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Feb 13, 2022
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AWADmail Issue 1024

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

What Does It Mean to Ask “How Does Ukrainian Compare With Russian?”
Language Magazine

”It’s My Mother Tongue”: The Fight for a Fifth Co-Official Spanish Language
The Guardian

From: Joseph Stewart (joseph.stewart onebigwigwam.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cacoethes

I think it was Edgar Allan Poe who called this urge the imp of the perverse.

Joseph Stewart, Chicago, Illinois

From: Παπαδοπουλου Χριστινα (papadopoulou.hristina nbg.gr)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--cacoethes

Good morning from sunny (but cold) Greece. I was surprised to see the meaning of today’s word. In modern Greek cacoethes is a medical term to describe the nature of a tumor: cacoethes = malignant - caloethes = benign. Also cacoetheia is a character trait best translated as having a malicious intent.

Christina Papadopoulou, Greece

From: Vandy Beth Glenn (vandy.beth.glenn gmail.com)
Subject: cacoethes

As a child growing up in suburban Atlanta, I often went on field trips to Fernbank Science Center, which among its other exhibits had a taxidermied alligator, posed with its mouth open.

Every time I saw it, I had to put my hand in its mouth and hold it there, like the person in today’s example photo.

Of course I knew it was highly unlikely the alligator would suddenly spring back to life and chomp down on my hand, but I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced that it wouldn’t, either. And yet, I still stuck my hand into its mouth, every time I visited.

Thanks for the memory!

Vandy Beth Glenn, Decatur, Georgia

From: Jay Florey (jfflorey integra.net)
Subject: cacoethes

The canonical example of this word must be the little kid who tries to lick a flagpole in the dead of winter despite multiple warnings not to. See A Christmas Story.

Jay Florey, Olympia, Washington

From: Dan L Kays (dan.l.kays boeing.com)
Subject: cacoethes: My Defining Word!

This word is my everyday existence! Really, the reckless pursuit of ill-advisable and vaguely justifiable urges is why I am who I am today, and not a professor at a university (not kidding), or so many other things.

It explains my professional level, unreasonably burgeoning, decades-built guitar collection (though I am a rank amateur guitarist after so many years), my crushing collection of books, my “How hard can it be!?” attitude, which has led to a massive tool collection and persistent refusal to call-in technicians for home repair of any type, auto repair of almost every type, or pretty much anything except major medical and dental procedures, an inexcusably large RC plane and car collection, and sadly, the list goes on.

Almost all attributable to cacoethes-moments when my greater sage should have been sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear, rather than my little cacoethes demon. Juvenal, I owe you a debt for this word!

Dan L Kays, Enumclaw, Washington

From: Dave Horsfall (dave horsfall.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--refoulement

Funny you should mention this word; this is exactly what Australia is doing right now to asylum seekers who arrive by boat (arriving by plane is apparently OK) with the support of the opposition.

Dave Horsfall, North Gosford, Australia

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

Pink Floyd’s commentary on the practice:

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
(video, 6 min.)

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Jean Grant (Jeangrantj aol.com)
Subject: possessions

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness. -John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (8 Feb 1819-1900)

I’m 81 years old and I try, monthly, to donate at least five or six possessions. Weariness at my age is not fun and neither will it be so for my survivors. Every little bit adds up and helps.

Jean Grant, Orlando, Florida

From: Rachel Harris (rachele_harris yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--memetic

It seems appropriate that today’s word rhymes with emetic, considering how Former President Meme makes me feel.

Rachel Harris, Seattle, Washington

Map of Costa Rica
From: Randall Moore (rsm4mail gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bimarian

Costa Rica has bimarian borders.
Randall Moore, Eugene, Oregon

The Light Between Oceans poster
From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: bimarian

As for being bimarian, there was a 2016 movie, The Light Between Oceans, about a lighthouse off Australia where the Indian and South Pacific Oceans meet.

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Peirce Hammond (peirceah.03.01 gmail.com)
Subject: Trimarian

Down in the Beagle Channel and on below, the Southern Ocean mixes with the Atlantic and Pacific in a trimarian brew. It is not as sharply divided as are the Indian and Atlantic Oceans below Africa, but all three marinate each other.

