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AWADmail Issue 603

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

Sponsor's Message: Pay attention to the asterisk. Calling all longhairs, especially this week's Email of the Week winner Lawrence N Crumb (see below) -- we're offering a sure cabin-fever cure for word lovers -- One Up!: The Wicked/Smart Word Game. A real steal at $15; for only a limited time, 2 for $25, including free shipping*. Quick, snap two up today.

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

13 Words of the Year from Other Countries

How a Word Gets into the Oxnard English Dictionary
YouTube or Nick (22 min.)

From: Irving N. Webster-Berlin (awadreviewsongs gmail.com)
Subject: Song based on this week's words

Hoping to improve your ability to recall the week's AWAD words, I plan to provide a song with them all (each week) for your listening pleasure. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

Here's the one for this week. (2 min.)

Irving N. Webster-Berlin, Sacramento, California

From: Carl Adams (carl_ladams outlook.com)
Subject: On Voluble

Out of seven billion people I'd have had to pick someone I know, so I racked my brain and realised that I'm the one who speaks volumes. I like to think it's useful as I am a travel agent. I rant and rave about the destination you'll visit (especially if I have been, which I normally have) and infect the potential tourist with the same excitement and anticipation that I have when I first visit. I lower their expectations on the material side (thread count and how many stars the hotel will promise to be) to as far as I can go without putting them off but increase the hopefulness and innocence of the memories to be made that every person should have when they travel to somewhere foreign.

Having an excitable client is the best, we both laugh and expand our eyes in anticipation and s/he leaves already having a good trip and my heart is happy, because I've shared the same feelings. Verbal communication is one of our few methods of sharing a feeling with a stranger and if you are voluble, you have a much better chance of calling fewer of those seven billion people a stranger.

Carl Adams, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

From: Giulia Ghisoni (giulia_ghisoni libero.it)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--voluble

Yet one more false friend. The Italian adjective "volubile" and noun "volubilità" share the etymology "volvere" with the English word, but refer to constant changes, e.g. of weather, opinion ...

Giulia Ghisoni, Milan, Italy

From: Raúl Cervantes (raulcervantesdesouches gmail.com)
Subject: voluble

It's funny how the same word, coming from the same etymology, can mean something totally different in two languages. In Spanish, voluble means moody, having sudden or unexpected mood swings.

Raúl Cervantes Desouches, Aguascalientes, Mexico

Email of the Week (Brought to you by 2 x One Up! -- Skiver's Delight.)

From: Lawrence N Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--potentate

In Gilbert and Sullivan's opera, The Gondoliers, the two gondoliers who are ruling Barataria as joint monarchs sing a song to describe their various duties. It includes the lines "Or receive with ceremonial and state/ An interesting Eastern potentate."

In one of the books by Robert L. ("Believe It or Not") Ripley, there is a story that caricatures the German way of compounding words. A Hottentot potentate is Der Hottentotenpotentaten. When his mother enters the story, she is Die Hottentotenpotentatenmutter -- and so on; the words get longer as the story progresses.

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--potentate

Hmm... so I would suggest a mogul, a veritable potentate, who's lost his mojo might be regarded as an 'impotentate'.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Jerry Kaufman (j.cowfm gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--potentate

In the book of Exodus, see two names starting with poti: Potiphar and Potiphera. High ranking man and woman.

Jerry Kaufman, Monroe Township, New Jersey

From: Martin Johnson (MartinJoKing me.com)
Subject: Sophist

As Disraeli said of Gladstone: "A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity."

Martin Johnson, Melbourne, Australia

The sum of human wisdom is not contained in any one language, and no single language is capable of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension. -Ezra Pound, poet (1885-1972)

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