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May 8, 2022
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AWADmail Issue 1036

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

Sponsor’s Message: The Mother of all Word Games. One Up! is quick, canny, cutthroat fun: No board. No complicated rules. No mercy. Just unfair and fabulous combat that’s guaranteed to totally ruin spice up mom’s special day, or any family get-together for that matter. Our classic wicked/smart war of wit, a cheap lesson in intellectual humility, is now even cheaper: Get Two Classics for only $29.99. Shop Sale Now.

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

On the Origin of Languages
The Economist

A Letter to That Man Who Emailed Me to Correct My Grammar
The Washington Post

”I Read Banned Books” Library Card Campaign Launches in Nashville

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

This week I invited readers to share their coinages. Here’s a small selection from the new words that came in.

Grandcrits: Adult children’s pets, grand pets, and grand critters.
-Lisa Dahlseid, Minneapolis, Minneapolis (ldahlseid aol.com)

Maskation: the state of wearing a mask. There can be misunderstandings during conversation when masks are worn as it is easy to hear a word incorrectly. It is the pandemic equivalent of the famous scene in “Take the Money and Run” movie with Woody Allen’s illegible note demanding money during a bank robbery. I use it as follows: Lost in maskation like lost in translation.
-Geeta Pasi, Washington, DC (geetapasi gmail.com)

Some years ago I started using the word replyall as a verb (as in, I replyalled your email).
-Mark Adler, Béziers, France (markadler orange.fr)

Lately, I’ve started using PCR as a verb, as in “I’m getting PCRed on Tuesday before I go on my trip.”
-Linda Waldman, Guilford, Connecticut (walss aol.com)

Very often when I’m driving, especially in unfamiliar areas, my wife will tell me where to go (literally, of course ;^) by consulting her GPS and actual paper maps. She does this very nicely, and I’m glad to have her help, but she calls it nagivating as she’s helping me navigate with a little gentle nagging.
-Don Fearn, Rochester, Minnesota (pooder charter.net)

A coworker uses the word nibling for nephews and nieces, but it seems inappropriate when referring to humans who are 30 or 50 years old. So I came up with sibspring for “sibling’s offspring”.
-Marietta Hitzemann, Arlington, Massachusetts (marietta.hitzemann protonmail.com)
[Also shared by Charles Conaway, Tallahassee, Florida (cconaway fsu.edu)]

When my wife’s delivery arrives on the truck with the smile on the side she will jump up and down while clapping her hands like a kid at Christmas. She is having an ordergasm.
-Joe Dzengeleski, Hampton, New Hampshire (jdzski comcast.net)

The word I coined is permademic, a permanent epidemic. What we’ll be experiencing with the endless variations of Covid formed in the petri dish of the unvaccinated, the careless, and the ignorant.
-Jess Ellis Knubis, Fairfield, California (jess knubis.com)

Flogosphere: Where products and ideas are publicized and criticized online. A combination of “flog” (to publicize aggressively, to beat or strike with a rod or whip, to chastise with repeated blows) and “blogosphere” (all blogs and their interconnections).
-Sheila Moore, Belmont, California (sheilamoore07 comcast.net)

Hopetimistic. An _optimistic_ person is very confident about a good outcome with some evidence to back it up. _Hopeful_ persons don’t share the same degree of confidence to call themselves optimists, they are merely hoping for a happy ending with a lesser degree of evidence. But when a person has a strong hopeful feeling about something, but not so confident that they would wager on it, that person could say he is hopetimistic about the outcome. Or, so methinks.
-Barry Lee Marris, Fort Bragg, California (barry.marris gmail.com)

I coined the word sporcular, like a spork, meaning something that is a combination of two things that isn’t as good as either of the originals alone, e.g. a desktop tape dispenser/pencil holder, or a scissors/bottle opener.
-Alan Turner, New Castle, Delaware (arturner gmail.com)

Manchin, verb. To vote one way and then talk as if you are a big supporter of the law/regulation your vote killed. Example: Senator Manchin’s statement this weekend about protecting voter rights was the best, but certainly not the only, example of manchining we have seen recently.
-Betty Rauch, New York, New York (rauchbp gmail.com)

Chocologic: Any logic used to justify the consumption of chocolate. My daughter coined this one!
-Jill Fitzpatrick, Glen Allen, Virginia (itsjfitz verizon.net)

