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Feb 20, 2022
This week’s theme
Mythological characters who have resulted in multiple eponyms

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Relative usage over time

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Words borrowed from German & Hawaiian
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AWADmail Issue 1025

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

Académie Française Denounces Rise of English Words in Public Life
The Guardian

The Common Tongue of Twenty-First-Century London
The New Yorker
(Also, read about my micro-study in London a dozen years ago)

From: Glenn Glazer (glenn.glazer gmail.com)
Subject: Aphrodite

There is a very old saying about the relationship of the real to the archetypes:

All women are men next to Aphrodite.
All men are women next to Dionysus.

Glenn Glazer, Felton, California

From: Jon von Gunten (jon globescope.us)
Subject: Titanism

Titanism is the perfect example why it’s unsafe to guess at a word’s meaning!

Jon von Gunten, Los Angeles, California

From: David Policansky (davidpolicansky gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--titanism

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. -Douglas Hofstadter, professor of cognitive science (b. 15 Feb 1945)

Douglas Hofstadter, author of today’s thought, has been a close friend of mine since 1964. His law is rather like Policansky’s independently derived law of expeditions: the time taken to get an expedition started is proportional to the cube of the number of people involved.

David Policansky, Nantucket, Massachusetts

From: Cris Douglass (4cgcod gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--titanism

Take-offs include: Trump is more corrupt than you thought even taking into consideration that it’s Trump.

Cris Douglass, Des Moines, Iowa

From: Mike Boddington (mbodd laotel.la)
Subject: boreal

That Boreas is not in his first flush of youth, and the lady does not have the sylph-like figure of a 21st-century lass. He looks dangerously close to heart failure, and she is much distressed, perhaps being very scantily clad for those northern climes. The chubby cherubs appear to be his attendants, with snowballs in their hands.

Michael A.B. Boddington, Vientiane, Laos

From: Michael Murphy (blacksmith comcast.net)
Subject: Vulcanize

I’m glad that Mr. Goodyear was into Roman mythology, and not Greek. I’d really hate to have to hephaestusize a bicycle inner tube to repair it.

Michael Murphy, Tallahassee, Florida

From: Jose Banday (atty.joeytbanday gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--vulcanize

Here in the Philippines, to vulcanize is to fix a flat tire by a vulcanizing shop.

Jose Banday, Manila, Philippines

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

“And my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan’s stithy” (Hamlet to Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet).

Hamlet is wondering if he really saw his father’s ghost in his mother’s chamber, or was it only his overwrought mind that had caused him to hallucinate. The word stithy is simply a corruption of smithy.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Robert L Wilson (wilson math.wisc.edu)
Subject: Vulcan, in Alabama

In Birmingham, Alabama, is a giant statue of Vulcan. It is the world’s largest iron statue. Vulcan was chosen to represent the importance of iron smelting in the area.

My maternal grandparents used to live in Eutaw, south of Birmingham, and when we would drive south to visit them, seeing the statue was one of the high-lights along our trip.

Bob Wilson, Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Old’s Cool Academy -- Viriliter Age. Learn more.

Franklin Vulcanizing Works

From: Mary Treder (mct919 hotmail.com)
Subject: Vulcanize

It’s likely that I owe my existence to vulcanizing.

Gramme and David in the tire shop cropped
My grandmother behind the counter at the shop and my father David sitting on his toy riding horse

Back in the early 1900s there were vulcanizing shops everywhere, as automobiles became more prevalent and frequently needed tire repairs. Around 1914 my paternal grandfather, Jack Treder, was a young man working at the Franklin Vulcanizing Works in Lodi, CA, and the owner’s wife introduced Jack to her sister, whom he married in 1915.

In 1919 Jack bought a vulcanizing shop in Oakland, CA, and moved the family there.

Fast forward about 20 years. Now the owner’s daughter introduces her friend to her cousin David. And the rest, as my father used to say, is history.

Mary Treder, Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

From: Rick Cross (richard.cross yahoo.com)
Subject: vulcanize

Today’s word reminds me of one of my favorite Star Trek jokes.

