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Jun 19, 2022
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AWADmail Issue 1042

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

Sponsor’s Message: Are you wicked smart? Witty games, gifts, and gear for wiseacres and know-it-alls. “Damn fun!” Shop Now.

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

For Russian-Speaking Ukrainians, Language Clubs Offer Way to Defy Invaders
The New York Times

The Pronoun Police: To Serve and Correct
The Web of Language

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

What personal eponyms do you have in your life, I asked our readers this week. Here’s a selection from the responses received.

My mother-in-law, Alice, is known for her rather gloomy perspective on the world. We use the word alicize instead of catastrocize in our family.
-Ellen Lepine, Newark, Delaware (ellell udel.edu)

Robertize: To break a travel book into sections, selecting only the pages or places on one’s itinerary.
This came about when, e.g., the Lonely Planet tomes on a particular country were too heavy and space consuming for a backpack. Robert (brother-in-law) would use a Stanley knife to separate the chapters or sections he needed. It has been a family joke and good advice for travelling ever since. Such banter as “Have you robertized Portugal yet?”
-Susan Grant, Sydney, Australia (susangrant internode.on.net)

I refer to a long-delayed (or otherwise messed up) mail delivery as having been DeJoyed.
-Dan Herr, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (danherr.234 gmail.com)

A Sallyrush is used in our family to describe an error in thinking that one cannot seem to stop making, even after having been corrected. An example, with which most of us will be familiar, particularly after bank holiday Mondays, is the persistent feeling that we are a day behind. It was named after a school friend who was prone to making this type of error.
-Nich Thomas, Newquay, UK (nichth gmail.com)

Breitbart: To edit a video in order to create a false impression contradictory to the truth.
-Daniel Miller, Laredo, Texas (milldaniel gmail.com)

For over a half century, my family had an adventure company in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. For around 25 of those years it was a coastal kayaking and hiking business.
Our co-workers would start to have extremely vivid dreams after their long days’ work.
The company was named after my father and called Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures and we called these dreams Stanmares. Most mornings we would have a great bunch of laughs going over what Stanmares the guides had the night before. Everything from finding yourself leading a tour and when looking around none of your guests had paddles, to sitting in a quiet cove watching the whales swim around and under the kayaks with suddenly some of them coming to the surface and speaking in English to the paddlers. Overall, it became a right of passage for everyone to have Stanmares as the season progressed and when we run into those folks, now much older with their own families, we still have a hoot about the crazy dreams paddling all day for a couple months would create.
-Stan Cook, St. John’s, Canada (stanjr wildnfld.ca)

I worked for a company years ago where a guy named Leo “fixed” machines by turning them off and on repeatedly. So, when something broke, we’d say, “Did you Leo it?” Even to this day, I use this expression accordingly, though I usually have to explain.
-Beth Keena, Pittsboro, North Carolina (b_keena yahoo.com)

A Miriam is someone who goes back several times to check that she/he’s completed something. After a neighbor who would go back to her house numerous times to make sure she had locked the door.
-Elizabeth Hannan, Tellico Plains, Tennessee (skywayliz gmail.com)

A friend named Betty often mixes metaphors, as in “That really hit the horse’s mouth!”. Among our family and friends, those are referred to as Bettyisms.
-Karen Leech, Ellicott City, Maryland (50kcleech67 gmail.com)

My father insisted that it was acceptable to hit the left-turn signal AFTER entering an intersection. I have heard strangers describing being trapped behind someone who has done this as I was Georged, our family phrase.
-Sarah Goodman, Vancouver, Canada (sjanegoodman gmail.com)

Doing a Diane: Sadly, named after me; I was pretty depressed in college. Doing a Diane meant being at a party where everybody is laughing and having fun except Diane, who is sitting in a corner and saying, “Nobody loves me.” Luckily, now there’s medication...
-Diane Saltzberg, Los Angeles, California (dlsaltzberg gmail.com)

We designated a response to a question that failed to answer the question a Phyllis after my sister. When asked what time she got home, she would invariably respond with something accurate but unenlightening:
“What time did you get home?”
“We left after the second movie.”
Yes, this was in the long-ago time of double features.
-Howard Baldwin, Lake Oswego, Oregon (baldwin.howard gmail.com)

