Single-syllable “Orphans” at WikiRhymer

Some words have no perfect rhymes. At WikiRhymer, we call them “orphans.” (Click here for a detailed discussion on orphans.)

If you are writing a song or poem, you may want to avoid ending a line with a word that is an orphan IF YOU INTEND TO LATER RHYME THAT WORD!!

There are way too many orphans in the English language (and in WikiRhymer) to list them all, but the list of single-syllable orphans is a short one (just 161 as of this writing), so we ran a nifty search of the WikiRhymer database and here they are:

alt, angst, asked, babes, balk, beards, beige, berths, blitzed, boosts, borscht, breadth, bronzed, bulb, bulbs, buzzed, cads, calmed, caused, chafed, chaunce, cleansed, coaxed, coiffe, coiffed, conch, costs, cubed, cusp, daubed, depth, depths, desks, didn’t, dirges, don’ts, dwarfed, dwarves, eighth, eighths, else, faiths, feucht, fiends, fifth, fifths, filched, film, filmed, firsts, fugues, glimpsed, golf, golfed, gouge, gouged, gulf’s, gulps, halved, harped, helped, hertz, hoists, hoofed, hoofs, hooves, it’ll, jazzed, kilns, knifed, loafs, loathes, mensch, month, morgues, mosque, mosques, mosques, mouthed, mouths, mulched, nares, neeps, ninth, ninths, noirs, norsk, nymphs, oomph, paths, peaces, pierced, pint, plagued, poised, popes, profs, prompts, pushed, puss, quashed, revved, rogues, scalp, scalped, scarce, scarfs, schmaltz, schoof, scrounged, sculpts, shalt, sixth, sixths, sulked, surfed, swamp, swamped, swamps, swapped, swathe, swathed, swooshed, talc, talcs, tenths, texts, thefts, thoughts, thunk, thwacks, tongs, tongued, toothed, tramps, trying, tufts, twelfth, valve, valves, walth, warmth, warped, wasp, watched, welds, welsh, whilst, whorl, width, widths, with, wolves, wonk, wonks, wounds, yurt (word count=161)

Write On!

Bud & Cheng

Important New Features for Pro Users

Hey Pro WikiRhymers:

In order to cut down on the amount of scrolling and clicking you need to do to browse WikiRhymer, we have made a few key changes in the last couple of days.

First of all, we hope that all of you are aware that the green downward facing caret next to the Search button (it is on every page but the Home page, next to the search box) allows you to jump directly to any rhyme type (like Near Rhymes, Pure Rhymes, Mosaic Rhymes, etc.).

Second, we have applied a filter to WikiRhymer that puts the “best” rhymes first. (This does not apply to pure rhymes or mosaic rhymes but it does apply to End Rhymes, Near Rhymes, and Near End Rhymes.) What this means in practical terms is that the “quality” of rhymes will start to decline after about the first 50 to 100 sets for any Rhyme Type.
Finally: You might be asking yourself “well, if you put the best rhymes in the first 50 or so sets of each rhyme type, why bother giving us the rest of the sets?” Good question. The answer is that what is a better rhyme from a sound standpoint might not be a better rhyme from a meaning standpoint and we know as professional writers, you want both. So, we give you ALL the rhymes we have and you can spend as much time looking as you want. We just wanted you to know there ARE some shortcuts!!

What are “Orphans”?

An “orphan” is a word in WikiRhymer that has no PURE rhymes. The classic example of this is the word “orange,” which as most everybody knows, has no pure rhyme.

At WikiRhymer, words are always grouped into sets of words that are pure rhymes for each other. The only exception to this are orphans. So, you will find a set like Near Rhyme Set #76* of 76 for the target word “love” that contains a bunch of words that are near rhymes for “love.” If you peruse the members of Set 76, you will see words like “bulb,” “buzzed,” and “cusp” that are near rhymes for “love”,” but not pure rhymes for each other.

How To Avoid Using Orphans
Orphans complicate things for rhymers. If your target word is an orphan; guess what–you are kinda screwed as to pure rhymes for it–there aren’t any! So how can you avoid setting yourself up for defeat? How can you generally avoid ending a line with an orphan that you then have to waste time trying to rhyme? Here are some tips:

  • The shorter a word is (i.e., number of letters), the less likely it is to be an orphan.
  • The fewer number of syllables a word has, the less likely it is to be an orphan. The vast majority of single syllable words ARE NOT orphans. But, click here for a list that are!
  • Multi-syllabic words whose stressed syllable is NOT its last syllable are more often orphans.
  • A majority of three- or more syllable words whose stressed syllable is NOT the last or second to last syllable are orphans.

