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Dec 24, 2017
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
ergophobia
breviloquence
exeleutherostomize
corpocracy
obdormition

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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AWADmail Issue 808

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

Sponsor’s Message: Hey, Wisenheimers! When was the last time you gave a gift to the cleverheads in your life that you were actually proud of? Email of the Week winner, Kris C. Rourke (see below), as well as all AWADers, can impress/suppress their brainy friends and school family know-it-alls for the rest of the year with our wicked smart word game: One Up! -The Gift That Keeps on Giving. SPLURGE NOW.



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

Couple Creates A Fun “Winter Punderland”
BuzzFeed
Permalink

Trump’s Ticket to Survival: Ban All the Words
The Washington Post
Permalink

Comeback Words for 2018
The New York Times
Permalink



From: Dave Erickson (daveeee sbcglobal.net)
Subject: ergophobia

Upon seeing the word ergophobia, I immediately thought of Maynard G. Krebs, a character from the TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, whose frequent response at the mere mention of work was a shocking and horrifying, “Work?!!!” (video, 30 sec.)

Dave Erickson, San Jose, California



From: Arthur Tenenholtz (checiny gmail.com)
Subject: ergophobia

After a lifetime of work, I realized retirement and a case of ergophobia. Whenever I am now asked what kind of work I do, I respond, “Work, work is a four-letter word ending in ‘k’.”

Arthur Tenenholtz, New York, New York



From: Frank Brown (frank.brown travelport.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--ergophobia

This word reminds me of a quotation I have often paraphrased: “I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” -Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat (1859-1927)

Frank Brown, Atlanta, Georgia



From: Genf Pal (via website comments)
Subject: ergophobia

A friend and comedian (Simply Fred) had a line “I’m a workaholic. My doctor said I’d be OK but I can never work again” (transposing what recovering alcoholics are told to the word workaholic).

Genf Pal



From: Thomas “Tom” Dove (tomldove gmail.com)
Subject: Ergophobia

You have inspired me to create an organization dedicated to what I do best in retirement. Please do not send contributions, as tallying them would require too much effort.

Tom Dove, Director, National Ergophobia Association, Dogpatch, USA



From: Ron Balut (ronbalut optimum.net)
Subject: ergophobia

No one is more ergophobic than Wally in the Dilbert cartoon.

Ron Balut, Flanders, New Jersey



From: William C. Johnson (wjohnson niu.edu)
Subject: ergophobia

If you find time during the upcoming weeks to read Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (a short story, the meaning of which is much debated), you’ll find a perfect example of ergophobia in Bartleby, who simply “prefers not to” ... do anything.

William C. Johnson, DeKalb, Illinois



From: Lin Daniel (lindaniel usa.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--ergophobia

Is there a word less strong than phobia? To make ergophobia into ergoreluctant? I have told co-workers that I’m allergic to work, but all they do is laugh.

Lin Daniel, Albany, New York



From: Burton Caine (burton.caine temple.edu)
Subject: Breviloquence

Would that the American army commander in World War II had known the word breviloquence when he answered the German demand for surrender in one word: NUTS!.

Burton Caine, Cynwyd, Pennsylvania



From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: breviloquence

“Brevity is the soul of wit,” says Polonius to the royal couple in offering an explanation concerning the cause of young Hamlet’s madness, and then proceeds to contradict this statement with a most fatuous, confused, long-winded speech in which he gets bogged down in a morass of clichés and needs constantly to remind himself to stay on the subject. Gertrude has to interrupt him with the remark: “More matter, with less art.” Art, that is, in the obsolete sense of artifice. (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada



From: Jim Herrick (herrick1 mail.sdsu.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--breviloquence

“One of my idiosyncrasies is maximization of obfuscation,” Tom said unbreviloquently.

Jim Herrick, San Diego, California



From: Laurie Kaniarz (lauriszka att.net)
Subject: “Charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business.”

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” -Charles Dickens, novelist (1812-1870) [in A Christmas Carol]

In today’s global climate, where single-minded greed at the very top is grabbing up and devastating natural resources and leaving behind the poor, the ill, the refugee, and those who are “different”, your Dickens quotation made me weep.

