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AWADmail Issue 23December 31, 2000
A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages
From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
A blissful (and billsful) new year and new millennium to all the linguaphiles!
From: Jean Sidwell (sidwelljATaol.com)
I somehow deleted the newsletter you printed on favorite poems and poetry sent in by readers. How can I access that newsletter? Thank you.
From: James Dignan (grutnessATsurf4nix.com)
My favourite example of this is one from Soviet-era Russia! It concerns the two main newspapers, Pravda ('The Truth') and Izvestia ('The News'). There was a popular saying which, translated into English, read "There's no news in 'The Truth', and no truth in 'The News'."
From: Kwan Hoong Ng (dwlngATtm.net.my)
Recently I visited Singapore and came across this saying in T-shirts, posters, souvenirs; "Singapore is a fine city, she is also a city of fine". Singapore is noted for fining due to offenses such as littering, crossing roads not following proper paths, graffiting, importing chewing gums, etc.
From: Boyd Winslow, M.D. (bwinslowATmediaone.net)
I'd like to offer another example of antanaclasis. At Harvard Medical School, all students read the words of Dr. Francis Peabody as follows: "The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient."
From: Teresa Stanley (romaphile1ATcs.com)
Does Marc Antony's speech qualify? "But Brutus is an honourable man...and so are they all, all honourable men"
From: Donald Keith Henry (chalcedon1ATaol.com)
The current note on paralepsis does not give the full force of this figure. Better definitions I have seen suggest that a passing by omission, leaving on one side, or passing by, results in a rhetorical figure in which the speaker emphasizes something by affecting to pass it by without notice, usually by such phrases as "not to mention", "to say nothing of". The OED gives "I doe not say thou receaved brybes of thy fellowes, I busy myslf not in this thing." As he says he speaks not of it, he speaks of it. One sees this in political discourse almost daily: "I won't comment on my opponent's notorious lack of integrity" and the like.
From: Oliver John (oliver.johnATkbcfp.com)
I always liked Samuel Johnson's definition this word (from 'Dictionary of the English Language', 1755). He glosses it as 'the violent yoking together of heterogeneous elements'. Strangely enough, this is the second time that your posting has brought this definition to mind. The first was with the etymology of the word syzygy. I recall that we've had bovine on the list recently as well. Are you following a latent theme of words concerning cattle?
Yesterday I heard on the radio that the guy who shot seven people was on a "methodical rampage". Oxymoron? I think so.
From: W. James Soetaert (jamadyusaATnetscape.net)
With reference to the oxymoron, I was suggesting a very present example, i.e., "compassionate conservative".
From: John Dredla (joltistAThotmail.com)
My least favorite oxymoron is my own creation: happy marriage.
From: Barb Costello (bcostelloATperseco.com)
And the longest oxymoron I've heard of is "permanent guest host" - use when Jay Leno was filling in for Johnny Carson (before Leno became the permanent host).
From: Robert S. Black (blackrATbattelle.org)
No, no. An oxymoron is a person of bovine stature and intellect.
From: Ernest M. Fishman (erniemfATcatskill.net)
My favorite ploce is "Rose is a rose is a rose."
From: Sister Mary Ann Cunningham (smacsl1ATaol.com)
What a lovely garden friends have provided... The verses, mostly familiar and beautiful, continue to move and delight me. Michelle asked about setting poetry to music I used to teach a singing method by Justine Ward--actually we taught it in every grade in our elementary schools--in which the most sublime music was sung to great poetry. "She Walks, the Lady of My Delight," "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright," sparkling little pieces from Arcangelo Corelli, Orlando di Lasso, Mozart... My mind is full of them still. The only bad day I had was when I tried to get the 7th grade boys to sing "Where the Bee Sucks, there suck I...in a cowslip's bell I lie." We never could get through it without cracking up.
From: William R. Bunge (bunge2ATgdinet.com)
Did you know that there is a St. Chad, and several churches named in his honor?
From: Mary Elizabeth McIlvane (maryelizabethmcATmindspring.com)
On this new year's eve I wonder why we do not say twenty oh one or something similar as that was the tradition of expressing the year in the first millennium, I do believe. Even in the 1000's it was ten sixty six I believe. But I seem to be hearing two thousand and one. Even two thousand one would be more like it for this world of sound bites! "And" puts us back into the Victorian era I believe!
Happy New Year with good words for the new year!
From: Roy Foster (sent via snailmail)
As a fellow logophile, I found the Smithsonian article about AWAD most interesting. Unfortunately, I am unable to join the ranks of the AWADdicts since I am not computerized.
An addition to your collection of mondegreens might be Ed McBain murder mystery titled "Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear." "Eschew obfuscation is one of my favorite admonishments a la IBM's now all-too-familiar "Think!" inasmuch as it does exactly what it instructs one not to do. Others in my collection, self-coined, are "Abjure supererogation," "Vilipend ipsedixitism," and "Oppugn hyperpolysyllabicsesquipedalianism."
When I make a word do a lot of work like that, I always pay it extra. -Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) [Through the Looking Glass]