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Aug 7, 2022
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AWADmail Issue 1049

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

Sponsor’s Message: “College is a scam.” The perfect antidote to today’s almost useless and laughably expensive university degree, as well as membership in an exclusive community of like-minded recalcitrants and kings -- the Old’s Cool Academy is a rigorous Great Books and traditional skills-based classical education for anyone ready to quote Homer, build a boat, or bite the ass off a bear. Get schooled.

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

Can Artificial Intelligence Really Help Us Talk to the Animals?
The Guardian

Germany Should Make English an Official Language
The Washington Post

New Words in French Dictionaries Show “Great Suppleness” of Language
The Guardian

From: Patrick Rossiter (pat.rossiter6 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--obtrude...re: lack of verbs

Science fiction writer Jack Vance wrote a novel The Languages of Pao in which one of the races/peoples encountered on a distant planet (but aren’t they all distant planets) had a language with no verbs. An interesting read by an author who excelled at descriptions if not always at dialog in my humble, and perhaps uninformed, opinion.

Patrick Rossiter, Lakewood, Colorado

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

From: Jonathan Gellman (jonathansg yahoo.com)
Subject: discerp

Carpe oratio. Seeing an image of Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up the State of the Union speech after it was delivered by the recently impeached President evokes the impression that she must be thinking: “When a guest is terrible, his speech is tearable.” First discern, then discerp.

Jonathan Gellman, Pleasantville, New York

From: Jeff Sconyers (sconyers.jeff gmail.com)
Subject: Eluting

A drug-eluting stent -- used to keep occluded coronary arteries from re-occluding after balloon angioplasty, for example -- is impregnated with a drug that prevents plaque build-up; it doesn’t wash out or extract anything, it puts the needed drug at the needed point. This may be an example of a specialist use of the word.

Jeff Sconyers, Seattle, Washington

From: Richard Ball (richball comcast.net)
Subject: elute

I learned the word elutriation when I was grinding a telescope mirror many years ago.

If you were Isaac Newton and you wanted to grind a mirror for your reflecting telescope, you’d need grit, grinding compounds from coarse to very fine. So if you’d take your grinding sand and pour it into a long tube full of water, in a few seconds you’d collect all the biggest grit at the bottom of the tube. Save it. Fill the tube with fresh water and start over, and wait longer than a few seconds and you’d collect smaller grit at the bottom of the tube. Repeat the process, each time waiting longer until you are waiting a very long time between pours and eventually collecting grit the size of dust particles. Then grind away on your mirror blank from course grit to fine. Nowadays you can get all the grits you need from an online supplier. But absent that you’d need elutriation, essentially a process to wash dirt.

Rich Ball, Oak Park, Illinois

From: Anne Thomas Lane (makeboxes gmail.com)
Subject: micrify

I submit smallify as the next step up from micrify. This word was coined by one of my sisters at a very early age. I use it often.

Anne Thomas Lane, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mundify Extremis
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: mundify and micrify

Back in the day, parents would use the threat of washing their youngsters’ mouths out with soap as a punishment for using “dirty” words or even taking the Lord’s name in vain. This rather crude mode of mundification has thankfully grown out of favor. These days, temporary grounding, confiscating cell phones, restricting TV watching, have proven to be more effective.

The DINO in the Room
In this scenario, Biden hasn’t been micrified, and yet next to gargantuan Manchinosuarus-rex, he appears downsized. Manchin, a right-leaning Democrat representing West Virginia, with strong ties to the fossil fuel industry, often sides with the Republicans. With Dems having the a hair-thin majority in the Senate, Manchin’s failure to fall in line with his fellow Democratic senators has been beyond maddening. So, just as Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney have been marginalized as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), obfuscator Manchin fits the profile of a DINO.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s nodal theme: Verbs
1. Obtrude
2. Mundify
3. Discerp
4. Micrify
5. Elute
= 1. She’d foist her view on meek mum
2. Rinser
3. Cut up tyre
4. Distil
5. By ceded flab
     This week’s theme: Verbs
1. Obtrude
2. Mundify
3. Discerp
4. Micrify
5. Elute
= 1. Thrust my view
2. I feel pure
3. Shred
4. Become dinky
5. Scrub fetid items
     This week’s theme: Verbs
1. Obtrude
2. Mundify
3. Discerp
4. Micrify
5. Elute
= 1. I meddle
2. Purify
3. Sever
4. Reduce them to crumbs
5. It benefits whisky
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



