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Jul 17, 2022
This week’s theme
Words that appear to be misspellings

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AWADmail Issue 1046

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

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From: Clare Moffatt (clare.moffatt.uk gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--staddle

In UK, staddle stones are often seen, more usually in rural locations as garden decorations although originally these were used to raise the grain store off the ground away from rats who find the mushroom shaped top difficult to climb from underneath. Old staddle stones can be very expensive to buy!

Clare Moffatt, Hailsham, UK

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From: Allen Roberts (aroberts arts.ucla.edu)
Subject: Re: staddle

A revered anecdote from E.E. Evans-Pritchard’s research in the 1930s among Nuer people in what’s now South Sudan concerns their large bottle-shaped earthen granaries set atop staddles. The shade they threw was rare and highly prized in such sunny circumstances. Because laden granaries are heavy and wooden staddles are subject to termites and wood rot, the structures occasionally collapse. Nuer understood and explained such realities to Evans-Pritchard, as they did how people seated in the shade might be injured by such an accident. But then “why me” questions kicked in. When that guy got up, I took his place. The granary fell on me and not him: why was that? In case readers feel this story bespeaks “primitive” thinking, we all ask such questions. Roughly two in every five Americans will contract cancer; how come I have and not you? How is that “fair”? Statistics and related rational thought offer no solace.

Allen Roberts, Los Angeles, California

From: Kathryn Freeman (kfreeman861 gmail.com)
Subject: My Favorite Dragoon

The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge joined the Royal Light Dragoons in 1793 under the pseudonym Silas Tomkyn Comberbache (STC) after having left Cambridge prematurely. According to his biographer, Richard Holmes, Coleridge often fell off his horse and was finally discharged as “insane” by his brother in 1794.

Kathryn Freeman, Miami, Florida

From: Leah Murray (leah leahmurray.ca)
Subject: Dragoon

The word dragoon is actually still alive and well in the military world and is used to denote a division of mechanized and armoured fighters. As in:

Formed on December 21, 1883, as the Cavalry School Corps, The Royal Canadian Dragoons is the senior cavalry regiment in the Canadian Army and was Canada’s first professional, full-time cavalry unit. (Wikipedia)

I suspect that France probably still has such a division as well.

They use tanks and tactical armoured patrol vehicles to conduct military operations in partnership with infantry and artillery divisions.

I don’t think the US military calls them dragoons, but they do have them as well.

Leah Murray, Canadian veteran, Surrey, Canada

From: Janine Harris-Wheatley (janinehw20 gmail.com)
Subject: Dragooned workers

The usage for the word dragoon highlights the mistaken notion that Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery. But not in America for sure and certainly not in the rest of the world. Many many people all over the globe are still being forced to work without pay or choice, mistreated and often killed or left to die when their usefulness is over. Extreme poverty and complicit governments force people into slavery.

Slavery is so ubiquitous that there are categories. Domestic slavery, sεx trafficking, child slaves sold by their parents to harvest cocoa beans, women harvesting tea leaves, men trapped on shrimp boats, Uyghurs producing those made-in-China products we find in dollar stores, pickers of cotton for fast fashion, construction workers trapped in Quatar, child soldiers, prisoners in privately owned jails and refugees in detention centres. When we enjoy the products of slave labour we are benefiting from their misery. The corporations that depend on forced labour hidden anywhere in their supply chains plead ignorance and they get away with it because we do not pay enough attention. If we all made an effort to shop ethically it would make business sense for corporations to change their ways and promote their transparent supply chains. We don’t, they don’t, and people are still being dragooned.

Janine Harris-Wheatley, Tottenham, Canada

From: Harko Werkman (nothofagus001-nsc yahoo.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--specie

This is a word that often sets my teeth on edge, as it is frequently used in the lay arena as a singular form of species. Scientists use species as both a singular and plural form and to hear others refer to a specie makes me immediately wonder why they’re bringing coins into the conversation.

