We see and hear it all the time in commercials, advertisements, poetry, jokes, etc... One classic example is this light and very interesting poem by Ogden Nash, where we can find two instances of this linguistic device in the first few lines.

Portrait Of The Artist As A Prematurely Old Man

It is common knowledge to every schoolboy and even every Bachelor of Arts, 
That all sin is divided into two parts. 
One kind of sin is called a sin of commission, and that is very important, 
And it is what you are doing when you are doing something you ortant, 
And the other kind of sin is just the opposite and is called a sin of omission 
    and is equally bad in the eyes of all right-thinking people, from 
    Billy Sunday to Buddha, 
And it consists of not having done something you shuddha. 
I might as well give you my opinion of these two kinds of sin as long as, 
    in a way, against each other we are pitting them, 
And that is, don't bother your head about the sins of commission because 
    however sinful, they must at least be fun or else you wouldn't be 
    committing them. 
It is the sin of omission, the second kind of sin, 
That lays eggs under your skin. 
The way you really get painfully bitten 
Is by the insurance you haven't taken out and the checks you haven't added up 
    the stubs of and the appointments you haven't kept and the bills you 
    haven't paid and the letters you haven't written. 
Also, about sins of omission there is one particularly painful lack of beauty, 
Namely, it isn't as though it had been a riotous red-letter day or night every 
    time you neglected to do your duty; 
You didn't get a wicked forbidden thrill 
Every time you let a policy lapse or forget to pay a bill; 
You didn't slap the lads in the tavern on the back and loudly cry Whee, 
Let's all fail to write just one more letter before we go home, and this round 
    of unwritten letters is on me. 
No, you never get any fun 
Out of things you haven't done, 
But they are the things that I do not like to be amid, 
Because the suitable things you didn't do give you a lot more trouble than the 
    unsuitable things you did. 
The moral is that it is probably better not to sin at all, but if some kind of 
    sin you must be pursuing, 
Well, remember to do it by doing rather than by not doing.

1 Answer 1


A Forced Rhyme according to wiktionary

A rhyme that is produced by changing the normal spelling of a word, or by changing the normal structure of a phrase

It covers more than just changing spelling and is generally regarded as bad practice but more so for forcing an inappropriate word than for changing the spelling.

Another example from Twice Times by A. A. Milne:

They lived in a Cave when the weather was cold,
And they Did, and they Didn't Do, what they were told.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three -
But Bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee
There may be a Moral, though some say not;
I think there's a moral, though I don't know what.
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss,
These Two Little Bears are just like Us.

  • Is forced rhyming seen as lazy? Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 2:59
  • 3
    @PhonicsTheHedgehog Yes perhaps. Amateurish in a way. It depends on the situation and reputation. For A A Milne or Dr Suess to use it in a comical way is just further evidence of their genius. For an aspiring, serious, sombre poet to use it would probably be very incongruous and regarded, as you say, as lazy.
    – Avon
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 7:58
  • This is a general term that would include slant rhyming -- where the meaning of the word is correct, but the rhyme is broken. This is irritating. When the word is changed, or a new word coined to make the rhyme right can be a noble form of wordplay. The Milne case above is mostly slant rhyming -- not/what wuss/us wuss is ambiguous as to pronouciation: should it be 'worse' for the meaning, 'wuss' to rhyme with 'us' or woos as in the slang term for someone who is no man (rhymes with puss as in cat, not puss as in infection) Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 4:50

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