Dangerous rhymes

Nursery rhymes are filled with safety hazards, write Canadian researchers — facetiously.

Sarah Giles and Sarah Shea, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, say Humpty Dumpty should have been put on a spinal board immediately after his big fall.

In a satirical letter to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, they added the presence of all the King’s men suggests a “shocking lack of crowd control.”

And what was that baby doing in a treetop?

They also criticise the rhyme about Jack and Jill for vagueness about the children’s injuries and say that foul play could have killed off the old man in It’s Raining it’s Pouring.

Jumping over a candlestick could cause a fire. Wee Willie Winkie risks a fall down the stairs. And Old King Cole really should stop smoking, drinking and, um, fiddling around.

Via Best of the Web.

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  1. Bill Leonard says:

    Hmm…I wonder what the two Sarahs would make of the cautionary and instructive rhyme about Little Suck-a-thumb and the Long Red-legged Scissor Man?

  2. Oh come on. This was a tounge-in-cheek bit. Scientists need to have fun in their work sometimes.
    This is what’s going on, isn’t it?

  3. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    If they ever discover Shel Silverstein we’re all doomed!

    But they missed the longstanding best spoof material: Arthur Guiterman’s “The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup”

    “The antiseptic baby and the prophylactic pup
    Were playing in the garden when the bunny gamboled up
    They looked upon this creature with loathing undisguised
    He wasn’t disinfected and he wasn’t sterilized …”

    See http://web.mit.edu/asjones/www/quotes/antiseptic.html

  4. Besides, why were Jack and Jill going up a hill to look for water? They obviously need a bit more geography and physics education to know water is found at the bottom of hills!

  5. I think the letter is just so funny. It’s a cute prank, and a really good way for all of us to keep our perspective on things.

    thanks for posting it JJ

  6. Jumping over a candlestick could cause a fire.

    I thought we all knew that by now.

    And Old King Cole really should stop smoking, drinking and, um, fiddling around.

    “Bring me my pipe….and step on it!”, he said, going for the cheap joke ;-).

  7. How sanitary is it to eat a pie after someone “stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum?” Does anyone make a plum pie with whole plums anyway? 😉