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AWADmail Issue 424

Auguest 15, 2010

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language

This week's Email of the Week is from TheFallibleFiend (see below), who'll feel at least 20% smarter in his I'd Rather Be Grammatically Correct Uppityshirt.


From: Louise Adie (vesla2 aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--drumlin
Def: A long, narrow, whale-shaped hill of gravel, rock, and clay debris, formed by the movement of a glacier.

We describe the smaller drumlins in central NY state as being cigar-shaped. Thanks for this week's study of geology and glacial retreat. I work in Antarctica as well as the Arctic and watching these ancient glaciers is quite disheartening. Check out my kayaking in Antarctica blog.


From: Corinne Marasco (c.marasco verizon.net)
Subject: Drumlin

When I was growing up in Massachusetts, I remember hearing ads for Drumlin Farm, which is out in Lincoln, Mass. I vaguely recall taking a school field trip or two out there. It's one of many public sanctuaries operated by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as well as a working farm. I recall thinking it was an unusual name for a farm until someone told me what it meant. I put it in the same category as the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which was partially created by filling in fens (marshland). There must be a theme in there somewhere.


From: Gerry Visel (gcvisel gmail.com)
Subject: Drumlins

This week's topic of choice brings memories of camping with our family at Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin, where the kids (and adults!) enjoyed learning of kettles, kames, eskers, and moraines. As an engineer, I had trouble visualizing enough force to cause ice to slide sideways to cut enough rock to carve the Great Lakes, for example, but the naturalist said to visualize molasses a mile or more thick spreading out. The pressures involved were on a whole 'nother scale.


From: Nancy Passow (nancy write4unj.com)
Subject: Comment on Drumlin

Because of the composition of the drumlins, they are particularly suited for growing apple trees. So, in New York State, many apple orchards are usually located on drumlins.


From: John D. Laskowski (john.laskowski mothman.org)
Subject: Drumlin

Drumlin. What an interesting word. The concept of glacial deposition along the coast reminded me of the long ago heard question: Why is the shore so near the ocean?


From: Joe Fleischman (jfleischman wbcm.com)
Subject: Moraine - Boulder Field at Hickory Run SP, PA

On the East Coast of the US, one of the most amazing and accessible examples of a glacial deposit is the Boulder Field at Hickory run State Park in northeast Pennsylvania. Encompassing about 16.5 acres, the boulder field is the remnants of a retreating glacier and collection of rocks from surrounding hillsides; all deposited in a valley.

It is an interesting and fun place to explore, so long as you step carefully to avoid turned ankles or the occasional reptile warming itself on the rocks.


From: Henry Miller (thmillerdsm hotmail.com)
Subject: moraine
Def: An accumulation of boulders, gravel, or other debris carried and deposited by a glacier.

Iowa's gold-domed capitol building commands a view of the city from the largest hill in Des Moines, a moraine of rock and soil collected by glaciers hundreds of miles north of Iowa and deposited here during the last ice age.

This fact caused one local historian to observe that Iowa's state capitol sits on Canadian soil.


From: Frank Schorn (frank.schorn gmail.com)
Subject: Moraine

Moraine is a word familiar to the residents of the Queens neighborhoods Glendale and Woodhaven, which sandwich Forest Park, the third largest in New York City. Forest Park was formed by the cessation of the Wisconsin Glacier, which traversed the northeast about 22,000 years ago.

When the glacier finally melted around 12,000 years ago -- truly at a glacial pace -- the Harbor Hill moraine remained, along with wonderful rocks and boulders to hike and climb on as a kid. (And I still think and act like one!)

Though most people think New York City is flat, the edge of the moraine provides a great vantage point for Forest Park bikers, walkers, and runners to gaze down and to the south, all the way to Jamaica Bay, JFK airport, and to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The elevation quickly drops about 60 feet from my Glendale neighborhood and Forest Park down to Woodhaven.

Thanks to the Harbor Hill moraine, from my roof, I can simultaneously see planes on final descent at LaGuardia airport to the north and at JFK to my south!