Circa 2002, I coined the word spax for unwanted fax communications. Mind you, in that era, facsimile via telephone lines was still a rather prevalent means of communications, not yet supplanted by email. One technocritic called it “An egregious waste of bandwidth.” Alas, spax was a word coined near the end of its relevance.
-Lorenzo Boyd, Iron Mountain, Michigan (agedbeyondperfection gmail.com)

Up here in Canada my family has coined the word snoraining for when it’s partly raining, partly snowing.
-Gillian Livingston, Toronto, Canada (gillianlivingston gmail.com)

I came up with the word granuclarity for “the quality of being small and clear”. Now my goal-setting has better granuclarity. As B.J. Fogg of Stanford has shown, granuclarity makes a goal more likely to get done. See his wonderful book, Tiny Habits. Please note, however, that Professor Fogg is not fond of the word “goal”, for technical reasons I forget.
-Leslie Lowe, New Orleans, Louisiana (leslie leslie.ms)

I think we could coin chrino (or cino), standing for Christian in name only with such as Big T and his ilk.
-Dan Dippold, Brownsburg, Indiana (hillyoung117 gmail.com)

If you are a blue-collar worker like me, you are familiar with that afternoon lull. The time after lunch when your belly is full and you just don’t give much of a damn about doing anything. President Lyndon B. Johnson was notorious for his siestas where he would put on his PJs and take a 30 minute nap... above the covers. I figured hell, if it was good enough for the president of the United States, it should work for me too. Thus, my invention of the word teener. As I don’t have 30 minutes to spare in the middle of my workday, a teener is a nap lasting anywhere from 13-19 minutes. For me, the teener has proven very effective in combating the afternoon blues.
-Wes Zercher, Dallas, Texas (weszercher yahoo.com)

Bagwallers: People who stand up close to the airport luggage carousel waiting for their bags and create a human wall so others can’t get through to reach their own bags. I saw my suitcase slide down the belt ramp, but I had to run around the carousel chasing after it because of all the bagwallers.
-John Sturtevant, Seattle, Washington (johnsturtevant mac.com)

Goldiloxian adj. The condition of being just right.
-Andrew Lloyd, Borris, Ireland (knockroe gmail.com)

A coworker and I coined supluralfluous: A superfluous plurality. Example: geeses, sheeps, deers.
-Christi Newbury, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1tcscn gmail.com)

Republiconian: To be aggressively closed-minded, and as though one has a “stick up their rear”.
Christionic: To falsely put on a facade of morality and concern for others.
-Jordana Capra, Santa Clarita, California (jordanacapra earthlink.net)

Ecolapse: The simultaneous collapse of ecology / environment with collapse of the economy, a situation which is close to fruition with the increased effects of rapid climate change / global warming.
-Roger Chambers, Utica, New York (rcjcrn2 yahoo.com)

As a high-school teacher, I have the opportunity to watch as our young people grab hold of and embrace new technology. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes not so much. The word I coined that I think may be new is earsicle, referring to the earpods or earbuds that operate on a Bluetooth connection and hang down out of the user’s ears. They resemble icicles, hence the name.
-Tom Tyson, Sheboygan, Wisconsin (ttyson sasd.net)

My candidate for a self-made word is yule brinner: a combination of Christmas brunch and dinner for late risers after celebrating the babe in the manger the night before. I have used the name of the well-known actor of “The King and I”, “Anastasia”, “The Magnificent Seven”, etc., admittedly taking liberties with it, as the thespian spelled his first name Yul, without the -e.
-Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada (andpress sympatico.ca)

Joblet: A job that is less than full time. A job that is seasonal. A person can have many joblets, i.e., babysitting, working at the polls during an election , delivering packages at Christmas.
-Cathy Reynolds, Marietta, Georgia (pallottac bellsouth.net)

The artist Georgia O’Keefe is practically a cornerstone of the economy of Abiquiú, NM, where she spent a great deal of her creative life. I’ve called the local preoccupation with her life and work Georgialatry.
-Susan Nielsen, Abiquiú, New Mexico (snielsen1 earthlink.net)

We were electing the board secretary for our mountain retreat center. The young man we elected had a wealth of technical knowledge none of the rest of us had, useful in sharing documents, doing projects in groups that he organized on screen in real time, fixing all our login glitches, and so on. I named him our Techretary. The name stuck, for obvious reasons.
-Kathy Blomker, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin (kblomker gmail.com)

