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AWADmail Issue 280

November 11, 2007

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


From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the net

Mel Brooks Starts Nonprofit Foundation To Save Word 'Schmuck':
The Onion
(spoof)

I Sound Like What in Japanese?
Christian Science Monitor


From: William Abbott (wbabbott3 comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--aliterate

Maybe I am an achronoliterate (I made that up), someone who does not have enough time to read everything that he wants to read!


From: Chris Palmer (chris.palmer medschl.cam.ac.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--aliterate

"Aliterates stand somewhere between literates and illiterates. They can read but don't want to. Whether they can alliterate, we're not sure."

Two points:

  • Not sure if they like to drop trash either, i.e. go alittering; and, alliteratively, an appropriate anecdote...
  • Once our five-year-old neighbour asked me at inopportune time, "Can you read this book to me?" to which I apologised "Oh, I'm sorry I can't". Now I know that his seriously spoken reply of "Well, my Mum can!" was actually a case of mistaking illiteracy for aliteracy.


From: Carolanne Reynolds (gg wordsmith.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--aliterate

"Aliterates stand somewhere between literates and illiterates. They can read but don't want to. Whether they can alliterate, we're not sure."

Literally or figuratively?


From: Andrew Pressburger (andrew.pressburger primus.ca)
Subject: aliterate vs illiterate

The formulation is analogous to the difference between amoral and immoral. One doesn't give a damn, the other damns himself.


From: Geoffrey Neill (gneill counties.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--habile

Thank you as always for the derivation; this one took me back to my college anthropology class in which we learned about "homo habilis", one of our hominid predecessors and possibly ancestors. I suppose those who named them as such presumed they were able (perhaps as opposed to Cain).

Thanks for the thousands of words you have shared with me through the years; you've followed me through three different email addresses now!

One of the gargle or loyal word lovers.


From: Lindsey (lsalloom yahoo.com)
Subject: FreeRice.com

A site went up on October 7 called freerice.com. Through a word game, they donate 10 grains of rice through the UN for every correct answer. The game itself is quite interesting, and the idea of course is brilliant. A haven for word aficionados with any concerns about world hunger.


Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

This week's theme Adjectives.

This week's words
riant
aliterate
contumelious
perfervid
habile

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