He is one of those chaps who obtrude.
He must foist his opinions -- so rude!
I’ve tried sneers - and abuse:
He’s thick-skinned, so no use:
And what’s even more galling, he’s shrewd.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“Excuse me, sir, don’t think me rude,
On your fancies I’m loath to obtrude.
But I wonder if you
Were aware -- if you knew --
That you’re standing out here in the nυde!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

On beaches where people go nυde,
One can see how much male parts obtrude.
Whether straight, bi, or gay,
You will find on display
What you like -- but to comment is rude.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Every Monday the same. From first light,
The debauched come to make matters right.
(I’ve the naughtiest flock.)
Sinners queued round the block -
Some I’ll mundify while they’re still tight.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“Our nation we’ll soon mundify,
Those not Christian and White nullify,”
Say Repubs. “What elections?
We’ll make the selections,
And sing our democracy’s lullaby.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Says the sheriff, “It’s been a whole year
since that culprit went missing from here.
Who knew that the perp
was gonna discerp
all the evidence, then disappear!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The frustrated archivist said,
“Most documents Donald would shred.
What sort of a twerp
Would always discerp
Each memo which he has just read?”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

His soup he would constantly slurp,
And then after a meal, he would burp.
His manners were lacking,
So she sent him packing.
“And our license,” she said, “I’ll discerp.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

From our birdbath, I once heard this chirp:
“Sir, our cousin please do not discerp.”
Imagined or real,
The plea ruined my meal;
Towards my chicken I felt like a perp.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“This kettle,” says she, “when I’m through,
will be just as good as when new.
And once it’s eluted,
‘twill be better suited
to making our famed witches’ brew!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Her lab partner, oh so astute,
Says, “Proteins we now will elute.”
And she is impressed --
“My classmate’s the best,
A chemist both brainy and cute.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Now his dry cleaner was quite astute,
For she got all the stains from his suit.
He exclaimed, “My, oh my,
How did you clean that tie?”
“Just a solvent I used to elute.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

With a grand and magnificent toot,
From inside me the gas I elute.
Though “That’s gross!” say my friends,
Are they Barbies and Kens?
I think not, and their point is thus moot.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


There are women at large, so I’ve heard,
Who can micrify men with a word.
Some, indeed -- these are rare --
May have only to stare
To reduce oafish brutes to absurd.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

A mini-computer I own!
Most people would call it a phone.
With its micrified bits,
In my pocket it fits --
And very attached I have grown.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“The mob will arrive by and by;
Call up Pence and explain, ‘Mike, you’ll die,’”
Said Donald. But Rudy
Replied, “He’s been moody;
The voting he won’t micrify.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


I hope Steve and Joan won’t mundify join them in the punster corner this week.
-David Sacks, Avondale Estates, Georgia (david davidsacks-rla.com)

“Hang Mike Pence! We’re a m-obtrude-uh our Donald!” shouted the rioters.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

It’s a wonder of nature how sal-mundify the odds to swim upstream past rocks and waterfalls to spawn.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“When he gits to de O.K. Corral, we’ll shoot discerp guy,” said Ike Clanton.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Ye ken, discerp-ent in Loch Ness is a mystery to be sure.” MacTavish pondered.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“This be Stone Age, so me start Rock band,” said Oog. “Oog Jr. play ram’s horn, m-elute, and my friend Roongo drum.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“With interest rates so low, will Micrify his house? On the next episode of ‘Former Vice Presidents: What Are They Up To?’ we’ll find out!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Pelosi Takes the Heat
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Pelosi Takes the Heat

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan ignited a firestorm of outrage from Beijing. Particularly piqued was Chairman Xi, who viewed Pelosi’s hobnobbing with the Taiwanese regime as tantamount to consorting with the enemy. Here, Xi, despite attempting to immolate Pelosi, unleashing his inner “hidden dragon”, is foiled by the canny stateswoman, who defiantly stands her ground, digging in her high-heels, impervious to Xi’s fiery rhetoric.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

No amount of belief makes something a fact. -James Randi, magician and skeptic (7 Aug 1928-2020)

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