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Jan 30, 2022
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AWADmail Issue 1022

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

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

Consider Ditching These 11 Words When Talking About Your Travels

Language Revitalization Efforts Continue as UN Decade of Indigenous Languages Begins

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

In this week’s theme I invited readers to send in their anti-words. Lots of pairs came in. So far, I’m happy to report, no annihilation. Many readers sent the usual suspects, such as disgruntled/gruntled, uncouth/couth, disheveled/heveled, etc., and words that appear as anti-words, but aren’t, such as flammable/inflammable.

Here’s a small selection:

Drow: The image of a word in a mirror. Usage: After making T-shirts with the club motto for its first virtual Zoom convention, the President of the Perfectionists Society resigned immediately when the words “Mistakes are Unforgivable” appeared as drows, to the shock of her dismayed members who weren’t told in advance to adjust their video settings.
-Thania St John, Los Angeles, California (vrmother aol.com)

-Reade Whitwell, Seattle, Washington (yestertek gmail.com)

I was reading a recent book review in The New York Review of Books, Feb 10, 2022: “In the Beforemath”. The reviewer tells us:
“The word aftermath derives from the word aftermowth and originally referred to a second crop of grass that grows after the first has been mown or harvested. If there is an aftermath, there should be beforemath too.”
-Kate Fitzgerald, Pasadena, California (kmftzgrld gmail.com)

My elderly motorcar is a hyposonic missile.
-Bob Freeman, Kadoma, Zimbabwe (hendon zol.co.zw)

From Philologos in the Forward, 2003:
“Even more curious is the case of bekex. Your bekex is your back axle, but since, when the term entered spoken Hebrew back in British Mandate times, it was taken by mechanics to be a single English word of which bek was simply the first syllable, the front axle of a car is sometimes referred to in Israel to this day not as the frontex, but as the frontbekex.”
-Donna Vogel, Bethesda, Maryland (dlv.dhm verizon.net)

Irregardless. To counter such irregularities and get back to where we want to be, I resort to the anti-word non-word disirregardless.
-Jim Beste, Kingwood, Texas (beste cebridge.net)

Sanctimonious: making a show of being morally superior to others Odiumonioius: making a show of being more contemptible than others
-Robert Wasko, Brooklyn, New York (rmwasko aol.com)

Pasta and antipasti naturally. Don’t let your antipasti get in your pasta or you’ll annihilate them both in a nuclear inferno! Using E=mc2: (50g of antipasti and 50g of pasta) x (3x108 m/s)2 = 9x1018 joules. The world’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to have a total yield of 12x1018 joules (Wikipedia). Best to play it safe and call it antepasti.
-Mark & Liz Tilley, Kingston, Canada (mark.tilley83 gmail.com)

As a youngster reading terrible tales of pirates and mayhem, the word ruthless frequently popped up. I always wondered why nothing was ever ruthful.
-Kenneth Marshall, Edmonton, Canada (tokfm telus.net)

Turb, opposite of disturb!
-Bill Young, Vernon, Connecticut (billsplut gmail.com)

I love the line from the movie Private Benjamin. The drill sergeant warns: “Beware, there are minefields out there. Most of them are inert. However, some are ert.”
-Cheryl Hughes, Indianola, Washington (ch206ch yahoo.com)

A friend was telling me of the progress of his son’s military training. “He is finishing up Intelligence School and then will move on to Counterintelligence School.” I replied, “So he will learn to undo everything he has done?”
-Steven Boyd, Fayetteville, Arkansas (andrixos earthlink.net)

I always loved the poet (forgot who) who described a giraffe as “maculate” in contradistinction to the Virgin Mary, who was “immaculate”! I imagine Mary leading a leashed giraffe to a much more pious life.
-Andrew Causey, Evanston, Illinois (drewland512 gmail.com)

From: Richard S. Russell (RichardSRussell tds.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--wrongous

You asked: What are your favorite word/anti-word pairs?

Progress and Congress

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Tony Whittaker (antony.whittaker bigpond.com)
Subject: Anti-words

I look forward to your email each day. I am very interested in these “anti-words” as it was in fact one anti-word that brought me to A.Word.A.Day.

Back in about 2006, I was working for a consultancy company and had my first Indian client to work with. We had arranged a telecon for one afternoon that week, but he rang me later the same day to say he had had a change of plans and could we kindly prepone the meeting to a day earlier. This was not a problem, but I had never heard this word prepone before, but its meaning wasn’t too hard to decipher as the opposite of postpone. However, the word piqued my curiosity, and I just had to check whether it was actually a real word.

A quick Google search took me almost instantly to your site and a discussion on “preponing” things, where I learnt that this was a perfectly valid but old-fashioned word, rarely used any more except on the Indian subcontinent. Having now worked with many Indian clients and visited there quite a few times over the years, I have now preponed any number of meetings as well as meals with Indian friends.

