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AWADmail Issue 4

Nov 26, 1995

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


From: Robin Kilbury (umn.edu)

Hello Anu Garg,

Thank you for creating AWAD. I enjoy it!

I've noticed that most of the words from wordsmith are not in my dictionaries. I would like to buy a very comprehensive dictionary for myself. Would you please give me some recommendations.

    Dear Robin,

    For a very comprehensive dictionary, OED, the 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, comes to mind. However, I'll not recommend this grand-daddy of dictionaries for two reasons: it is a historical dictionary, and instead of prescribing correct usage of words, it aims to be a catalog of words. Besides, it costs nearly $3000. American Heritage Dictionary is a delightful lexicon I recommend you take a look at.

    Most of these dictionaries are now available in CD-ROM, however, they all suffer from one deficiency: you can't get distracted by other interesting words on a page.

    Anu Garg


From: Mary Hack (worldbank.org)

Hello, Anu-by-the-lake,

I was wondering if you might be able to help me. I have recently started to date a special man. The problem is that I am uncomfortable calling him my "boyfriend" because he isn't a boy (and I've always hated that word anyway; it's sophomoric). I looked up "boyfriend" in Microsoft Word's thesaurus but the alternatives are equally unacceptable. Please, please, please, is there a word out there that indicates a close, romantic relationship without being too sappy (or too explicit)? If you can suggest one, I would be forever grateful!

    Dear Mary,

    I suggest "priya" (pronounced PRI-ya). This unisex word comes from Sanskrit, isn't sappy, and conveys that unique sense of affection which forms the essence of a relationship.


From: Larry Bendall (ibm.net)

Hi, I hope you can help me. A friend of mine asked me a question thats been driving me crazy for about 3 weeks now. The question is...
Angry & Hungry both end in the letters gry. There are only three words in the English language that end in gry; I gave you the first two. What is the third one?

I have search every dictionary I could find. I told him he is mistaken, that there are only two. Is there a third word? and if so what is it.

Thanks so very much.

    Dear Larry,

    Going by how often I am asked this question, perhaps it should be placed in the FAQ. "Angry" and "hungry" are the only two common words in English that end in gry. There are numerous obsolete and archaic 'gry's, you can hunt down in the OED. You'll find words such as "puggry", "anhungry", and "iggry" none of which exist now outside the dictionary. Oh, and you'll find "gry" too, which in an interesting twist to your question, both begins and ends with "gry".


From: Melanie Hopkins (cdc.gov)

Dear Anu,

My father-in-law swears up and down that my husband's sister's first word was syzygy at about 6 months of age. Since my husband comes from a family of brains, this does not surprise me.


From: Andrew Hollo (apana.org.au)

In Australia, a large company called Email has, for many years, produced enamelled whitegoods, that is, refrigerators and ovens - now I know why!


From: Shrisha Rao (unc.edu)

The factory that Oskar Schindler (of "Schindler's List" fame) owned, and used to shelter "Schindlerjuden" during the war, was called Deutsche Emailwaren Fabrik -- German Enamelware Fabrications. According to the book by Thomas Kenneally, it was referred to by the workers as "Emalia."


From: Heather Hewitt (uri.edu)

I've always referred to e-beaus as "my emales".

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