Q: What does Mr. Spock use as a prophylactic?
A: Vulcanized rubber.

Rick Cross, Pasadena, California

From: Jordan Thompson (jordao aol.com)
Subject: Vulcanize

We had used the word vulcanize in many settings relating to our corporation’s Human Capital team and referring to it as the process when we are all bound together in one purpose. We were vulcanized, bound as one, to achieve our purpose (sales in most cases, hehe).

Jordan Thompson, Puerto Morelos, Mexico

From: AnnLynne Benson (selenitequeen gmail.com)
Subject: gorgonize

Gorgonopsia is an extinct clade of sabre-toothed therapsids from the middle to upper Permian (265-252 million years ago), a dinosaur-like creature that pre-dated dinosaurs. Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth’s History was one of my favorite books.

AnnLynne Benson, Past President, Delaware Valley Earth Science Society, Clementon, New Jersey

From: Jeff Soules (soules gmail.com)
Subject: Asperger quotation

While the sentiment in the quotation itself is reasonably nice -- attempting to reconceive of a classification of “disability” and claim it has benefits too -- its source was a highly problematic individual who actively participated in Nazi programs to identify and isolate children with disabilities.

This problematic history aside, the “Asperger’s-Autism” distinction also contributes to significant hierarchical inequities in the treatment of people on the spectrum and with disabilities generally -- separating those who are “usefully disabled” or even “superior” in some way (as alluded to in the quotation) from others deemed to have less of a place in society.

Jeff Soules, New York, New York

From: Karen Purewal (purehighlander buckeye-express.com)
Subject: ❤️❤️

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy every single time this pops up into my mailbox. I am disabled and housebound and live alone, and I love words and books and always have, so you are a true joy in my life and I thank you.

Karen Purewal, Toledo, Ohio

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Aphrodite and gorgonize

Inspired by Florentine master Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (Aphrodite on the half-shell?), I’ve visualized the nascent Beyoncé in all her beatific Queen B-ness, rising to future stardom. Mighty Afro-dite!

Rolling "Stoned"
The Rolling Stones may have gathered no moss, but their decades of touring, recording, and wild partying have left their mark. Some critics have deemed them fossils of Rock & Roll. Here, Medusa has gorgonized Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood, not the expected definition of “stoned” that most Rolling Stones aficionados would associate them with. Don’t bogart that joint, my friend! Sadly, The Stones’ longtime drummer, Charlie Watts, passed away a few months ago.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


Ok, this week’s theme: Eponyms from mythology
1. Aphrodite
2. Titanism
3. Boreal
4. Vulcanize
5. Gorgonize
= 1. She is a Greek beauty mom
2. Moot revolt of a pig
3. I.e. chilly north wind
4. Strengthen
5. I’m a spooky mezzo
     This week’s theme: Eponyms from mythology
1. Aphrodite
2. Titanism
3. Boreal
4. Vulcanize
5. Gorgonize
= 1. Hot model’s beauty among aging women
2. Mythopeic revolt
3. North zephyr
4. I make tires
5. Fossilize
     This week’s theme: Eponyms from mythology
1. Aphrodite
2. Titanism
3. Boreal
4. Vulcanize
5. Gorgonize
= 1. Noted Greek woman
2. Revolt is to policies
3. The north
4. Ossify
5. One gaze by mum might paralyze him!
-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.



As goddesses go, Aphrodite
Was considered by some to be flighty;
She was tall, like the rest,
And her figure looked best
In a statue, without any nightie.
-Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon (lcrumb uoregon.edu)

Ha! Can’t you just picture the scene?
For my trousseau choice -- buying, I mean,
I say, “For my nightie
Let’s go Aphrodite”
And the clerk murmurs something obscene!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

She had a good brain. Was not flighty,
And though she was no Aphrodite,
Did quip, “With my money
I will find a honey,
For being an heiress is mighty.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Yogi and Mickey to Whitey,
“Too bad that you aren’t a righty.
The girl in Row 8
Said, ‘You boys I would date,
But no southpaws for this aphrodite.’”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