On top of that, it led me to subscribe to your wonderful page, which I still enjoy more than 15 years later!

Tony Whittaker, Melbourne, Australia

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy The Official Old’s Cool Education III -- “How is the cow?”

From: Douglas Schocken, MD (douglas.schocken duke.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--eupnea

Not enough physicians on your staff. Platypnea is one of my favorites. It is the inability to breathe while standing or sitting upright, relieved by lying down.

Doug Schocken, MD, Durham, North Carolina

From: Chris Green (cggreen1729 gmail.com)
Subject: Eupnea, etc.

Trepopnea: This is literally twisted breathing. Trepopnea is dyspnea that occurs in one lateral decubitus position (lying on one side) but not the other.

Chris Green, Cross Plains, Wisconsin

From: Pam Phillips (pam_phillips comcast.net)
Subject: eupnea

These days there’s a lot of maskapnea going around, in the interest of preserving eupnea.

Pam Phillips, Watertown, Massachusetts

From: Eric F Plumlee (ericfplumlee hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--eupnea

Pneu in French means tire/tyre, and it is regularly used synonymously for the German word Reifen in German-speaking Switzerland. It makes me think of breathing new life into old tires. ;-)

Eric Plumlee, Niederlenz, Switzerland

From: Chuck Haseler (southnut yahoo.com)
Subject: Maugham’s quotation

The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. -William Somerset Maugham, writer (25 Jan 1874-1965)

Love to read stand-alone quotations and got a chuckle out of Maugham’s. Apparently, in his humble bubble, he glossed over problems of his era -- world and personal -- and surely could never have imagined a Donald Trump.

Chuck Haseler, Morris County, New Jersey

From: Richard S. Russell (RichardSRussell tds.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--postposition

Have you noticed that, even in English, we put the noun 1st and the name 2nd for some geographical features (like Hurricane Katrina, Mount Rushmore, and Lake Superior) but the other way around for others (like Mississippi River, New York City, and Okefenokee Swamp)?

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Curtis Reeves (creeves alumni.usc.edu)
Subject: postposition

In horse racing, post position refers to the placement of the horses in the starting gate.

Curtis Reeves, Fresno, California

From: Andrew Sharpe (asharpe andrewsharpe.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--postposition

Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others. -Ellen DeGeneres, comedian, TV host, actor, and writer (b. 26 Jan 1958)

Since it’s Burns Night:

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!

Andrew Sharpe, Santa Cruz, California

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Biblical inconsistencies

The differences by different sects as to which books are considered canonical, and which translations are most accurate, barely scratch the surface of problems with biblical consistency. According to noted biblical scholar Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus and How Jesus Became God, there is no such thing as any “original” text of any of these books from which to choose.

Different scribes in different villages and towns to which the apostles and other missionaries traveled wrote the stories down, and did so differently. There are significant differences between the earliest different versions of the same book, with no way to know which is more accurate, as well as significant differences between books. For example, Mark says Jesus was crucified the day after the Passover meal, where John says the day before. Luke says that Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth after the birth of Jesus, where Matthew says they fled to Egypt. “Inerrant?”

Steve Benko, New York, New York

The Colbert Retort
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: wrongous and anergy

During Trump’s failed presidency, comedian and host of CBS’s The Late Show, Stephen Colbert’s opening monologues were more like “Trump-ologues”, the Doofus-in-Chief being his prime target. The one-term, twice-impeached insurrection inciter is now on the sidelines plotting a return to power. Colbert may be referencing Trump far less these days, although he still lambasts him every chance he gets, speaking truthiness* to power. * “Truthiness” is a Colbertism, referring to something that feels true irrespective of the actual facts.

Running on Empty
Two gym mates are taking a workout break, the younger blonde gal clearly feeling low energy (anergy), hoping for a quick pick-me-up. Her older friend seems to sense that there’s more to her spotting partner’s malaise than meets the eye, that will require more than just a quick fix to address and remedy.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


I liked this week’s AWAD theme (anti-words) the most
1. Wrongous
2. Eupnea
3. Postposition
4. Apocryphal
5. Anergy
= 1. Shady, opposed to law. Oi! Stop him!
2. E.g., at rest, ok, poised
3. Winner, runner up
4. The gateway to sham
5. I lack sinew
     This week’s theme: Anti-words
1. Wrongous
2. Eupnea
3. Postposition
4. Apocryphal
5. Anergy
= 1. Uh, is not right
2. Respiration
3. Appendage
4. A myth woos us
5. No potency, weak, powerless
     This week’s theme: Anti-words
1. Wrongous
2. Eupnea
3. Postposition
4. Apocryphal
5. Anergy
= 1. Not right
2. Easy unopposed respiration
3. Shows up last
4. Mythic
5. No power (a weak gene?)
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