A rainvoid is the dry space under an overpass during a rainstorm. It is often experienced as a sudden and momentary silence as you drive under the overpass. For me, it’s an enjoyable little treat. It can also include the area under an umbrella or awning... but in these cases, there is no sudden silence.
-Dan Morrissey, Alva, Florida (dan seemore.solar)

Homebrewed by me: homeopathetic; this to reflect upon my opinion of medical hooey.
-Stuart Klipper, Minneapolis, Minnesota (sklipper bitstream.net)

Bulswangari: A word I made up without any meaning, used when one wants to use a unique word without any meaning.
-Dan Brook, San Francisco, California (brook brook.com)

From: Helen Dickerson (helen_dickerson hotmail.com)
Subject: omnishambles

A word akin to omnishambles from the world of skiing: a yardsale is when you have a spectacular fall (preferably under the ski lift where everyone can watch), your skis come off, you tumble and tumble, you and your equipment are scattered all over the slope hopefully without serious injury (except to your pride).

Helen Dickerson, Poughkeepsie, New York

From: Judy Malkin (jgmalkin rogers.com)
Subject: omnishambles

In Hebrew, there is a delightful word to describe this (or any other mess, such as a burst pipe or tangled wires): balagan.

Once I learned it, it became my very favourite word in any language.

Judy Malkin, Toronto, Canada

From: Des O’Neill (oneill silcom.com)
Subject: Ukraine

A little longer than “omnishambles”, but as true: “The poorly planned and badly-executed wet-dream of Vladimir the Would-Be Great.”

Des O’Neill, Santa Barbara, California

Email of the Week -- Brought to you Buy One Up! -- The Mother of all Word Games.

From: Jen S. Jorissen (tripping jensight.com)
Subject: Acquihire

Alternately, acquifire, buying a company so that the purchaser can terminate the employment of one or more individuals.

Jen S. Jorissen, Maplewood, Minnesota

Clickbait and Switch!
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Clickbait and paywall

Clickbait comes in many guises. Here, I’ve imagined two examples based on what entices people the most... pop culture and dieting. Clicker beware!

Pay for Play
Here, I’ve introduced y’all to John McIntyre, the former Baltimore Sun night content production manager and creator of the lexicographic/grammarian blog, “You Don’t Say”. Shortly after retiring from the animation trade in 2008, I subscribed, gratis, to John’s language usage blog, and when inspired, regularly offered up my two-cents-worth. Then, the dreaded paywall came up. I reluctantly paid for six-months, but as expected, the number of subscribers markedly fell off. I ultimately left the blog. Welcome to the pay-as-you-play model for most online news media outlets these days.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme is “New words”
1. Clickbait
2. Omnishambles
3. Listicle
4. Acquihire
5. Paywall
= 1. His weak-willed whim’s wily link
2. Hot mess
3. Table
4. HR acquist aim
5. Accessible on receipt
     This week’s theme: New words
1. Clickbait
2. Omnishambles
3. Listicle
4. Acquihire
5. Paywall
= 1. How wishes may link
2. Mess
3. Article which implies details
4. Acquire talent
5. Web block
-Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Sure, I erred -- see this week’s theme: New words
1. Clickbait
2. Omnishambles
3. Listicle
4. Acquihire
5. Paywall
= 1. I.e. charms with a lie
2. Immense wreck
3. Bullets
4. Liked the crew -- acquired airline
5. Pays to see “bliss show”
     This week’s theme: New words
1. Clickbait
2. Omnishambles
3. Listicle
4. Acquihire
5. Paywall
= 1. ‘Like’ link
2. Hey what a mess
3. Itemised
4. Acqhire - will accomplish talent - wow!
5. Subscribe
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



“It’s called clickbait, you gullible fool!
Cyber, ‘Catch me a chump!’ fishing tool.
Bait the hook, something bold --
Scary never gets old --
And reel in. Yes, it’s very uncool.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, Cornwall. UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“It looks like this headline’s a clickbait.
Somebody is trying to dictate
what people like you
and me choose to do,”
says he. “This old world’s in a sick state!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The clickbait’s attractive, and so
It’s off to the website I go!
This move I regret,
For there I am yet,
And nothing that’s new do I know.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

What a fraud! Just that headline I read
And I fell for it, hook, line, and head!
Boy, that clickbait sure lured me
But now I am cured! See?
I won’t keep on being misled!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

