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Apr 3, 2022
This week’s theme
Clothes (or lack of them)

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AWADmail Issue 1031

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

Sponsor’s Message: “Way more wicked fun than Scrabble.” One Up! is the marvelous, Machiavellian cure for boredom: No board. No complicated rules. No mercy. Just quick, cutthroat thrills for everyone -- high-minded combat that’s guaranteed to completely ruin any family get-together, including Easter... with impunity. Buy one of our classic wicked/smart word games and get a second one FREE. A fantastic gift. Shop now.

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

How Language Instructors Are Creating a Gender-Inclusive Hebrew
The Diamondback

How the World’s Languages Evolved Over Time
Literary Hub

From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--defrock

When the Episcopal Church was debating whether to ordain women to the priesthood, someone asked, “If a woman is ordained, can she be defrocked?”

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Jim Tang (mauijt aol.com)
Subject: Divest

There’s a bit of irony in your example of Texas sanctioning their public retirement funds to stop investing in Sudan’s government. From the Texas Tribune just two weeks ago:

“Senate Bill 13, which went into effect in September, prohibits the state from contracting with or investing in companies that divest from oil, natural gas and coal companies. The law defines divestment as refusing to do business with a fossil fuel company because that company does not commit to environmental standards higher than expected by federal and state law.”

There should be a T-shirt about Texas, something like:
Front side: If you think our views on global warming are outrageous...
Back side: Ask us about a woman’s right to choose

Jim Tang, Kula, Hawaii

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

In Italian, vestire means to dress or to put on a costume. In Leoncavallo’s opera I Pagliacci, the clown Canio has to pretend that he is laughing, despite his wife Nedda’s infidelity.

This is an early recording (4 min.) of the famous aria “Vesti la giubba” (put on the costume) by Enrico Caruso.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Rob Hardy (robhardy3 gmail.com)
Subject: Travesty

My favorite use of this word is in Woody Allen’s early movie Bananas, in which Fielding Mellish tells the court: “I object, your honor! This trial is a travesty. It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” (video, 18 sec.)

Rob Hardy, Dayton, Ohio

From: Brenda J. Gannam (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)
Subject: travestea

And then there’s travestea, a debased or grotesque imitation of that golden brown libation that so perfectly accompanies a scone with jam and clotted cream.

Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York

From: Robert Burns (robertburns oblaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--travesty

Wow, the DNA of this well-used word has suffered multiple mutations.

Robert Burns, Ocean Beach, California

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

Believe it or not, travesty makes its appearance in Rule 5.09(b)(10) in the Official Rules of Major League Baseball:

Rule 5.09(b)(10): Any runner is out when, after he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game.

I wonder if there are rules in other sports that reference travesty.

Curtis Reeves, Fresno, California

From: Elaine Ellis Thomas (elaine.ellis.thomas gmail.com)
Subject: Revet

I am a priest and my initials are EET, but in NJ, one can only have five letters on a vanity plate, so mine is REVET.

REVET license plate

Elaine Ellis Thomas, Hoboken, New Jersey

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy One Up! -- Stealing is the name of the game!

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

I hope you’re including that one among your clothing offerings. If not, will I strip off and go berserk?

Judith Bruder, Northampton, Massachusetts

Dressing Down
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: defrock and divest

Our word defrock inspired a liturgical tack, and this scenario where a young nun has been expelled from her Order, ultimately having to give up her habit, her frock, for allegedly using the Lord’s name in vain. It’s likely Mother Superior has committed or condoned actual crimes. Cases in point: See here and here.

The Wannabe Emperor's New Clothes
In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” two con men persuade the emperor that they’d woven him the finest “stuff” (read clothes). He is convinced that he’s wearing the best threads, when he was, in truth, completely nakεd. His sycophantic minions agree that the emperor looked just fine in his new finery. Here, a Russian general and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church tell Putin what he wants to hear. In actuality, he needs to hear from boy Zelenskyy, who’d be telling him the truth: the emperor has no clothes.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Clothes
1. Defrock
2. Divest
3. Travesty
4. Revet
5. Investiture
= Tsktsk, can’t solve four v’s, tweIve e’s, they deceive me, trier tittered, shh!      This week’s theme: Clothes (or lack of them)
1. Defrock
2. Divest
3. Travesty
4. Revet
5. Investiture
= 1. Remove the Rev.
2. Shuck
3. The iffiest skit yet
4. Set rocks to encover wall
5. The Rev.’s admitted
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)
This week’s theme: Clothes
1. Defrock
2. Divest
3. Travesty
4. Revet
5. Investiture
= 1. Evict
2. Remove, as theft
3. Ridicule (tsk-tsk)
4. Set with stone
5. Very vested here
     Scan this week’s theme: Clothes (or a lack of them)
: is nice.
1. Defrock
2. Divest
3. Travesty
4. Revet
5. Investiture
= 1. Viva! unseat, evict these thieves
2. Sell stock, fritter
3. Mockery
4. Feck! add it, test once more
5. Swears in HH
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.