From: Tom Ruby (tomr crescentsystems.com)
Subject: Fjord
Def: A long, narrow inlet of the sea, bordered by steep cliffs, and carved by glacial action.

A Fjord isn't a cjar made in Norway?


From: Roger Pieters (rpieters eos.ubc.ca)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fjord

The term fjord is used in Norway not only for arms of the sea but for freshwater lakes, even for some lakes high in the mountains.
Professor Kaare Strom, Department of Limnology), University of Oslo, in "Trapped seawater", New Scientist, No. 274, 15 Feb 1962, p 384-386.


From: Reenie Rousseau (reenies gmail.com)
Subject: Fjords

Of course Douglas Adams in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" credits his character, Slartibartfast, for the creation of the fjords in Norway.

SLARTIBARTFAST: "The chances of finding out what's really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Look at me, I design fjords. I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
ARTHUR: "And are you?"
SLARTIBARTFAST: "No, that's where it all falls apart I'm afraid."
ARTHUR: "Pity, it sounded like quite a nice lifestyle otherwise."

Not to mention Monty Python's dead Parrot who's always "pining for the fjords"!


From: Lisa D. Witte (ldwitte hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fjord

Imagine my disappointment upon discovering that, while colporteur is a peddler of religious books, rapporteur is not a peddler of modern urban song CDs. Oh, well.


From: Debbie Kabitzke (dkkabitzke yahoo.com)
Subject: drumlin, moraine, esker

Here in southeastern Wisconsin we are immersed in these glacial land formations. We hike in the Kettle Moraine along the Ice Age Trail. Years ago when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, our dining halls were named, Drumlin, Esker, and Moraine.


From: Wayne Reske (twentiethman hotmail.com)
Subject: Moraine

In the full color of autumn 1962 Boy Scout Troop 66 out of Milwaukee and several others opened what was then called The Glacial Trail in Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit, in east central Wisconsin. The trail was 25 miles long. Older boys, Explorer Scouts, had blazed the trail just hours ahead of us, leaving trail markings consisting of wooden posts painted white and marked with blue. We hiked up hill and down, over, along, and around, kettles, moraines, drumlins, kames, and eskers; a lesson in geology and the ice age that had carved and shaped the face of our home state some 10,000 years ago. We identified trees, earning a merit badge along the way. We alternately passed through sun-baked prairie only to shiver in the chill air of deep forest shade in our sweat-dampened uniforms.

We passed an occasional marked Bridle Path; a thing I'd never seen before. I half-expected a woman dressed in white to stroll by. Bridle (and groom) are horsey terms and I was a city kid, OK?

We started at dawn and finished well after dark. A hike of twenty-five miles cross-country is a very real challenge to a twelve-year-old. The scoutmasters practically carried me the last mile.

To commemorate the trail's inaugural we were ceremonially presented with a hero-sized medal of pewter with a blue and white ribbon. It depicts the State of Wisconsin topographically with an emphatic outline of the Driftless Area in the southwestern corner of the state that was left untouched in the last Ice Age.

Owing to glaciation, Wisconsin's most abundant natural resource is (Ta-DA!) sand and gravel. The original trail has been modified over the years along with other aspects of the state park. The longest hiking trail is now 31 miles. See details.

This brought back a lot of memories.


From: Don McCombs (drmc10 aol.com)
Subject: Statement by AWAD

There is significant doubt about global warming -- it is not defined by the data.


Email of the Week - (Courtesy One Up! - Are you wicked/smart enough?)

From: TheFallibleFiend (via Wordsmith Talk bulletin board)
Subject: Climate change

Companies that depend on carbon fuel, similar to tobacco companies back in the 50s, realize that they don't have to win this argument -- all they have to do is create sufficient doubt. This would explain why most of the scholarly papers purporting to refute AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) originate with groups like CEI, AEI, Cato Institute, among others -- which are funded by Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute which is funded by big oil (among other things). See edf.org.


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You can never understand one language until you understand at least two. -Ronald Searle, artist (b. 1920)
This week's theme
Glacial landforms

This week's words
drumlin
moraine
esker
fjord
cirque

Next week's theme
Words that appear beheaded

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