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AWADmail Issue 129

July 31, 2004

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


From: Rick Hutchins (rick.hutchinsATbmc.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hibernaculum

I just thought I'd send you a short note on today's word. Your subscribers who are movie buffs or readers of Arthur C. Clarke should be familiar with it already. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the three scientists aboard Discovery who were in suspended animation were kept in coffin-like shelters called hibernacula (which ultimately became their literal coffins).


From: Kate Robinson Schubart (robartATgmavt.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--devoir

Today's word, "devoir," sparked a memory from over 50 years ago when I was an 8-year-old Útudiante at the Institute Blanche de Castille in Versailles. In those days, one's homework was divided into "devoirs" and "lešons." "Devoirs" were the chapters of assigned reading and, especially, the written work for that day; "lešons" were the required memorization work. Both are excellent training for the mind; the American system to which I returned seemed limited by being confined to "devoirs." Is there still this division in French schoolchildren's homework, I wonder?


From: Rudy Rosenberg Sr. (rrosenbergsrATaccuratechemical.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--candent

Ah, yes! Stay away from overly candent drivers as they can dent your car.


From: Lynne Hummell (hum90ATaol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--candent

I've enjoyed this week's unusual words, but this one made me smile. Thank you for giving me a wonderful word to describe my fiery yet sweet 7-year-old son who lights up any space he enters. His name is Chandler -- which, according to baby name books, means "candlemaker." (We didn't choose his name because of the meaning; we just liked the way it sounds.) Given this new understanding of the root word, I am amazed at how well his name suits him!


From: Sonja Dalglish (dalglishATsmtp.gvtc.com)
Subject: thank you

Thank you for choosing words that expand my vocabulary and open my eyes to the amazing variety of words that we are letting languish for lack of use. I'm guilty of pruning my vocabulary, a sign of growing dumber with the years. It's like using the box of 8 color crayons, when we have the 64 crayon box in the drawer.


From: John Graham (johnATjgrescon.fsbusiness.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--irrefragable

I have come across some old guy called "the Irrefragable Doctor" - Alexander of Hales (1170-1245) - also called Doctor Irrefragabilis - who prepared a system of instruction for the schools of Christendom and was one of the founders of Greyfriars Hall (Oxford University).


From: Eric Shackle (eshackleATozemail.com.au)
Subject: Re. irrefragable

You define irrefragable as meaning impossible to refute or dispute; incontrovertible. Another synonym would certainly be Certain. An antonym is Uncertain, which happens to be the name of a certain small town in Texas. Anyone uncertain where to spend their next vacation could try the Uncertain Inn. For a glimpse of Uncertain's uncertain past, see the August edition of my e-book.


Words, like Nature, half reveal and half conceal the Soul within. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)

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