“Your Honor, I must disagree
with the sentence you’ve handed to me.
I find that its longness
is terribly wrongous,
and much too restrictive!” says he.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When innocents wind up in jail,
“That’s wrongous!” the righteous bewail.
And so they suggest
A DNA test --
“That’s how we’ll see justice prevail.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The difference ‘tween righteous and wrongous?
From Afghanistan Biden’s withdrawn us.
He’s fixing our roads
And observes legal codes,
Whereas Trump says, “My phone calls were flawless.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


To the spider, Miss Muffet says, “Hey!
Once again you have ruined my day!
Whenever I see ya,
I find my eupnea
just quits, and I must run away!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The doc said, “Your breathing’s okay,
No reason to worry today.
“And with such eupnea,
I won’t need to see ya!”
His fee, though, I still had to pay.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

My dear husband, when he slept he snored.
And the roar of it can’t be ignored,
A CPAP machine
It did intervene,
And then sweet eupnea was restored.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

When Laban switched Rachel for Leah,
It disrupted poor Jacob’s eupnea.
“I’ve endured seven years!”
He gasped. “Now you change gears?”
“Back to work, son, no more logorrhea.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Says the boss, with apparent disgust,
“For a good inventory, you must
with care postposition
each new acquisition.
Last in is last out. No more dust!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I follow poetic traditions
And sometimes I use postpositions.
I like this device
Both simple and nice,
And Anu accepts my submissions! 🤞
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Ahab, “For Moby we’re fishin’;
In this film, others take postposition.”
“But sir,” answered Ishmael,
“He’ll turn us to fish meal;
I read the book for my audition.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Apocryphal’s surely the word
For biblical stories I’ve heard.
For one, there’s this tale:
Jonah lived in a whale
Without paying rent. That’s absurd.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

The topic that we’ll tackle next
Is called an apocryphal text.
It’s not Holy Writ,
So where does it fit?
Its status has scholars perplexed.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Their climate change claims are apocryphal,”
Say skeptics, “a plot diabolical”.
I suppose that such folks
Will still say it’s a hoax
When Alaska in winter is tropical.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


He’s been celibate for many years.
He’d had love affairs up to his ears.
And the cause of this anergy?
An incipient allergy?
Or a diet of too many beers?
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Whenever the boss happened by,
her torpor she’d soon modify.
For fear he might can ‘er, she
gave up her anergy,
quickly becoming quite spry.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

One thing that she could easily say
When it came time for her kids to play.
She would never see
A sign of anergy
While they enjoyed themselves every day.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

If anergy zaps all your zip,
Allow me to give you a tip.
This coffee liqueur
Is a wonderful cure --
You’ll rally when you take a sip.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

At fifty he was sent to train
in new skills to recharge his brain.
But beset with anergy,
he’d a new-found allergy --
for assignments that caused stress and strain.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Where’s my get-up-and-go, huh? (big yawn)
I think something is happening, Dawn!
Anergy, don’cha know
I’ve a case of it, so
Won’t you please, pretty please, mow the lawn?
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said his granny one day, “Anu-ji,
To strange words you show such anergy.”
“Nani, words from afar
With our own are on par,”
He replied. “They deserve parity.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“You’re wrongous!” Mahler’s wife Alma chided her husband.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“How long will you continue to wrongous?” asked Frederick Douglass.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Ya swing it as high as ya can, yell alley-eupnea da top, and let go,” said the New York Trapeze Academy instructor.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“In my new postposition, I will slow down mail service to a crawl, especially when it comes to mail-in ballots, so help me God,” swore Louis DeJoy.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Ring around the rosie/ Apocryphal of posies/ Ashes ashes we all fall down!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“The pasties on her upper body glittered like diamonds, anergy-string was to die for!” wrote The New York Times burlesque critic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Elder Abuse?
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Elder Abuse and Don “Dirty Hands” Trump

Rampant inflation has impacted all our lives, driving up prices at the pump, the supermarket... even at used car lots, where a 35% rise in selling prices have been reported. Perhaps the hardest hit in the pocketbook are those on fixed incomes, particularly elderly retirees, many who barely subsist on their Social Security payments and dwindling savings.

Don "Dirty Hands" Trump
As the tentacles of justice slowly but surely tighten their grip on Trump, Trump Inc., his family, hangers-on, and enablers, the likelihood of these scoundrels being subpoenaed and obliged to testify is almost a given. If any of these characters make it to court, the prospect of their being uncooperative and pleading the 5th is a sure bet. (His line in the cartoon is his actual quotation.) Hypocrite and prevaricator Trump operates like a mafia Don, demanding complete fealty from his underlings. His given name does fit. In my caption. I gave Trump a nickname, which is common in the ranks of the cosa nostra and the mob. Also see this, this, and this.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another. -Walter Savage Landor, writer and activist (30 Jan 1775-1864)

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