There’s a Chiffchaff in the tree. At some stage a predecessor of the Willow Warbler and the Chiffchaff had a strange egg. And that egg hatched with a profound lack of talent. Instead of a beautiful melodious warble, it chirped a strange and ungainly two-tone noise.
It’s a strange “chaff” and then “chiff”. Or is it “chiff” and then “chaff”?
The Chiffchaff is called that because of ablaut reduplication. That’s the formula in English for putting similar words in a strict vowel order. It’s ping-pong and not pong-ping, it’s clip-clop and not clop-clip and it’s flip-flop and not flop-flip.
If you think that’s a load of film-flam and I’m just being wishy-washy, they you’re wrong. I think I’ve just proved that.
Bish, bash, bosh.
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