A former West Virginia University basketball player, 6’-11”, was initially a typical height for a precision shooting guard. He experienced a relatively late-growth spurt in high school and grew into his 6’-11” frame while maintaining his long outside shot marksmanship. In the 2005 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Pittsnogle made several long-range shots and the term, “You’ve just been Pittsnogled” was born. To be Pittsnogled is to be subjected to a barrage of made outside shots in basketball by a tall outside shooter. (video, 1 min.)
-Mark W. Fought, Blacksburg, Virginia (mntnrmark gmail.com)

My neighbors and I Kravitz. After Mrs. Kravitz on the show Bewitched. Of course we do it it in a good way, looking out for each other. “I was Kravitzing this morning and saw a stranger walking around your house.”
-Marie Bender-Muir, Ambler, Pennsylvania (mrbart verizon.net)

One of our most used eponyms is Peggy, coined after the long gone commercial that featured a burly, hairy chested telemarketer who called himself Peggy when asked his name. Henceforth, every telemarketing call we receive is from Peggy.
-Carol Dragon, Quakertown, Pennsylvania (dragonmom40 gmail.com)

I am a picky but gentle copy editor (for free), and a self-identified Strunkian. E.g., “Charles’s crown,” “tend” instead of “have a tendency to,” and the serial comma (just illustrated). After Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, a most valuable “Little Book”. I am also a Gilbertian (after W.S. Gilbert) and of course a Savoyard after a theatre.
-Evan Hazard, Bemidji, Minnesota (eehazard paulbunyan.net)

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

There are several instances in music that take either their title or its contents, or both, from the Orpheus legend.

The 18th-century opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice; Claudio Monteverdi’s 17th-century L’Orfeo; Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld are just some examples of this phenomenon.

Small wonder. After all, what else should composers compose their works about if not their first and foremost fellow musician?

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy OLD’S COOL -- Smart t-shirts for smarty-pants.

From: David Hoyler (dwhoyler yahoo.com)
Subject: aeolian

Aeolian brings back a memory from 70+ years ago when I was about four. A dark night, I was in bed, and I was hearing strange humming and whistling sounds outside my window. I called out for a parent and my Dad came in. “What’s that sound?” I asked. “It’s okay, Davey,” my Dad replied, “it’s just an aeolian harp: it’s the wind blowing through the TV antenna wires making the sound.” With that I went back to sleep feeling snug. Thanks, AWAD, for evoking a word memory.

Dave Hoyler, Lee, New Hampshire

From: Steve Harmony (steveharmo gmail.com)
Subject: Aeolian harp

This word brought to mind the aeolian harp, which you place in an open window. Never saw one, but I can imagine the lovely sound as the wind blows over the strings. [video, 4 min]

Steve Harmony, Canyon Lake, Texas

From: Bruce Floyd (brucefloyd bellsouth.net)
Subject: aeolian

In his essay “A Defence of Poetry,” Shelley uses the an aeolian lyre as a metaphor for human sensibility. One can assume that Shelley sees experiences and the mind reflecting on them as like an aeolian harp being sounded by the wind, a force it would seem we have no control over, until, I assume, the poetic imagination shapes these soundings. Shelley might agree with Wordsworth that the poet half creates the beauty he sees. Compare Blake’s injunction: see not with the eye but through it. Below is a part of what Shelley writes:

Poetry, in a general sense, may be defined to be “the expression of the imagination” and poetry is connate with the origin of man. Man is an instrument over which a series of external and internal impressions are driven, like the alternations of an ever-changing wind over an Aeolian lyre, which move it by their motion to ever-changing melody.

It’s worth noting that Coleridge wrote a poem titled “The Eolian Harp” One can understand how such an instrument was a common trope of the Romantic movement.

Years ago while taking a walk on a breezy afternoon, I heard the wind making music amongst wind chimes, which I determined were a congeries of hollow pipes of varying lengths. The sounds emitting by these pipes impelled by the wind seemed at first to be random, devoid of design, but after listening for a while, I found the imagination attempting to cast the sounds into a pattern of some kind. I don’t think any of us, if we were reading a poem about blustery day, would take offense at a reference to “the music of the wind”.

Bruce Floyd, Florence, South Carolina

From: Danny Chapman (rowlhouse gmail.com)
Subject: Eolian/Aeolian

In 1829, the inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone (famous for the bridge!) patented his invention of the concertina, which Wikipedia tells us is the National Musical Instrument of England. The concertina is a small, six-sided, accordion-like instrument, and a popular parlor instrument for classical music in the 19th century, though subsequently more often associated with traditional music across the UK and Ireland.