Peirce Hammond, Bethesda, Maryland

From: Paul Olson (paulolson0116 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bimarian

So, a woman who regularly works in libraries on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is referred to as Madame Bimarian?

Paul Olson, New York, New York

From: Brenda J. Gannam (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)
Subject: Bi-Marian

In Christian (especially Catholic) tradition, anything Marian means devotion to, or things related to, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Some iconography depicts and refers to Mary as star of the sea.

Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York

From: Judith Bruder (tsarinaxyz gmail.com)
Subject: Graphomania

You mean there are people who DON’T wake up in the middle of the night to write? It’s when I get my best ideas, and some of my best prose, accomplished. And that’s true even when that midnight prose is read again by the harsh light of next morning, the acid test.

Judith Bruder, Northampton, Massachusetts

From: Jeff Antonelis-Lapp (j.antonelislapp gmail.com)
Subject: Graphomania!

Rite in the Rain notebooks of Jeff Antonelis-Lapp
As an educator, naturalist and writer, I surely have at least a moderate case of graphomania. To wit:

-I’ve kept lists (to dos, goals, bird sightings, etc.) for as long as I can remember.

-I’ve filled dozens of personal journals over the last 30 years.

-Yes, I get up at night to jot down that song idea or other inspiration.

-I compiled over 8,000 pages of notes and research articles for a recently published book about Mount Rainier.

-I began using Rite in the Rain field notebooks in the 1980s to record nature sightings. I am now on notebook #50. Upon seeing my collection, their PR person said, “Oh, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, Enumclaw, Washington

From: Stoney Compton (stoneycompton yahoo.com)
Subject: graphomania

Forced by economic circumstances to give up my printmaking studio in 1986, I turned my not-to-be-denied creative impulses to writing. I find I cannot stop. Eleven novels later I am still writing more and more. It is all I want to do. I think I’m finally getting good at it.

Stoney Compton, Philomath, Oregon

From: Jonathan Sims (profitpie aol.com)
Subject: Am I a graphomaniac?


Jonathan Sims, St Teath, UK

From: John Grant (john.grant cox.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--graphomania

A couple of years ago I was perusing David McCullough’s then-new biography Leonardo da Vinci. McCullough noticed that one time when the master was applying for a new position, in support of his application he had presented a lengthy list of capabilities (engineer, writer, -- can’t remember more) brought up at the end by “painter” almost as an afterthought. After reading today’s example of Usage, I get a glimpse of why.

John Grant, Paso Robles, California

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From: Judith Fritsch (hnjfritsch gmail.com)
Subject: Graphomania

When my husband of 57 years died, I missed all the conversations we used to have, so I got a little notebook and began writing to him. Now, seven years later, I still let him know what’s going on with our family and with the world.

Judith Fritsch, Yonkers, New York

From: Riza Freeman (rizwatifreeman gmail.com)
Subject: Graphomania

The late Joan Didion wrote, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

I have found this to be true throughout my life. I first discovered the real alchemy of writing one day at the age of 12 when my tears were not enough to soothe my pain and so I picked up a pen and wrote a poem. Since then I have been a graphomaniac and writing for me is like breathing. There have only been a couple of days in the last 40 years when I have not at least written in my journal and on those days I felt unmoored, unbalanced, and chaotic within. Writing is the anchor that helps me sustain my sanity in a very insane world and a place of soul communion. I am in love with the act of it and I thank God every day that I am simply capable of writing anything at all.

Rizwati Lazarus, Los Angeles, California

From: Terry Chapman (chapmanphd charter.net)
Subject: My graphomania

Am now writing my 1600-page life story and need notes to my notes to keep track of details!

Terry Chapman, Worcester, Massachusetts

From: Evan Hazard (eehazard paulbunyan.net)
Subject: Restroom walls

A retired Lutheran clergy couple have a downstairs restroom next to their dining area, equipped with felt tips, an invitation to scribble. A few of the graffiti are theological. One says, “What if Elohim doesn’t want to be everywhere?”

