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AWADmail Issue 749A 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)
New Record: Translations of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pass 500
From: Brad Tinkham (btinkham1209 comcast.net)
I don’t want to nag you about horses but your description made me bridle a little. I don’t want to stirrup trouble or saddle you with any avoidance of the mane issue here so I will just pony up a few remarks and then hoof it out of here.
Brad Tinkham, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
From: Darren Nash (dnash peeknservices.com.au)
Being in Australia, I receive these emails late in the day and reserve them to look at first thing the next morning,
To my surprise, today when I read this it just happens to be on the 1st Tuesday of November, which is the day the Melbourne Cup (horse race) is run every year.
Touted as the “race that stops the nation”, most businesses essentially close down for about an hour or so around 3 pm (AEST).
Is this a sign that my luck will change today...
Darren Nash, Sydney, Australia
From: Richard Alexander (alexander triton.net)
Differentiating between the hippocampus and hypothalamus, both parts of the brain’s limbic system, was a stumbling block for some of my Introductory Psychology students. One student came up with a creative solution. She pictured a hippo (hippopotamus, “river horse”) walking around campus, trying to remember what it learned. (The hippocampus’s main functions involve spatial navigation and the consolidation and retrieval of information.)
Richard Alexander, Grand Rapids, Michigan
From: Bruce Reaves (reavesb earthlink.net)
In a hippocracy, do those opposed vote neigh?
Bruce Reaves, Graham, North Carolina
From: Ann Hiemstra (hiemstra.ann gmail.com)
Living on the southern tip of Africa, “hippo”, for Kruger National Park loving me, immediately brings to mind our huge river (fresh) water living and seemingly lazy sunbathing gigantic mammal, the hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), which by the way, has very little resemblance to any horse I have seen.
In my mother tongue, Afrikaans, this animal is called a “seekoei” (sea cow), to which it also has no resemblance, either in looks or habitation, and our Dutch speaking language “family” call it a “nijlpaard” (Nile horse), which seems a little closer to the real thing.
For some inexplicable reason, the hippopotamus, which is, with the exception of the African elephant, larger than any of “The Big Five” of Africa, the other four being the lion, leopard, rhino, and African buffalo, is not reckoned as one of these big ones.
And note, more people are killed in Africa by hippopotami than all of the other Biggies together, they say. So, do not be misled by the mounds of blubbery sunbathing bodies on the riverbanks of game parks. To add to the “misfit-ness” of this strange creature, and since we have no icebergs in South Africa, the mere tips of unknown trouble we might perceive, are referred to as “just the ears of the hippo” visible above the surface of the (troubled) waters.
Ann Hiemstra, Stilbaai, South Africa
From: Charlotte Russell (ccr6273 verizon.net)
I’ve always liked dry humor, so I guess I’d like xerophilic comedians.
Charlotte Russell, Littleton, Massachusetts
From: Bob Missing (via online comments)
Ah! We who live in New Mexico finally are able to define just what we are!
Bob Missing, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
From: Anne Marie McCormack (mccormack.anne-marie gene.com)
I’ve never heard this word before, but I know about the shaved head from you and the dot over the i from A Man Called Intrepid, which was a great read -- and could have been its own “example from history” in this AWAD post.
Anne Marie McCormack, San Francisco, California
From: Michael Simon (michael.simon kornferry.com)
A great book that has steganography as its core theme is Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican. As the title suggests, it describes recent work uncovering a host of concealed messages that Michelangelo placed into his paintings within the Chapel, messages subversive to the Roman Catholic Church leadership at the time that went unnoticed for 500 years.
Michael Simon, New York
From: Carter Bancroft (carterb36 yahoo.com)
I read with interest your definition of steganography, and particularly your example of putting a secret text on a dot. I thought you might be interested in the attached Nature paper (Hiding messages in DNA microdots) I published some years back. Our paper describes how we used DNA on a microdot attached over the period of an innocuous letter to conceal a secret message. The message was written in DNA language and then hidden steganographically in a great excess of concealing DNA, in such a way that only the intended recipient could recover and read the message.
Carter Bancroft, Huntington, New York
From: Narayani Gupta (narayani.gupta gmail.com)
In Sanskrit, Hindi, and Bangla “need” means “nest”. Satyajit Ray’s famous film Charulata is based on Tagore’s short story “Nashta Need” (Broken Nest).
Narayani Gupta, Delhi, India
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
As hypogeal denizens of dirt, common earthworms do get down-and-dirty in their slightly bizarro reproductive lives. Although to be fair, in “doing what comes naturally”, intimacy almost always takes place above ground, and in the pitch-blackness of night. Lights out, honey!
Camels, legendary “ships of the desert”, are renowned for their xerophilic attributes, from major fatty deposits in their hump(s) that dissipate body heat, their soft, furry coats that insulate their massive bodies, and most amazingly, their ability to survive weeks without drinking a drop of water. Clearly, the sad-sack, prostrate dromedary in my illustration might need a bit of a tuneup, or more precisely, a lube job. (Note: No animals were harmed in the drawing of this cartoon.)
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California
From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina
From: Robert Jordan (alfiesdad ymail.com)
Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Love of horses requires no apology
“She said she was into hippology,”
It’s a well-known fact, hypogeal:
“The Pharaoh is anti-Semitic,”
“The landscape is truly idyllic, “
An eager Lothario wannabe
I was telling my Russian friend Nicholas:
Your kids can afford to be frivolous
From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
“I’ve lost the book you lent me on horses. I owe you an hippology.”
If promoters have a cave to hypogeal impress people less than a “wow” will.
Phil Graham says, “My tongue will give that cactus not a single or a double, but a zerophilic.”
Paleontologists’ journals might contain tyrannography or steganography.
That some cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species seems nidicolous.
Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Language is an anonymous, collective, and unconscious art; the result of the creativity of thousands of generations. -Edward Sapir, anthropologist, linguist (1884-1939)