Harko Werkman, Hobart, Australia

From: Peter Jennings (peterj benlo.com)
Subject: Navvy

How many responses did you get referring to Gordon Lightfoot’s iconic song, Canadian Railroad Trilogy from the Canadian Centennial year, 1967?

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swingin’ our hammers in the bright blazin’ sun
Livin’ on stew and drinkin’ bad whiskey
Bendin’ our backs til the long days are done.
(video, 7 min.)

There are now thousands of Canadian Boomers like me stuck with that earworm for the rest of the day!

Peter Jennings, Stony Lake, Canada

From: David Grimmer (david.grimmer gmail.com)
Subject: Navvy

Thanks for reminding me that it’s been far too long since I’ve heard this ... Navigator, a song by the Pogues (video, 4 min.).

David Grimmer, Glasgow, UK

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

Navvies in Canada during the boom years from 1898 to 1913 were mostly immigrants of various nationalities and ethnicities. Generally speaking, their lives as railway labourers were nasty, brutish, and often shortened due to accident and disease, the result of unsanitary camp conditions.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Karen Folsom (kgfols yahoo.com)
Subject: navvy and compromis

Navvy: A combination of sailor and rail worker minus compass and albatross
A combination of sailor and rail worker minus compass and albatross
Compromis: A diplomatic compromis between Putin & Biden
A diplomatic compromis between Putin & Biden

Karen Folsom, Santa Barbara, California

It's All About That Base
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Staddle and dragoon

Here, in my tableau of a cast-bronze sculpture of Gene Autry, I’ve employed a western saddle as a support, or staddle, for the figure of the “Singing Cowboy”. Froggy takes minor liberties with Autry’s most famous ballad, “Back in the Saddle Again”. After his successes as a recording artist and actor, he parlayed his business acumen into many profitable ventures, such as the owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Angels (then called Anaheim Angels). The Autry Museum of the American West, here in LA, is a fitting legacy to a man who exemplified the “Go west young man” success story.

No Fairy Tale
We can all agree that our word dragoon is not a misspelling of the more familiar dragon. But I couldn’t resist imagining Trump in the guise of Puff The Magic Dragon, immortalized in song by the 1960s folk trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary, later to hit the silver screen as an animated film. Here, Froggy puts a Trump-flavored twist on their classic ballad, painting Trump as the quintessential dragoon.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Words that appear to be misspelled
1. Staddle
2. Dragoon
3. Specie
4. Navvy
5. Compromis
= 1. Stand
2. Impels, cavalry
3. Coins
4. People who work hard
5. Impasse tempts best method devised to agree
     This week’s theme: Words that appear to be misspelled
1. Staddle
2. Dragoon
3. Specie
4. Navvy
5. Compromis
= 1. Plinth, pedestal
2. To coerce, boss
3. Metal money
4. Ship (past), vs. shop worker
5. Advised, we agreed, dammit!
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Society’s losing its staddle,
And I guess that it’s time to skedaddle.
But what refuge to seek
When we’re stuck up this creek
Without any hope of a paddle?
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

A good wife, it deserves to be said,
Is a staddle, so get yourself wed!
Your support in good health
While you’re making your wealth,
She’ll take care of your cash when you’re dead.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Says mom to her block-building son,
“It looks like before you are done
you may need a staddle.
I’m sure that your dad’ll
be glad to supply you with one.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The building which he had in mind
The architect wisely designed.
The structure would straddle
Some stones meant for staddle --
This worked out quite well we now find.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A top architect born in Seattle
Had a problem he just couldn’t straddle.
He found his salvation
In clever foundation,
And he’d prattle about his new staddle.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I just laugh at left-wing fiddle-faddle,”
Said John Wayne, riding tall in his saddle.
“To be straight, white, and male
Is humanity’s Grail;
Why, we’re civilization’s whole staddle.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


