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AWADmail Issue 111

February 2, 2004

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages

From: Karen White (k109236ATmsn.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--swivet

Surely I remember my Chaucer correctly (swyve, which could have the same root as swivel). If one considers that a swivel chair twists and turns, and that an agitator in a washing machine twists and turns, then being in an agitated state seems like a perfect definition for swivet. I have visions of swiveters (please, let's make that a word!) wringing their hands in sweaty desperation.

From: David Warnick (dupont1536ATworldnet.att.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--allocution

It may be a formal speech, especially a hortatory one, but in a criminal trial, when the defendant has pleaded guilty, "to allocute" to the crime is to admit specifically and in detail to each separate element of the crime that the prosecution would otherwise have to prove.

From: Diane Borger (dianess2AThotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--empyreal

On the morning after my father passed away, January 29th, I opened my mail to find the word of the day, empyreal; 'celestial, relating to pure light, ascending to the heavens'... I cannot begin to tell you the emotion and sense of providence that brought about.

Just wanted you to know that your daily word of interest and enlightenment has also brought to one grieving woman an unintended, but deeply, spiritually moving impact as well.

From: Veronica Moriarty (vmoriartATsrhs.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--balneal

As a pharmacist I am intrigued by the trade names that pharmaceutical companies come up with for their products. Some names are based on the chemistry and/or pharmacokinetics of the drug, while others seem to be invented for their phonetic allure. I have always wondered where Solvay Pharmaceuticals got the name for their product "Balneol" -- a perianal cleansing lotion containing mineral oil and lanolin oil. The name makes much more sense now...

From: Rama Kulkarni (ramaa1ATpacbell.net)
Subject: balneal

Reading about the word balneal, reminded me of Mycobacterium balnei ("swimming pool mycobacterium") that can cause skin infections related to aquatic activity.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is its more famous relative!

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

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