What To Do If You Have Backed Yourself Into A Corner With An Orphan
Well, by now you know that an orphan has no pure rhyme, so what are you to do? Use a near rhyme, an end rhyme or a mosaic rhyme. They are all at WikiRhymer!

Opportunities Orphans Create
Because orphans are hard to rhyme, poets and songwriters assiduously avoid them. That creates an opportunity because that which is rare is rarely mundane, boring or commonplace. So, if you manage to creatively rhyme orphans, by definition you will be creating something unique and rare and that may give you an edge.

WikiRhymer 3.0

Hi WikiRhymers:

Well, as you have seen, we have overhauled (some might say “keelhauled”) WikiRhymer!

(If you are not the reading type and just want to SEE how this works, watch the video below:

Why did we do this?

Because you asked us to!

We did a survey earlier this year (click here for discussion) and it was very eye-opening for us. We realized that we had to do a much better job for you to make WikiRhymer the one-stop rhyme shop for rhymers, amateur and professional alike.

The underlying conundrum is the fact that so many users use WR and their understanding of rhyming varies broadly:

  • The sixth-grader writing a poem for school.
  • The professional songwriter.
  • The budding poet.
  • The non-native English speaker looking for a rhyme.

So, we needed to build a tool that the starting-out rhymer could navigate easily that still retained all the power that the pro rhymer needs and wants.

We needed to make definitions of different rhyme types visible, but not obtrusive.

We needed to get rid of the “pointers” we used to use to navigate you to near rhymes and end rhymes, etc. (Yea–we hardly understood them too and they were always an incomplete and stop-gap measure.)

Most of all, we needed to make WikiRhymer a place that any user can navigate by simply scrolling and clicking.

  • No more arcane menus titled “End Rhymes” or “Mosaic Rhymes” because if you don’t know what those are, what are you to do!
  • No more pointers that you really might not even understand are pointers to sets of rhyming words.
  • No more taking you off to pages that may rhyme with your target word, but leave you uncertain as to how to get back to where you started.

In the new WR, which we are referring to as WikiRhymer 3.0, all rhymes for a specific word are organized into what we now call a rhyme “collection.” Within each rhyme collection, are sets of rhymes starting with the Pure Rhyme set, then End Rhymes, then Near Rhymes, Mosaic, and finally Near End Rhymes.

Al rhyme sets are clearly labeled, so you always know where you are at and you need simply scroll down the page to see more. When you get to the end of a page, simply click the “More Rhymes” arrow to keep going.

If you are a power user and for instance, know you want a near rhyme and want to jump directly into those rhymes, click the green downward-facing caret next to the search button in the page header. A drop-down list will appear and you can navigate wherever you want to go.

We have also added Rhyme Type Separators so you know clearly what type of rhymes you are looking at as you move from section to section (and we provide a brief definition there too for “newbie” rhymers).

This interface is the culmination of over five years of being on the web and thinking about how to best present rhyming content. If you have perused the “old” WikiRhymer(s) as well as our “competition,” you will recognize how fundamentally different this approach is. Given that, we decided to file for a patent and we have!

We hope you find WR 3.0 easy to use and powerful too. Use the new floating Feedback button to let us know how your experience is going.

Write On!

Bud & Cheng

Copyright Primer

Poets and songwriters need to be concerned about copyrights, so…

A few key points:

  • You have a copyright the moment you finish your song or poem (“work”). I know that may seem bizarre, because most people think you have to DO something proactive to “get” a copyright. What they are confusing is “getting” a copyright versus “registering” a copyright.
  • You “register” the fact that you created a work (and therefore have a copyright) by filing with the US Copyright office (or other countries’).
  • “Registering” a copyright gives you two basic things:
    • “Proof” that you created a work and when you created the work.
    • Certain automatic results in the event you have to sue somebody for infringement of a copyright:
      • The right to automatically recover attorney’s fees if you prevail in an infringement lawsuit.
      • The right to receive statutory damages for each infringing act, rather than judge-decided damages.

I can tell you that as a practical matter, nobody around here (Nashville) registers their copyrights until a song is actually going to be released. It’s too expensive –$50 per song unless you actually know you are going to make some money.

Moreover, if you keep good records, you will have a date trail of what you wrote when. I write everything on a Google Site, so every single word I write has a third-party backup (Google) and is time- and date-stamped.

Finally, one thing you should know is that if a song is “released” into the public domain (on a CD, on the web, or played in concert), you must register the copyright within 90 days of release or you lose the “automatic” rights referred to above (Source, Source.)

Dig in deeper…