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AWADmail Issue 667

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

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

Internet Neologisms: Rage Quitting is a Thing
JSTOR Daily
WebCite

What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?
The New Yorker
WebCite

The Smell of Rain: How CSIRO Invented a New Word: Petrichor
The Conversation
WebCite

End near for Dictionary of American Regional English?
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
WebCite

Research Suggests Shakespeare Wrote ‘Lost’ Play
CNN
WebCite


Email of the Week (ONEUPMANSHIP -- 20 times better than “ping” pong.)

From: Steven Szalaj (szjsings mac.com)
Subject: Quiescent

Popsicles were a favorite treat on hot Chicago summer days. One of my odd memories is, as a child, thinking about the phrase “A Quiescently Frozen Confection” printed on the wrapper in the 1950s & 1960s (photo). I did look up the word, and when I discovered that “quiet” was a definition, I used to imagine how a confection can be frozen “quietly”. Did the factory workers walk around the noiseless facility in soft booties only whispering to each other while the treats were caressed and coddled into their coolness? Of course, it meant that they were not hard-frozen, like ice cubes, but frozen in such a way that you could bite them (and not “crack the enamel on your teeth” -- as my mother used to warn me when I chewed ice). Looking back, I’m sure one reason the admen chose the word was its alliteration with “confection”.

Steven Szalaj, Crystal Lake, Illinois


From: Philip Moore (gpmmoore hotmail.com)
Subject: quiescent

Quiescent is a kangaroo word for an entirely different reason. Many macropod embryos may endure months of developmental quiescence in utero if the mother has a joey in the pouch (lactational) or it’s winter (seasonal quiescence). In the latter instance, development resumes the day after the summer solstice.

Philip Moore, Sydney, Australia


From: Donald Coppock (dnaisnow gmail.com)
Subject: quiescent

Because non-proliferating cells are called ‘quiescent’, I named a gene I found quiescin in a search to understand this phenomenon. This gene is now known as QSOX1.

Donald Coppock, New Jersey


From: Charlotte Cohen (charlco kingsley.co.za)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--quiescent

Talking of kangaroo words, I wrote something called “An Era of Generations and the Genes Between”. The word “generations” contains both “era” and “genes”. (although “era” is both adjacent and not)

Charlotte Cohen, Cape Town, South Africa


From: Joe Fleischman (jfleischman wbcm.com)
Subject: perambulate

I attended a somewhat “brainy” high school (our football team was the “Engineers”); and we had a tongue-in-cheek cheer, “Progress it! Progress it! Perambulate over the turf!”

Joe Fleischman, Baltimore, Maryland


From: David Ferrier (ferrierd shaw.ca)
Subject: expurgate

Edward Gibbon said that he self-expurgated Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: “My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.”

David Ferrier, Edmonton, Canada


From: John M Estill (jmestill gmail.com)
Subject: Anne Lamott quotation

I love the sentiments expressed over Annie’s name today, but she herself attributes it to her “wild Jesuit friend” Father Tom Weston:

“[I]t was my wild Jesuit friend Tom Weston’s word who actually said that you can tell you’ve created God in your own image when He hates the same people you do. Father Tom said it in a lecture 23 years ago, at a small gathering.” (reference)

John M Estill, Millersburg, Ohio

Thanks for the additional information. We’ve updated the quotation on the website now.
-Anu Garg


From: James Hutchinson (james hutch.org.uk)
Subject: Kangaroo words

Thank you, kind instructor (tutor) for this week’s kangaroo words, which should astound (stun) all, and which I will be utilising (using) soon.

James Hutchinson, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

He switches from loud, effervescent,
to moody and strangely quiescent.
Mom, don’t be alarmed.
It’s just part of the charm
of a newly-arrived adolescent.

-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

In the old days a small catacomb
Was the papal retirement home
But now that’s too gloomy
They want something roomy
An alcove in airy St. Peter’s dome.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

And now for a 12-second Seder:

When Moses said “Time to perambulate”
The Hebrews had no time to calculate
They grabbed all their bread
From the ovens and fled
Which explains, dear, the matzo ball soup you ate.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Moving on:

“Here’s how we can Democrats expurgate
We’ll go and break into the Watergate!”
The thought made him giddy
That’s G. Gordon Liddy
Alas, ‘twas his boss he’d obliterate.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The fight caused quite the hoopla,
Between the batter and southpaw,
One punch to the mandible,
Which was oh so frangible,
So hence the expression, “glass jaw”.

-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)


From: Angela Mayes (angelarmayes gmail.com)
Subject: Thank you

I wanted you to know how much I enjoy receiving your A.Word.A.Day. My mother is the unabridged Oxford dictionary and instilled this desire for words in her children. I thought for a long time she was the only one until I started receiving your daily emails a few years ago. This week in particular I felt inspired by the subject of kangaroo words (not sure why) and couldn’t wait to see/find the joey in each one. Thank you for your love, dedication, desire, passion, fervor, enthusiasm, teacher, and keeper of words.

Angela Mayes, Los Angeles, California


From: Carolanne Reynolds (gg wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anu and language

It’s in his nature. Anu is a joey of language. :-)

Carolanne Reynolds, West Vancouver, Canada


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination. -Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (1889-1951)

Apr 12, 2015
This week’s theme
Kangaroo words

This week’s words
quiescent
catacomb
perambulate
expurgate
frangible

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives
Index

Next week’s theme
Words related to books
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