed Its Maternal Parent Pursing HerLips and Lightly Pressing Them Against Those of the Male Person Identified by SeveralAliases, Including Kris Kringle.7. The Musical Composition Designed for Singing During the Annual Festival and LegalHoliday Celebrated on December 25, Often Misnamed by Its Opening Line “ChestnutsRoasting On an Open Fire.”8. Do Take It upon Yourself to Enjoy a Jovially Pleasant, Though Diminutive, DecemberHoliday9. The Yuletide Season As Described by a Group of Trees or Shrubs Having Glossy, Spinytipped Leaves and Red Berries and a Cheerfully, Festive Disposition10. To Be in One’s Own House, Apartment, or Other Shelter, Including the Residence ofOne’s Childhood During the Special Celebrations That Occur the Latter Part of December11. Rudimentary Indications of the Arrival of the Annual Merriment and Celebration ThatTakes Place Shortly after the Winter Solstice Are Becoming Apparent.12. A Hollow, Metal Instrument, Typically Cup-shaped or Spherical, with an Internal Clapper orPellet That When Suspended from Its Vertex and Shaken Will Render a Clinking orTinkling Sound That Is Marked by a Heavily Accented Beat Compelling One to DanceCopyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant3

Christmas Song Titlesin GobbledygookPart TwoWrite the real titles in the blanks after each pool of mumbo jumbo!1. Surely ‘tis the Jolly Old Elf Himself2 The Greatest, Superlatively Fabulous Portion of All the Twelve Months Has Arrived3. Exceedingly Joyful, Senior Citizen, Blessed Person Named Nicholas4. Permit Precipitation in the Form of Hexagonal Ice Crystals to Fall from the Atmosphere tothe Earth! Permit Precipitation in the Form of Hexagonal Ice Crystals to Fall from theAtmosphere to the Earth! Permit Precipitation in the Form of Hexagonal Ice Crystals to Fallfrom the Atmosphere to the Earth!5. Dancing to Music with a Heavily Accented Beat while Circumnavigating an EvergreenAppropriately Decorated with Ornamentation Associated with the Yuletide Season.Copyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant4

Christmas Song Titles in Gobbledygook—Part Two--continued6. The Mysterious Man Noted for Unique Red Ensemble, Manically Joyous Nature, andUnusual Means of Transportation Is Scheduled for a Visit to Our Local Municipality7. A Set of Two Or More Hollow, Metal Instruments, Typically Cup-shaped or Spherical, withInternal Clappers, Pellets, etc, Cast from a White, Ductile Metallic Element:Symbol: AG; Atomic Weight: 107.870; Atomic Number: 478. The Short Metrical Composition Intended for Singing Created Specifically for theSmall, Striped Terrestrial Rodent of the Genera Tamias’9. One-dozen Complete Rotations of the Earth Connected to the Festive Celebration ThatTakes Place Each Year During the Month of December.10. Elevated onto the External Upper Portion of the Building in Which Humans Live11. A Marvelous Region of Beautiful Scenes That Exists During the Cold Season BetweenAutumn and the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Latitudes12. Being Borne Along on or in a Light Vehicle on Runners, Usually Open and GenerallyHorse-Drawn, Especially over Snow or Ice13. I Very Much Desire That a Large Herbivorous African Mammal Able to Remain UnderWater for a Considerable Time Be Bestowed upon Me as a Holiday Gift14. The Despicable, Yet Loveable, Green Furry Being Who Devised and Carried Out a FailedPlot to Steal Christmas from the Citizens of WhovilleCopyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant5

in GobbledygookSkip the boring letter to Santa. Write one in gobbledygook and become the topic of conversation in the elves’snack room. Organize your thoughts in the spaces below.Dear Santa,This year, I want. . .I really deserve this (these things) because. . .Directions to my house in case your GPS gets jammed. . .Copyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant6

Christmas Song Titlesin GobbledygookAnswer Keys1. OneFrosty the SnowmanHere Comes Santa ClausWhite ChristmasRudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerAll I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front TeethI Saw Mommy Kissing Santa ClausThe Christmas SongHave Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasA Holly Jolly ChristmasHome for the HolidaysIt’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChristmasJingle Bell Rock1. TwoMust Be SantaIt’s the Most Wonderful Time of the YearJolly Old St. NicholasLet It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!Rockin’ Around the Christmas TreeSanta Claus is Coming to TownSilver BellsThe Chipmunk SongThe Twelve Days of ChristmasUp on the HousetopWinter WonderlandSleigh RideI Want a Hippopotamus for ChristmasMr. GrinchPossible Follow-up Activity:Ask students to compose gobbledygook titles for two or three Christmas songs not used inthe activity, and/or for several of their favorite pop tunes. Read the gobbledygook rewrites outloud or post on a bulletin board for translation.Copyright 2010 Margaret Whisnant7

Christmas Song Titles in Gobbledygook Answer Keys Set One 1. Frosty the Snowman 2. Here Comes Santa Claus 3. White Christmas 4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 5. All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth 6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 7. The Christmas Song 8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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