His imperial edicts brought woes,
As he stepped on democracy’s toes.
The nation was shocked,
And Trump was defrocked.
The emperor now wears no clothes.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

The priest had been caught in the nυde,
Engaged in some acts that were lewd.
So no one was shocked
When he got defrocked --
Already disrobed he’d been viewed.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Zelenskyy is such a peacock,”
Grumbled Putin. “That clown I’ll defrock.”
But this mixed metaphor
The free world would abhor;
Now your oil exports, Vlad, we block.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


I still have a suit with a vest
In my closet along with the rest
Of the things I don’t wear.
But the thought I can’t bear
Is to toss them. It’s hard to divest.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

I never understood anyone who
Worked just to finally divest you
Of material wealth,
Or even good health.
It is something I would never do!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Bare-brεasted the starlet is seen,
Divested of clothing onscreen.
The crowds she has wowed
Since she’s well-endowed --
With talent for acting, I mean.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The strιpper the crowd sure impressed.
How quickly that she got undressed.
Her clothing would fall
In no time at all.
The fastest divest in the west.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said King Arthur, “Knights, here is my quest:
Of the Grail we must heathens divest.”
Poor Sir Lance went inside,
And to Guinevere cried,
“Dear, no more shall I snuggle thy brεast.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


A physicist studying gravity
Gets a toothache because of a cavity.
He feels like that hole
Has infected his soul,
An injustice that just is a travesty.
-Chris Sullivan, Kanata, Canada (chris sullivanweb.me)

The critics all somehow agree
That the play was a real travesty.
None of them loved it,
And, so, they all shoved it
Where the sun doesn’t shine. Vengefully!
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

As president he was just bad,
A travesty shocking and sad!
This man I deplore
Would like four years more
To drive all the Democrats mad.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Donald, “It’s really a travesty
That no one will call me Your Majesty.
It’s the radical left
That has left me bereft
Of my right to be King of the Galaxy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

That wall by the sea we’ll revet,
And it will be sturdier yet.
We’ll feel more protected
And won’t be affected
The next time tsunamis we get.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

They’ve revetted what used to be shore
With a bulwark -- I kinda keep score
As climate change creeps,
The lake engineer keeps
Adding little by little -- then more!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

The disease named for Dr. Tourette
Has poor Clarence these days in a sweat.
He tells Mrs. Thomas,
Stop texting! Now promise!
Your phone let’s wall up and revet!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Investiture’s not guaranteed
To be permanent; you can be “freed”
Of the honor bestowed
If your personal code
Includes sabotage, incest, or greed!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Now investitures do, as a rule,
Tend to honor a phony or fool.
With all pomp and acclaim,
They salute what’s-his-name,
Though he’s more of a rock than a jewel.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said a dapper young fellow from Leicestershire,
“I’ve been chosen as Mother Earth’s messenger.
Attenborough’s my name;
Nature films are my game,
And they’ll win me a knighthood investiture!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Snapped the elderly movie actor when Mr. Hudson shouted his lines on the set, “I ain’t defrock.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said the soaking wet movie director to Ms. Williams, “That was an amazing divest.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

In bed with a cold, Justice Thomas said, “I’m too sick to p-revet her from texting Meadows.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Revets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention,” crooned Sinatra to the crowd.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I guarantee unbelievable returns if you let me handle your money,” said Bernie Madoff.
“Investiture!” answered the happy pension fund managers.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

If you investiture taking a big risk!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

A Glutton for Punishment
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: A glutton for punishment

Many have speculated that with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s Xi Jinping may become emboldened to make moves on Taiwan. The Communist government in Beijing has maintained that it has jurisdiction over the democratically-run Taiwan. They continue to subscribe to a one-China policy; a position which few other countries openly challenge--- including the US. Here, Xi eyes “Taiwan-ton” and hesitates, not sure if he may ultimately regret this gustatory overture.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. -Washington Irving, writer (3 Apr 1783-1859)

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