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AWADmail Issue 1

October 8, 1995

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages

One of the joys of running the wordserver is receiving your messages-- with comments, suggestions, complaints, and queries. I read all of them, however, due to time constraints I'm not able to reply individually. I have decided to share a few of them on the list each weekend. -Anu


From: Margaret Lewis (netcom.com)

I just want to thank you for loving and sharing words. I am a literacy instructor in a county jail. All of my guys have less than 4th grade reading levels when they test into the class. I have started printing out and posting some of the words you send out. One guy said, "Wow! Nobody never showed me nothing like this before." Of course, most of them can't sound out the words, so often we put them on the board, break into syllables, look for parts we know, etc, etc. There is a new interest in words and dictionary fun that is starting to sparkle around there. And the one who as a new student told me that he didn't need any new words because he has all he needed to fit in on the streets is beginning to re-think my statement that words can bestow power.

    Thanks Margaret, for taking the time to write, and for reminding us all of the power of words. -Anu


From: Patrick Driscoll (medicaldata.com)

Here's a word question that has as yet evaded answer. In Microsoft Word 5.1's (Mac version) thesaurus, under the word "common" is listed this synonym: "coaybtete-leranus". Now, I would certainly try to call Microsoft and have them define the word and, in some ways more importantly, give us the word's origins, but with the release of Windows 95, I'm sure customer service has their hands full.

Is this a joke by Microsoft, or does this word really exist? Tell us, please, oh Wordmeister.

    If coay... means common, it is certainly an uncommon synonym for that word. My copies of American Heritage and Merriam-Webster do not list this word. However, if Microsoft sells a sufficiently large number of copies of their wordprocessor, it has the potential of becoming a proper word someday. -Anu

As the breeze picks up off the lake,
Anu

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