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AWADmail Issue 522

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 Ben Newling (see below), who will get a pretty cheap education as well as FREE (ONEUPMAN)SHIPPING on any of the many treasures of our Miltonic mind.


From: June Thiel (inktrail iburst.co.za)
Subject: Versal
Def: Universal; whole.

As a professional calligrapher doing many commissions in the traditional style of illumination and gilding for clients, the word versal has a whole other meaning: It refers specifically to a larger and more ornate capital letter that indicates the start of either a paragraph or a verse -- the latter designed to help travelling pastors in years gone past, to find specific texts in the Bible.

June Thiel, Johannesburg, South Africa


From: Andrea Wan (andrea walrus.us)
Subject: Words with variant spellings

Enjoying this week's words as always and, working as an attorney, it occurred to me today that a word I use daily -- plaintiff -- falls in a related category. As I'm sure you know, it is related to plaint, which is an archaic form of our modern "complaint" which, of course, is how a plaintiff begins his suit! Thanks as always for an interesting group of words!

Andrea Wan, New York, New York


From: Scott Davis (scottdavis3 gmail.com)
Subject: No Diving

To me, "O Diving" is the beginning of an ode to diving. ;-)

Scott Davis, Halifax, Canada


Email of the Week brought to you by Oneupmanship -- Winning isn't everything. Just kidding!.

From: Ben Newling (bnewling unb.ca)
Subject: Missing Letters

There is a sign in our university library, similar to your "o diving", which reads "No king". I have often wondered whether this was an accident or a political statement about our Canadian relationship to the British monarchy.

Ben Newling, New Brunswick, Canada


From: Martha O'Kennon (mokennon albion.edu)
Subject: no diving

When I lived in China and was pretty much a beginner in Chinese, I was visiting a site outside the gates of which was a sign that looked as if it said NO ENTRANCE. The NO was actually the two words RU KOU which look a little bit like the English NO. Together they mean simply ENTRANCE.

Martha O'Kennon, Albion, Michigan


From: Rajiv Bhrugushastri (rbhrugus hotmail.com)
Subject: Durance

Today's theme reminds me of a joke my dad told me about 30 yrs ago. A college professor once announced on the notice board:

DUE TO A PRIOR ENGAGEMENT, I WON'T TEACH ANY CLASSES TODAY.

A prankster (like Anu?) notices the announcement and erases the 'C' from CLASSES to read:

DUE TO A PRIOR ENGAGEMENT, I WON'T TEACH ANY LASSES TODAY.

The professor fixes it and has the last word by dropping the 'L' to read:

DUE TO A PRIOR ENGAGEMENT, I WON'T TEACH ANY ASSES TODAY.

Rajiv Bhrugushastri, Metairie, Louisiana


From: Stu Tarlowe (STarlowe earthlink.net)
Subject: No Swimming

Your anecdote reminded me of the story of the fellow who saw a sign that said

Private Lake
    No
Swimming Allowed

He was happily swimming when a cop came by and said, "Can't you read?"

The fellow said, "Of course I can read! The sign says
'Private Lake? No. Swimming allowed.'"

Stu Tarlowe, Rosedale, Kansas


From: Carolanne Reynolds (gg wordsmith.org)
Subject: Punctuation rules too

O Commas

reminds me of the well-known punctuation exercise:

woman without her man is nothing

Males: Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Females: Woman: without her, man is nothing.

Carolanne Reynolds, West Vancouver, Canada


From: Eric Shackle (ericshackle bigpond.com)
Subject: 1000th story

Check out the latest posting on my blog.

Eric Shackle, Sydney, Australia


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The trouble with words is that you never know whose mouths they've been in. -Dennis Potter, dramatist (1935-1994)
Jul 1, 2012
This week's theme
Back-formations

This week's words
durance
suasion
versal
monish
complice

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