Laurie Kaniarz, Kalamazoo, Michigan



From: Matt Nash (mattanash live.com)
Subject: exeleutherostomize

What a delightful verb! I’ll be sure to employ it next time I exeleutherostomize breviloquently.

Matt Nash, Oak Harbor, Washington



From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: corpocracy

USAGE:
“Anarica was a corpocracy. Run by the most influential corporations.”
Sabine Priestley; Twice Tethered; KAC Publishing; 2017.

The word for the dystopian land Anarica in the usage example is also a compound word, combining anarchy and America.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada



Email of the Week brought to you BUY One Up !-Every Smart Aleck's Delight/Doom.

From: Kris C. Rourke (lorrett sonic.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--corpocracy

Since you’ve given us years of things to think about, here, hot off the press, is something for you:

The Lords’ Prayer, 2017

Our Masters,
Which art Incorporated,
Hallowed be Thy names,
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth, as it is in Cyberspace.
Rent us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us some taxes
So we can be Thy debtors,
And lead us not to look behind the curtain,
But deliver us from reason,
For thine is the software
And the power,
And the Big Banks
Forever.
Amen.

Kris C. Rourke, Berkeley, California



From: Angel Gutierrez (litoguti me.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--obdormition

When drunks fall asleep with an arm over the back of a railroad waiting room bench, they frequently end up in emergency rooms all over the world unable to use that limb, by then totally paralyzed. We physicians call that obdormition “Saturday night palsy”. Cuddlers may also suffer similarly frightening symptoms after hours of arm-wrapping around each other.

After tremendous medical expense, the victims are generally sent home to finish sobering up and regaining the use of their arm.

Lito Gutiérrez, Buffalo, New York



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: obdormition & ergophobia

obdormition ergophobia
One of my all-time favorite comedy feature films is the 1974 Young Frankenstein, starring Gene Wilder as the maniacal Dr. Frankenstein, Peter Boyle as the hulking “spare-parts” monster, and Marty Feldman, playing the doctor’s scatterbrained medical assistant, Igor. My illo is a play on a particularly hilarious bit from the movie where Igor beckons a castle visitor to “walk this way”, suggesting a specific direction and destination. But Igor’s visitor misinterprets his terse directive, proceeding to mimic Igor’s decidedly hunched over, leg-dragging, shuffling gait.
So here, I’ve imagined my own version of Dr. Frankenstein and Igor, where perchance his bungling assistant may be suffering from an episode of “obdormition”... his right foot/leg having fallen asleep. Pretty “aby-normal”, eh?*
*Inside joke that Young Frankenstein fans will surely get.

In an unabashed homage, of sorts, to those editorial/political cartoonists of yore... from Nast to Herblock to Conrad, who would often opt to personify an inanimate or abstract entity with a literal label, here I’ve animated “WORK” in the guise of a hulking construction dude to drive home my point... ergophobia at the level of fear.
As a neophyte cartoonist, I took some umbrage with this “labeling” approach. But over time, used in moderation, I’ve come to be more comfortable with this old-school cartooning trope.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



From: Don Wyner (donwyner gmail.com)
Subject: This week’s theme

Maybe a better theme would have been, “There’s a word for it. But you would NEVER use it.”

Have to say, as someone who is fascinated by language, these were fascinating words.

Don Wyner, New York, New York



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

1. ergophobia
2. breviloquence
3. exeleutherostomize
4. corpocracy
5. obdormition
= 1. averse to chore
2. do excerpt
3. open critique, ooze or boo
4. oligarchy
5. i.e. numb limb
= 1. sloth
2. pauciloquy
3. echo, bore, or opine
4. Brexit Britain: ego over commerce
5. doze
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)





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

You watch Fox News four hours a day.
Weekends spend on the golf course at play.
Nights: tweet time in your robe.
You’re a prime ergophobe
and you can’t run a country that way.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

If a person is termed as breviloquent,
Is he terse, laconic, and/or succinct?
Is he short of vocab?
Has no gift of the gab?
Or is he just verbally delinquent?
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

