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AWADmail Issue 522A 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)
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)
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)
To me, "O Diving" is the beginning of an ode to diving. ;-)
Scott Davis, Halifax, Canada
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)
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)
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)
Your anecdote reminded me of the story of the fellow who saw a sign that said
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
Stu Tarlowe, Rosedale, Kansas
From: Carolanne Reynolds (gg wordsmith.org)
reminds me of the well-known punctuation exercise:
woman without her man is nothing
Males: Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Carolanne Reynolds, West Vancouver, Canada
From: Eric Shackle (ericshackle bigpond.com)
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)