Evan Hazard, Bemidji, Minnesota

From: Milo Grika (milo grika.com)
Subject: graphomania

I don’t have graphomania, but I do suffer from editomania: obsessive inclination to edit. I even had a complete addiction to editing Wikipedia articles; took a few hassles with Wikipedia admins to break me of it.

I still find that I can’t pass a poorly written sign, doc, or article without going into full editor mode -- at least in my mind.

Milo Grika, St. Paul, Minnesota

From: Sophie Clarke (sclarke.sorci gmail.com)
Subject: graphomania

I don’t actually know many graphomaniacs but certainly an obsessive compulsion to read runs in my family: printed words seem to have a hypnotic power, drawing the eye that might otherwise observe people, places, and things. Is there a name for this?

It’s not really a bookworm or a bibliophile as the words need not be in books--cereal packages, road signs, anything will do. Certainly not as productive as graphomania but I’m not sure it quite veers into the territory of hyperlexia that I have seen mentioned as a correlate to autism disorders.

Sophie Clarke, Perugia, Italy

From: Christina Mills (cranmills gmail.com)
Subject: Re: AWADmail Issue 1023

The statement that Gertrude Stein was a Nazi collaborator deserves a rebuttal. This essay, originally published in the Jewish journal, Tikkun, thoroughly examines the question.

Chris Mills, Waterloo, Canada

McKayla's Meme Makes the Oval
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: memetic and graphomania

Back at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, a member of the US gymnastic team, McKayla Maroney, on accepting her individual “all-around” silver medal, scrunched up her mouth, launching what became known as the “McKayla is NOT impressed” meme. Hundreds of variations of her squinched-mouth meme flooded social media. She became the Zelig of the internet. McKayla even got an invite to the Obama White House. I think she was impressed.

Leonardo: Graphomaniac/painter
Leonardo da Vinci was one for the ages, literally a Renaissance man. A lefty genius whose insatiable curiosities took him down so many avenues of intellectual inquiry and creative expression, fine arts being just the tip of the iceberg. He could have been the poster boy for graphomania. Curiously, he wrote backwards. In other words, to read his words of wisdom, one needed a mirror.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: There’s a word for it
1. Cacoethes
2. Refoulement
3. Memetic
4. Bimarian
5. Graphomania
= 1. Manic urge
2. Came home to harm threat (French)
4. Meme-like, brief idea
4. Two seas
5. The passion to write
     Oh, finally, this week’s theme is: There’s a word for it
1. Cacoethes
2. Refoulement
3. Memetic
4. Bimarian
5. Graphomania
= 1. Risky, death wish
2. Refuse to accept
3. Share a belief, imitate imam
4. From Chennai to Galle
5. He wrote Mr. Moonshine
     This week’s theme: There’s a word for it
1. Cacoethes
2. Refoulement
3. Memetic
4. Bimarian
5. Graphomania
= 1. Manic
2. No safe harbor - hide
3. Make/cite/hail the memes
4. Two seas
5. The urge to write memoir, pencraft
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Those monkeys are true to their species.
They have urges of sheer cacoethes.
So don’t stare and don’t gape,
When they truly go ape
And play with their very own feces.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Mom advised him ‘twould be a mistake
to eat so much chocolate cake.
But despite her entreaties,
his strong cacoethes
prevailed. The result? Bellyache!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Cacoethes compels me to write,
And I’ll scribble down verses all night.
The next day I’m drowsy,
And, boy, I feel lousy --
I’ll admit that this seems not too bright.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The Original Sin of our species
Was Adam and Eve’s cacoethes.
The forgiveness we sought,
Though, could always be bought
Until Luther wrote Ninety-five Theses.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


To me, it just doesn’t seem fit.
Refoulement, you’ll have to admit,
Is too serious a matter
For some idle chatter
Or writing a lim’rick for it.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Opposite of refoulement, I’d say,
Exists right here in the USA.
They come to be free
In this great country,
Which rarely ever turns them away.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Refoulement’s a horrible fate --
Its cruelty I can’t overstate.
Those poor folks who fled
Let’s welcome instead,
For immigrants make our land great.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The ship the St. Louis made news,
Its passengers, most of them, Jews.
US’s refoulement
Was quite a cruel one.
Sent back to their deaths went the cruise.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“What was done to the Jews is inhuman;
Survivors should not face refoulement.
It’s sad that the British
Have acted so skittish;
I’ll recognize Israel,” said Truman.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