As a titanist, I shall proceed
To do a most dastardly deed.
You’ll think that I’m balmy.
Mayonnaise on pastrami?
That’s a sacrilege. That is agreed.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

“Let’s show them some real titanism,”
Said Herzl. “We’ll spur Zionism!
It’s right in the Torah,
Folks. Faith and begorrah!”
(OK, he said no Irishism.)
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


In Iceland one sees super sights,
Including the boreal lights.
Though fall days are short,
I’m glad to report
Up north they have color-filled nights.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said the elf in St. Nick’s workshop boreal,
“To wrap presents I need no tutorial.
Do not micromanage;
Your image I’ll damage.
‘Not jolly!’ I’ll tweet. ‘Dictatorial!’”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


As the fast-burning campfire he neared,
a spark caught poor Grandfather’s beard.
Though, of course, traumatized,
he was not vulcanized,
Nor injured severely, as feared.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

By vulcanizing his feelings he
Seemed to dull his sensitivity.
He felt that as long
As he remained strong
He could help those truly needy.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

How stubborn the Pharaoh could be!
God hardened his heart, don’t you see?
And vulcanized so
He always said no
When asked if the Hebrews he’d free.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He departs and his ex-girlfriend sighs...
She has just lost one more of her guys
And she can’t help but think
As she stands on the brink,
Hey, heart! What’s that word? Vulcanize!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“The border we must vulcanize,”
Said Donald. “No dark colored eyes!
We’re a nation of blue,
And blonde hair is good, too;
Vote for me, all you fine Aryan guys!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


To gorgonize me isn’t easy,
But something will make me feel queasy
Whenever I think
Of its off-putting stink.
Gorgonzola is simply too cheesy.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

The pigs tried at first to rebuff
big bad wolf when he started to huff.
But they weren’t organized,
so were soon gorgonized.
“Enough,” cried the three, “is enough!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Medusa could gorgonize guys,
Her hairdo a nasty surprise.
But Perseus knew
What he had to do;
He killed her while shielding his eyes.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

They hired a brand new au pair
With, it seems, an abundance of care,
When thanks to their neighbor
She went into labor,
They gorgonized him with a glare!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“This Halloween, let’s organize;
Our rich neighbor we’ll all gorgonize,”
Said the children. “They’ll cower
Inside of Trump Tower
At kids in third-world foreign guise.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


At the wax museum’s Depression exhibit, the little boy asked, “Is the ho-boreal?”
-Ray Pasinski, Downers Grove, Illinois (rayomic yahoo.com)

“Eat only giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests,” said the weight-loss guru in the aphrodite wrote about.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Fellow countrymen, when it comes to belts, I believe in titanism,” said Kim Jong-Un.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“My brother boreal-ly teased me when I was little,” Jeff Bridges told his therapist.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Mr. Spock,” said Lieutenant Uhura, “I never noticed how deep brown were your Vulcanize.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The chef would add too much blue cheese, and gorgonize his dishes.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Pence's Recompense
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Pence’s Recompense and Budding Bromance

Trump’s VP Mike Pence gobsmacked fellow Republicans with his emphatic rebuke of his former boss, declaring, “The American people must know that we will always keep our oath to the Constitution, even though it would be expedient to do otherwise.” Pence added, “If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections-- we’ll lose our country.” Clearly, Pence has been x-ed off Trump’s Xmas card list. After staying quiet regarding Trump’s many untruths and wrongdoings, Pence has finally shown a bit of backbone.

Budding Bromance
Targeting a common adversary in the US, Putin and Xi Jinping appear to be cozying up to one another. Both have designs on bringing Western-leaning democracies, Ukraine (in Putin’s case) and Taiwan (for Xi), under their control. Xi invited Putin as his VIP guest to the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics, while a handful of nations, led by the US, have issued diplomatic boycotts of the Games due to China’s ill-treatment of ethnic minorities.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

To the complaint, “There are no people in these photographs,” I respond, “There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.” -Ansel Adams, photographer (20 Feb 1902-1984)

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