It’s those moments most inopportune
Mum selects as her time to dragoon.
“Empty this! Polish that!”
And, “Belay the back-chat!”
I’d refuse -- were I not a poltroon.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Viet Nam was invaded, and when
Our army dragooned many men;
There was little attraction
For a wrong “police action”,
And Canada beckoned them then.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Dragooned into coming today,
The toddler reacts with dismay.
He’s throwing a fit;
Our host he just bit --
Dear parents, please take him away!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Anu’s words I must sometimes dragoon
Into rhymes that my critics impugn.
But to vowels I stay true!
Mid-word consonants rue
How I treat them, but hey -- women swoon.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“No cheques, and no PayPal, no card,
Nor anything crypto -- that’s barred --
Just specie. Sounds specious?
Well, my name is Croesus,
Rich from dealing in coinage that’s hard.”
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

“True, we pirates don’t have many rules,
But in matters of loot we’re no fools.
We likes booty with weight.
Give us pieces of eight!
Treasure’s meant to be specie -- and jewels.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

To the seer says she, “In my dreams
I am suddenly wealthy. It seems
that a whole lot of specie
is given to me,” she
explains.”Can you tell what this means?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Please pay me in silver and gold
And not in those bills you can fold.
It’s value I crave
So specie I save,
A source of support when I’m old.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Bitcoin? Ya gotta be nuts!”
My investment advisor tut-tuts.
“You want specie, my friend!
Crypto money will end,
Leaving those with it flat on their bυtts!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

A wealthy young swell from Assisi
Gave away all his bank notes and specie.
Ahead of his time,
He preached, “Shun every dime,
And avoideth fast food, for ‘tis greasy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“’It won’ ‘urt you,’ she said. ‘Manual work
Is your ‘usbandly dootee. Don’ shirk!’
So, I thinks, bein’ savvy,
“Try yer luck as a navvy;
View slavin’ away as a perk.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

She’s invited some ladies to tea.
“We’ve done some remod’ling,” says she.
“My husband, who’s savvy
employed a good navvy.
Come in, please, and have a look-see!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A navvy who’s savvy will know
Just where all the girders should go.
He’ll work a long day,
For sure earn his pay --
They say that he’ll rake in the dough.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Perhaps you don’t think I’m too savvy,
But I built this boardwalk,” bragged the navvy.
“Now the shops by the beach
You can easily reach!”
Said his kids. “Buy us saltwater taffy!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Having moved far beyond normal speech,
Wife and daughter, at loggerheads, screech.
They employ compromis --
(Arbiter? Oh, dear -- me.)
Then united, they tell me I preach.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

The compromis lists stipulations
Determined by both of the nations.
For they have agreed
That someday they’ll need
Outsiders who’ll lead arbitrations.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said M, “Sir, why bother with compromis,
When instead we could send in Sean Connery?”
The PM responded,
“We love what James Bond did,
But these days, we’re more into colloquy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Said little Don Jr. to Ivanka, “Si-staddle on me for groping the maid, and Dad will just give me a big pat on the back.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When my husband told me he was going to go fishing less and do more with me, I said with a doubtful tone, “Staddle be the day.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

Vacationing in France, Oog told the concierge, “Tomorrow, moi want to dragoon femme à Lascaux pour regarder les cave paintings.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I now use gender-neutral pronouns almost exclusively, because it’specie.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“President Putin, should vee attempt ze destruction of America’s democracy?” “Navvy already haf Trump doingk it for us.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Compromis my melancholy baby.” The drunk in the bar sang.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said the Cajun signal officer, “I’m a compromis.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Boris Brittanica Canardis Lameticus
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Boris Brittanica Canardis Lameticus

British PM Boris Johnson has been forced to leave office with most of his Conservative cabinet deserting him. Like some visiting relatives who have overstayed their welcome, he seems defiant in his reluctance to exit 10 Downing St.. Clearly Johnson is trying to prolong his “farewell tour” till his replacement is chosen. Here, I’ve pictured him as a lame duck, just grousing (quacking?) in place.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind. -Hannah Senesh, poet, playwright, and paratrooper (17 Jul 1921-1944)

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