To bloggers whose posts are memetic,
You appear to be rather frenetic.
Stop posting this crαp!
And do it ASAP
It’s worse than a dose of emetic.
-Peter Weston, Houston, Texas (pvweston2 gmail.com)

An expert on matters memetic,
She’s studied this modern aesthetic.
You know what I mean?
She’s glued to her screen --
Her Facebook addiction’s pathetic.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The Internet rise of the meme
Can sometimes cause me to just scream.
Now all things memetic
Are strictly pathetic
Since overuse is so extreme.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

For some, my endeavors poetic
Are quite an effective emetic.
But I’ll have the last laugh
On that MAGA riffraff
When my Donald takedowns go memetic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Two oceans diverged in the sea
And the whale wondered “Which one for me?”
This bimarian creature
Had the fortunate feature
Of choice. “So both it will be.”
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

Bimarian trips cross two seas.
I won’t ever try one of these.
For I’m well-aware
Of my mal de mer --
At sea I am most ill at ease.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I once had a friend, a librarian,
Who would just like to travel bimarian.
But, with my mal de mer,
I could not journey there.
So she went with a handsome Bavarian.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“In the strait we are no longer tarryin’!”
Said Magellan. “We’re through! We’re bimarian!
To be more specific,
Here comes the Pacific!”
(Where islanders killed that barbarian.)
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Graphomania applies to me.
I love writing limericks, you see.
So much of the time
I do love to rhyme,
Yet I seldom pen deep poetry.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Da Vinci would doodle all day
And filled a few notebooks this way.
Graphomania’s nice,
But it comes at a price --
It worsens arthritis, they say.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In the middle of Zumba class, I
Have been known to just utter a cry --
Stop and move to the wall,
Find a pencil and scrawl!
And extreme graphomania’s why!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Graphomania? I have it, all right.
I am writing from morning till night.
So I constantly journal,
With passion eternal,
On all things important or trite.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

To those with acute graphomania,
Don’t worry! Anu’ll sustain ya.
He’ll publish your tale
In the next AWADmail
As submissions burst forth from your crania.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“You Tarzan, memetic,” the doctor told the Ape Man.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I can fool and refoulement any time I want,” said Mata Hari.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The husband said, “Good bimarian” as they closed the coffin.
-Ray Pasinski, Downers Grove, Illinois (rayomic yahoo.com)

Bimarian and having children, she would fulfill her dream.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“Let’s go out. I don’t mind that you’re bimarian,” said Harold Hill.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Elliott played his vintage records 24/7, ‘cause he suffered from phonographomania.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Ze whole vorld vill go crazy mit Graphomania for my new airship!” said Herr von Zeppelin.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Could This Be the Year of the Tiger?
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: It’s Raining Iguanas!

Are we ready for some football?* This weekend, my home team L.A. Rams, and visiting rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, will fight it out for victory in Super Bowl LVI before 80,000-plus fans at our new SoFi Stadium. This clash between two NFL teams with animal monikers got me thinking how these two species might fare, going head-to-head, battling in the wild. Methinks the outcome would be predictable, and not pretty. However, as a 43-year resident of the City of Angels, I’m rooting for our Rams, who just might fare much better in the wilds of the gridiron, than in wilderness climes. *This rallying cry was a longtime NFL Monday night football game intro, delivered by country singer Hank Williams Jr.

It's Raining Iguanas!
Florida weather forecast: “Hard Freeze with a Chance of Falling Iguanas”.* With recent subzero temperatures in Florida, a freaky natural phenomenon has occurred, where tree-perched iguanas have been falling to terra firma, mostly uninjured, but totally zonked. Zonked meaning in a state of hibernation. When temps warm up, these reptiles come out of their topor... alive and well. *My weather forecast is a play on the 2009 animated film, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

The price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish. -Robert H. Jackson, US Supreme Court justice (13 Feb 1892-1954)

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