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AWADmail Issue 112

February 8, 2004

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

From: James Dignan (grutnessATsurf4nix.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--finis

A perfect example of this is enquiry and inquiry. Both can be used to mean "a search for the truth", but 'enquiry' usually mean a simple question asked by a member of the public whereas 'inquiry' suggests an investigation by police, government, or other official organisations.

From: Keith R. Snyder (snyderkr1ATbigfoot.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--passel

I used "passel" in a toast at my daughter's wedding last year:

Today I gave a bride away,
Kit and caboodle and passel.
And now it is a relief to say,'
She's someone else's hassle.

From: Nickie Slarve (snicoletteATaol.com)
Subject: Misspellings

Recently in our area we've been seeing ads for a "Technical Institute," in which a young man who has artistic talent attends their school and then becomes a "drafter." This was bothering my husband and me for weeks, we finally looked it up to confirm our thoughts that he was instead a "draftsman." When our ponderous dictionary proved us right, I called the promotions department at their corporate headquarters, so they would know that they were advertising the chance for interested parties to carry or pull heavy loads. The gentleman who claimed responsibility for the ad was incredibly rude and said that they merely were using the job title that the young man's employer had given for his position. When I (in a very polite tone of voice, I might add) suggested that if I wanted to attend a "technical" institute that was using the wrong terminology for a job that I would indeed make another selection for the one to attend. At that point the gentleman hung up on me. My one intention was to point out their error to their benefit...people can be so touchy!

From: Tom Rische (trrischeATyahoo.com)
Subject: misspellings and computers

As I checked this message, my Spellchecker questioned the word "spellchecker" and its various forms.

From: Rip Green (wordadayATripg.net)
Subject: Stone Wine

The term "stone wine" appears twice in the well-known Civil War song, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

But what is stone wine?

I have searched the web and numerous dictionaries for definitions or derivations, but I cannot find one reference.

It is amazing that a term made up of two simple English words, that apparently was in common usage only 100 years ago, has totally disappeared from the lexicon.

Can you ask your 500,000 subscribers for their answers?

Dictionary: The universe in alphabetical order. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

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