Wheatstone’s company had a rival, Lachenal & Co, which in 1890 introduced their superior concertina with twelve sides, which they called an Edeophone. Wheatstone answered that in 1898 with their professional quality instrument called an Aeola, typically identified as an eight-sided concertina. Back on 6 February we had the first ever “World Concertina Day”, to which I contributed with a recording of a piece of music played on my own Wheatstone Aeola, which would have been made a little over 100 years ago: video (3 min.).

Danny Chapman, Oxford, UK

From: Holley Wysong (holleyew gmail.com)
Subject: Eolian

I just returned from France, where they call a wind turbine éolienne.

Holley Wysong, San Francisco, California

From: Aidan Tolhurst (atolhurst honywoodschool.com)
Subject: panderer

A relatively archaic variation is the word pandar, which pretty much translates as pιmp. This was used extensively in Jacobean drama -- “base-coined pandar” is an insult from The Revenger’s Tragedy (probably written by Thomas Middleton) that particularly stayed with me.

Aidan Tolhurst, Coggeshall, UK

From: Robert Sanford (rhsanford gmail.com)
Subject: Chimeric reference

From The Guardian, 6/18/22:

There was only one problem with this epic flurry of emails: the Official Election Defense Fund did not exist. As the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol revealed in a public hearing this week, Trump and his allies raised $250m from the emails by persuading loyal followers to donate to a chimera.

Robert Sanford, Woodland, Washington

From: Sheldon Burnston (brbart1213 aol.com)
Subject: Being a citizen of the world

The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border. I think the sooner we renounce the sanctity of these many identities and try to identify ourselves with the human race the sooner we will get a better world and a safer world. -Mohamed ElBaradei, diplomat, Nobel laureate (b. 17 Jun 1942)

Many, many years ago, my favorite professor in the Political Science Department at Brooklyn College was a woman whose parents had been missionaires in India (no comments on the rightness or wrongness of this, please) where she was born and lived until the age of ten. One of the many things she said in class that has remained with me for over 60 years was, “You cannot consider yourself a citizen of the world until you can look at a woman with a ring through her nostril as an adornment the same way you do a woman with rings through her earlobes.” I’m sure Professor Wilson’s spirit, wherever it may be, is smiling at today’s world.

Sheldon Burnston, Teaneck, New Jersey

(Bad) Karma Chameleon
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: proteus and eolian

Shortly after the Jan 6 assault on Congress, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy admonished Trump for inciting the riotous rabble in an attempt to derail the peaceful transition of power. A few weeks later, McCarthy cozied up to the Inciter-in-Chief at his Mar-a Lago retreat.

Dueling Windbags
The word eolian had me harkening back to my youthful bagpiping days recalling the national bagpipes of Ireland, the uilleann pipes (pronounced IL-uhn). I’ve been fascinated with this instrument that uses an arm-engaged bellows, as opposed to blowing via lung power. Curiously, back in the early ‘80s while working at Hanna-Barbera, I had an Irish-American colleague, Dave O’Day, who would, on occasion, perform for his fellow animators on the uilleann bagpipes. Quite a unique musical treat.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Eponyms
1. Orphean
2. Proteus
3. Eolian
4. Panderer
5. Chimeric
= 1. It’s sweet, sirenic eh
2. Chameleon
3. Harp
4. Teen hοοker’s ornery pιmp
5. Made up
     This week’s theme: Eponyms
1. Orphean
2. Proteus
3. Eolian
4. Panderer
5. Chimeric
= 1. He or she enchants
2. Is a chameleon
3. Wind keeper
4. Pimp, promoter
5. Ruse, yeti
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



“Does it hurt, then, an Orphean strain?”
“No, you fool! You confuse it with sprain.
Think, instead, music fair;
A mellifluous air
That transports us beyond the mundane.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