The internet has so much clickbait
That at Christmas it makes poor St. Nick late.
“I must schlep all these toys
‘Round the world to the goys;
Oy, I’ve come to this ho-ho-ho schtick hate.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Omnishambles describes to a tee
What a teacher once said about me.
“In his lessons and dress
He’s an absolute mess.
I am dreading the adult he’ll be.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

In sad omnishambles -- his life.
He’s hated by his former wife.
And we safely can bet
That he’s also in debt,
And bad breath is the cause of much strife.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

“About your new beau,” says her dad,
“Word’s out he’s a bounder, a cad,
who leaves omnishambles
wherever he rambles.
He’s not to be trusted, this lad!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When running a meeting, he rambles.
With company funding he gambles.
Our business he’ll ruin
With all that he’s doin’ --
He’s led us to this omnishambles!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Now Putin took one of his gambles.
And found he was caught in the brambles.
He said, “What a pain
Is this pesky Ukraine!
My war is a bust. Omnishambles.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“A game of Russian roulette?”
He rose to the challenge: “You bet!”
But such reckless gambles
Provoke omnishambles
And the wallpaper’s still bloody wet.
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

Her soup is a sad omnishambles;
Says her mother-in-law, “Worse than Campbell’s!”
And so the new bride
Takes her groom for a ride,
And to undo his trousers she scrambles.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Write a listicle setting it out,
So we’ll know what you’re talking about.
Please just give us the facts.
Nothing else, it detracts.
If we find we need more then we’ll shout.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

If our Senate were ever for sale,
The marketing surely would fail.
Who would have the desire
For this acquihire
With Senators heading to jail?
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

When asked to describe his new book,
says the author, “Well, here, take a look.
It’s simply a listicle,
my egotistical
way to write gobbledygook!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

“Commandments? I have here a listicle
Of ten, their origin mystical:
A voice from on high
Proclaimed them, not I --
To claim that would be egotistical.”
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

Anu’s limerick wizards are mystical;
I could write of them here, in a listicle.
But I’m scratching my chin;
How to fit them all in?
‘Twould be truly a nightmare logistical.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Finding talent gets harder each day,
So, we’ll do it the new-fashioned way.
We’ll exploit acquihire
For the staff we require,
And we’ll pay them so much that they’ll stay.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Says the CEO, “Since I admire
your employees, I hope to acquire
the total workforce.
It appears my best course
would be a complete acquihire.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The workforce you have we admire;
The skills that they have we require.
So let’s make a deal --
You’ll like it, we feel,
For this is a great acquihire!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A company might seek to conspire,
To grow using quick acquihire.
The chance to succeed,
When fueled by their greed,
Can result in a big, bad backfire.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“All the garb on this rack I admire;
Its maker I must acquihire.
They will sew just for me!”
Said Bruce Wayne, full of glee.
“OMG, how I love bat attire!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Because of these paywalls,” says he,
“my work is unfinished. ‘Twill be
a very long time
before I can climb
out of debt. And there’s no guarantee.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

For cheapskates all over the nation,
A paywall’s a source of frustration.
Subscriptions you need
In order to read
The tales that are such a temptation.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Jesus one afternoon, “Hey, Paul,
Spread the Gospels, but don’t use a paywall.
To be found when one’s lost
We should make free of cost,
Then donations will come down like rainfall.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Heather thought hanging out with the cool kids would be easy since she thought she was clickbait.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

To get the trap to clickbait had to be set just right for the prey.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

The tap-dancing instructor put a pretty girl in his ad as clickbait.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Sighed the Lord looking down at humanity, “Sometimes omnipotence and omniscience just lead to an omnishambles.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said Richard Burton, “A listicle always put me in an amorous mood.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Everything on this listicle-s my fancy,” said Donald as he reviewed the felony possibilities.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I know, sir, but every Bl-acquihire helps us to appear more diverse,” the company’s PR Director told the CEO.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The penthouse owner was upset that he had to paywall to wall carpeting prices for a small designer throw rug.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I’m the star of the show,” said Beaver. “Of course they paywall-y and Eddie less than me.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Sugar Shock
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Sugar Shock

Tropicana has recently announced the launch of their honey/almond cereal, Tropicana Crunch. This breakfast treat calls for orange juice as the added liquid ingredient. Tropicana is doing market-testing of their new product. If consumers take a shine to it, they’ll proceed to full production. Cows everywhere are celebrating!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Wherever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. -Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president (8 May 1884-1972)

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