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AWADmail Issue 719A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
‘Yeo-Person’? One Title Vexes Navy’s Push for Gender Neutrality
From: Nicole Perry (veegin335 yahoo.com)
I found the perfect way to impress (and freak out) my boyfriend using this word. We were having a conversation through text, and I noticed his responses were in complete sentences and had fewer mistakes than usual. I asked if he was using text-to-speech. He responded, “Yes. How did you know?” I typed back: “Because I am clairaudient.”
Nicole Perry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
From: Malcolm Green (malcolmdgreen aol.com)
In French-speaking cities, “les heures d’affluence” are what we American commuters call “rush hours” when, paradoxically, with so many other cars on the road no one is really rushing very quickly anywhere.
Malcolm Green, Long Beach, California
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
In light of today’s word “affluential”, another flow-rooted word comes to mind, “effluent”, often associated with fluid waste, or sewage.
One could argue that certain high-profile, so-called affluential politicians might possess both great accumulated wealth and apparent major political clout, yet what flows from their mouth in the heat of campaign debate often borders on the ‘effluential’... expletive-laced verbiage that might well make even a no-account, foul-mouthed low-lifer blush in awe.
I’ll plead ‘The 5th’ on naming names.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California
From: Alan D. Abbey (alan.abbey gmail.com)
Is it just a coincidence, or did you have inside info from the investigative journalists who broke the ‘Panama Papers’ stories about affluential banksters this week?
Alan D. Abbey, Jerusalem, Israel
From: Peter Jennings (peterj benlo.com)
Your words, “The derogatory suffix ster”, inspired a short voyage of discovery which led me to the interesting observation that -ster was originally based on the female agent (a person who) from Old English and other languages. Hmmm.
In the 14th century, in northern Middle English, the suffix ster came to refer to the professional, vs occasional, doer of something, presumably a complimentary vs derogatory action.
Apparently, the gender neutral derogatory meaning entered the language in the 16th century, requiring words such as seamster to be reformed as seamstress to maintain the feminine agent without a derogatory nuance.
Thank you, once again AWAD, for your morning inspiration.
Peter Jennings, Ben Lomond, California
From: Dan Charnas (decharnas gmail.com)
Lyricist Sheldon Harnick uses “sheeple” in the musical She Loves Me, which is currently in revival on Broadway. In a recurring motif, the chorus illustrates the passage of time by counting down the number of shopping days before Xmas (lyrics, video, 4 min.). In each iteration, the chorus describes itself as “we are the people who shop in time” and is paced at a faster tempo than the previous which eventually leads to trips of the tongue: “we are the popple who sheep in time” and “we are the sheeple who pop in time.” Sheeple.
Dan Charnas, New York, New York
From: Jorge Del Desierto (george_potvin yahoo.com)
In French, the term for blend words is mot-valise or suitcase words.
Jorge Del Desierto, La Paz, Mexico
From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
One portmanteau coinage I am still inordinately proud of after some fifty years past its creation is the name I gave to a late afternoon Christmas brunch I had in Montreal. Adding to the already existing blend of breakfast and lunch, I came up with brinner, i.e. brunch and dinner, thus partaking of a Yule Brinner. I hope fellow linguaphiles still remember the noted actor of such memorable films and musicals as Anastasia and The King and I (in whose name the -e is not only silent but invisible, too).
Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada
From: Ian Pinnock (ianpinnock1 gmail.com)
A blend word we often use to describe someone who is suffering from imbibing too freely is ‘he drank so much he got parazontal.’ The blend of ‘paralyzed’ and ‘horizontal’ often sums up the end state of a huge binge quite accurately.
Ian Pinnock, Johannesburg, South Africa
From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
A lunkhead from old Boston, Mass,
The Abbot experienced clairaudience.
Everyone has the potential,
Dear colleagues: depraved cyber-pranksters
There once was a Mafia gangster
Republicans speak to their sheeple
From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Tennessee has the most caves in the US if you want to spelunkhead there.
Clairaudience-iate better. She sometimes drops her ‘N’s.
“Affluential-adas from Texas to Maine in exchange for lobsters.”
The tsunami made the river bankster.
“Sue is such a goof-off. Why won’t sheeple her own weight?”
Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
From: Suzanne Heymann (s.heymann live.ca)
Today, happy birthday to you!
Suzanne Heymann, Nanaimo, Canada
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:A word after a word after a word is power. -Margaret Atwood, poet and novelist (b. 1939)