He played her an Orphean tune,
Expecting that soon she would swoon.
But she was a troll,
Who preferred rock ‘n’ roll
And found serious music jejune.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Each day the old gentleman sat
and played tunes in the key of B-flat.
His ancient accordion
sounded so Orphean,
people put coins in his hat.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Those Orphean strains that I heard
Each morning like clockwork recurred --
A wake-up alarm
With plenty of charm --
The song of a talented bird.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I wondered, just whom would I choose?
What matters? I’ve nothing to lose
And it suddenly clicked
That I’ve already picked
Sinatra! My Orphean muse!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Her horrible ex she’d expel,
‘Cause at him, she’d constantly yell.
Whenever they fought,
With Orphean thought,
Would tell him to just, “Go to Hell!”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Let me climb on your back,” said the scorpion,
And the frog was no valedictorian.
So it said, “Help I must;
Your intentions I trust.”
But the journey turned out to be Orphean.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“He’s an actor with protean gifts.
For each role, it’s as though he shape-shifts.
Sad that, being so short,
He’s condemned to support.
One can only ask so much of lifts.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

The guy was a regular Proteus.
First, he’d be pretty harmonious.
With nary a hitch,
he would suddenly switch,
and become inexplicably odious.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Like Proteus, known for disguises,
His essence he somehow revises.
He changes at will
With masterful skill --
This actor transforms and surprises.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“The Republican Party’s commodious;
We’ll embrace you no matter how odious,”
Says Mitch. “To keep power,
I change by the hour;
Trump’s evil -- so what? I’m a Proteus.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


An aeolian tale, my old face
Kept the record where wind left its trace.
Desiccated and seamed,
Eyes now dull that once gleamed,
And the story’s not done, there’s still space.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Columbus naively set sail
When fav’rable winds did prevail.
His eolian quest
Sailing off to the west
To reach India, of course, had to fail.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

From her window, she saw that he had
dressed in the latest new fad.
She exclaimed, “Holy moly!”, ‘n’
blew an eolian
kiss to the stylish young lad.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

They oughta rename my home street!
Make it “Wind Tunnel!” That’s bittersweet!
Our eolian gusts
Keeps it clear of the dusts
But I can’t stand up straight -- I’m petite!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

The committee to banish Napoleon
Thought of islands, or cities Mongolian.
One proposal they made
Left him greatly dismayed:
“Not Chicago! It’s far too eolian!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Dear girl, wear a stare that will freeze,
And don’t be so eager to please
Or you’ll find you’re a panderer
To every philanderer,
Winding up on your bυtt or your knees.
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

Our previous chief and commander --
A panderer fostering slander!
The yahoos he courted,
And truth he distorted.
He got up America’s dander.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

“I’ll spread wonderful tales of you, wow!
I am tickled to meet you, and how!
I’ll flatter for sure,
I’m a gross panderer
Which is how I got where I am now!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Now King Donald had spurred on a coup,
With his “Big Lie”, he swears is still true.
A well-known philanderer,
Slanderer, panderer,
There is nothing this cheat will not do.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Donald, “I’m tops as a panderer;
White guys love a compulsive philanderer.
My opponent they’ll ditch
When I call her a witch;
She deleted some emails? Let’s slander ‘er!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Your views, sir, are purely chimeric.
You claim that our planet is spheric.
But can’t you see that
It’s demonstrably flat?
But, please, do not get too hysteric.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

A horrible monster I see!
Oh, how can this possibly be?
He lies on a slab
In Frankenstein’s lab --
A creature chimeric is he.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When Cole Porter was writing a lyric,
What resulted was often chimeric.
To rhyme the words “flatter ‘er”
He used “Cleopaterer”;
I bow to his brilliance satiric.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“I feel so Orphean,” said Annie when she was left with Miss Hannigan.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“No like coffee, us,” said Oog. “We proteus.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I can’t understand that donkey’s weird eolian dialect,” said the horse.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I’ll show all your work and represent you exclusively, Albrecht,” pleaded the art dealer. “I’ll be panderer!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said Ilsa when Victor went off to a meeting with the Resistance, “Chimeric.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Stay Tuned
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Stay Tuned

As mass shootings in the US have become so frequent, many Americans have become numb to the cumulative horror of it all. In our minds, one shooting tragedy blurs into the next... Newtown into Parkland, into Orlando, into San Bernardino, into the Vegas Strip, into Pittsburgh, into Buffalo, Uvalde, and many more since. Most GOP legislators balk at any semblance of gun reform, whilst Democrats continue to push for substantive new firearm legislation. This week there seems to be some glimmer of hope, where at least ten Republicans might vote to pass minimal new gun laws.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

“Respect for religion” has become a code phrase meaning “fear of religion”. Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect. -Salman Rushdie, writer (b. 19 Jun 1947)

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