Ergophobia’s an affliction
That has taken hold of my young son.
He and work are strangers.
The obvious dangers?
He thinks life consists of only fun.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

This has by now, become a topic of debate --
her forever being in a somnolent state.
Ergophobia, say the experts at work
is what causes this proneness to shirk.
But you and I know, it’s more likely a family trait!
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Descartes, all alone in his room,
no ergophobe, as he toiled, I presume.
Though he could have done better --
and much more to the letter --
had he penned, “Laboro, ergo sum!”
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

If you’ve worked for your wealth, it’ll sober ya
When your offspring contract ergophobia.
You’ve decried giving alms
To bereft single moms;
Now your kids gorge on Dad’s cornucopia.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


With the Prez in the White House, poor Pence,
All the politics makes him so tense.
Every day Donald Trump
Says, “I call and you jump,”
Mike complies with meek breviloquence.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

“With tweets that abound in breviloquence;”
Says Donald, “I’ve proven my innocence.
Bob Mueller is wrong
To this whole thing prolong.
Should I fire him, Vlad, for his insolence?”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (janicepower25 gmail.com)

Entreated to practice breviloquence,
he says,”Having done my due diligence,
I’m happy to tweet.
These tweets can’t be beat
for compressing my special grandiloquence.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When he utters his name, it’s an incidence
Of a powerful Wordsmith’s magnificence.
I’m glad he’s not Thai,
Greek, or Polish. Here’s why:
“Anu Garg” resonates with breviloquence.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Oh, Anu, can you hear my cries
When you send a word of this size?
What could be worse
For a short verse
Than exeleutherostomize?!?
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In a climate of newspeak there’s no surprise
When an agency’s lingo gets “customized”.
But entitled to use
Any language I choose
I prefer to exeleutherostomize.
-Phyllis Morrow, Fairbanks, Alaska (phyllismorrow1 gmail.com)

I don’t look forward to my demise
Despite pains occurring in back, knees, thighs,
But could be reconciled
If being driven wild
By drones who exeleutherostomize.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

“Exeleuther-,” wrote Anu, then “-ostomize,”
In attempting my brain to lobotomize.
Never fear, for I’m brave
In the face of this knave;
Super Limerickman he can’t compromise.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


We’re now in a big kakistocracy,
The opposite of meritocracy.
The bigger the fool,
The more likely he’ll rule,
Maybe call it a reeking coprocracy.
-Tom Slakey, Santa Clara, California (tomslimericks gmail.com)

What a pitch-perfect word is corpocracy
In our current imperfect democracy.
We the People are fools
Of the Redhead who rules.
It is time for a turn to gyneocracy.
-Judy Distler, Teaneck, New Jersey (jam1026 aol.com)

As Santa starts out on his mission,
He’s focused on one big ambition.
His ultimate goal
Is a big lump of coal
For corpocracy’s foolish patrician.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

In darkness with lightning velocity,
They crafted a strange new monstrosity.
Says Mitch to Paul Ryan,
“Though poor folks are sighin’,
We’ve made the world safe for corpocracy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Anu Garg gives a definition.
My mission? Take his word, then transition.
It ain’t so much easy.
At times I get queasy.
Example? Try rhyming obdormition.
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

I have a problem makes me weep.
My foot’s always falling asleep.
What an imposition,
Acute obdormition
Keeps me awake, so better count sheep.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Should you choose to accept it, your mission,”
Said the voice, “is to send Congress fishin’.
We’re safe when they’re boatin’
But not when they’re votin’
With heads in complete obdormition.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: There’s a weird for it

“Kill or be killed” is often necessary in war. Ergophobia forgivable target. Canada gave us the Dionne quints. Now Anu has given us the Breviloquence.

I’m hoping my exeleutherostomize scheme for getting rich quick.

The benevolent CEO said, “Our corpocracy its civic duty and do it.”

Being a bouncer at a church is a really obdormition.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Where it is a duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -John Morley, statesman and writer (24 Dec 1838-1923)

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