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Man takes on mission to rhyme

One man’s joke has become his mission: to give each word a rhyming definition.

Chris Strolin was teasing English buffs in an online forum years ago when he said the dictionary should be rewritten in the singsong rhyme scheme of limericks. He ended up embracing the absurd bravado of his own wisecrack and decided to try it for real.

He started with the word “a’’ —”It’s used with a noun to convey/ A singular notion/ Like ‘a duck’ or ‘a potion’” — and kept going. More than 1,000 contributors have joined him, off and on, over the years.

The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form (or OEDILF for short) has published more than 97,000 rhyming definitions since Strolin started it in 2004. The retired Air Force radio operator from Belleville, Illinois, says his project is on track to publish its 100,000th limerick in the coming year.