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AWADmail Issue 618A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor's message: It's Officially Huge. This week's Email of the Week winner, Fran Goodey (see below) -- as well as all AWADers worldwide -- can now make their own terrific fun word-nerd party for nothing. Introducing our best-selling One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game as a free PDF download, absolutely gratis. Hurree y'up.
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Jamie Foxx Sings Uns_xy Words S_xily
From: Eva Van Beek (evavanbeek yahoo.de)
Just a little addition to your word quiff that you sent today: In Dutch Tintin is called Kuifje (meaning "tuft" in English) which is very close to the word "quiff".
Eva Van Beek, Travers, Switzerland
From: Kim Schmeits (Schmeits telenet.be)
Flemish word, "kuif" means the same: a tuft of hair styled straight up at the forehead. In fact, "Kuifje" which is the diminutive form, is the official Flemish name for Tintin, which, as you know, is a Belgian comic strip.
Kim Schmeits, Sarasota, Florida
From: Fran Goodey (fgoodey hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gird
Australians have a particular interest in the word gird. Our national anthem Advance Australia Fair (written by a Scot) includes its past tense girt. It did not gain its status as the official anthem until 1984, following a plebiscite to choose the national song in 1977.
Australians all let us rejoice
The word girt has occasionally been anguished over in the public arena -- there must be a more modern word -- and it has been the subject of some derision. Good thing we're not skirt by ghee. Who's Girt? What about Kurt by sea?
But girt hangs on.
Fran Goodey, Brisbane, Australia
What a coincidence! The American national anthem was also written by a Scott!
From: Grant Agnew (ggttwwaa gmail.com)
I'm sure many of your Australian subscribers will rush to tell you that our national anthem includes the line "Our home is girt by sea." Half the population doesn't know what this means; many in the other half regard this line as ridiculous and make fun of it. But a national anthem is a national anthem, a ritual to be performed regardless of what the words of it may actually say. Thank heaven we don't take this particular ritual as seriously as some others do.
Grant Agnew, Brisbane, Australia
From: Jay Watterworth (jaywatterworth comcast.net)
Your Thought for Today, "I don't need time. What I need is a deadline." was what finally prompted me to finish my dissertation and earn my PhD. I had it taped to my monitor as I typed away.
Jay Watterworth, Wheat Ridge, Colorado
From: Evan Hazard (eehazard paulbunyan.net)
Mews are not just in the UK. See Washington Mews.
Also, MacDougal Alley, just to the west, is a similar bunch of converted stables. See also Patchin Place, again west in the same neighborhood. There's a similar 'inside the block' enclave across the street from PS 3 in Greenwich Village but I cannot dredge up its name. A developer across from Washington DC, in the suburb SE of Arlington, VA, constructed a similar enclave in the middle of the block. I couldn't find it on Streets 98, a tool for locating addresses, then thought what might be wrong. I was right; an employee had decided it must be a typo and had labeled it 'Washington Mdws'. Fun.
Evan Hazard, Bemidji, Minnesota
From: Ej Lizier (ej.lizier mac.com)
In local parlance, in Melbourne and much of Australia, feral can also be used to describe people. Its meaning is associated with grubbiness, with uncultured, uncultivated, uncontrolled persons. "That bloke is a seriously feral bogan" translates to "That man is a very uncouth brute."
Ej Lizier, Melbourne, Australia
From: Mike D Finelli (chainman51 gmail.com)
In New England Whaling terminology, when a whale dives, for a long time, or deep, they call it sounding. "She sounds!"
Mike D Finelli, Quakertown, Pennsylvania
From: Buff McAllister (fiberbuff earthlink.net)
I learned in elementary school (many years ago) that homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelled differently, such as "there" and "their". We had a contest in 5th grade to see who could collect the most such pairs (pares?). A few years ago I saw a Richard Lederer column that used the term "homophones" instead. Can you explain? Thanks.
Buff McAllister, Monticello, New York
There are three distinct terms in the English language:
homophones: words having the same pronunciation (heir/air)
homographs: words having the same spelling (polish/Polish)
homonyms: words having same spelling and pronunciation (words from this week)
So two words that are homonyms are also homophones and homographs. Some use the term homonym to indicate either homophone or homograph, but I don't see any need to muddle things up.
From: Steve Robinson (spr lawrobinson.com)
Pearls of wisdom divers
Steve Robinson, Glendale, California
From: Irving N. Webster-Berlin (awadreviewsongs gmail.com)
Here are this week's AWAD Review Songs (words and recordings) for your listening and viewing pleasure.
Irving N. Webster-Berlin, Sacramento, California
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Cut these words and they would bleed; they are vascular and alive; they walk and run. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)