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Mar 3, 2024
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AWADmail Issue 1131

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

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

“Dune” and the Delicate Art of Making Fictional Languages
The New Yorker

About Those Immigrating Languages That “Nobody Speaks”
The Washington Post

From: Sarah Viaggi (sarah.viaggi gmail.com)
Subject: Alible

Thank you so much for enriching my vocabulary with this new word. My (long ago) degree was in Nutrition Science and I was a clinical dietitian for many years. I don’t remember EVER hearing this word. Even as we age we try new foods and, thanks to you, new words.

Sarah Viaggi, RD, CDE (retired), San Jose, California

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From: Brenda J. Gannam (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)
Subject: alible

Of all the things that are detrimental to our health, I would posit that junk food is outranked by junk writing. For not all that we read is alible for our minds or our spirits.

Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York

From: Karlynn Morgan (karlynnmorgan earthlink.net)
Subject: fulgurant

As a shell collector, people often bring me fulgurites to ask me “What shell is this?” Explaining a fulgurite is always a challenge.

Karlynn Morgan, Winston Salem, North Carolina

From: Katherine Butler (4192butlerkw comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fulgurant

The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. -John Steinbeck, novelist, Nobel laureate (27 Feb 1902-1968)

And to think Steinbeck didn’t even know Trump!

Katherine Butler, Albany, Oregon

From: Anne O’Brien (akobrien9 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--heliotropic

I laughed at the mention of heliotropic mirrors on tall buildings, recalling the “Walkie Scorchie” of London. A glass skyscraper with a concave facade that focused sunlight (unintentionally, according to the architects), it could melt cars and fry eggs on the street below! (video, 3 min.) Archimedes would have been proud.

Anne O’Brien, Chicago, Illinois

From: Carlton Johnson (ctj.32803 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--heliotropic

In 2013, the same time as the usage example for today’s word of the day, there was this Atlantic article about the use of large mirrors to track and project the light of the sun to a Norwegian village which spent a lot of time in darkness because of the high mountains that surround the city. (video, 3 min.)

Carlton Johnson, Winter park, Florida

From: Michael Sivertz (sivertz bnl.gov)
Subject: Thought for today

We should not be simply fighting evil in the name of good, but struggling against the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found. -Tzvetan Todorov, philosopher (1 Mar 1939-2017)

I was struck by your selection for the Thought for Today, and how in this highly polarized time we become more and more certain of the dividing line between good and evil. It put me in mind of the statement Oliver Cromwell made to the Church of Scotland in 1650: “I Beseech You, in the Bowels of Christ, Think it Possible You May Be Mistaken”. And if you have a strong stomach, no one said it better than Jacob Bronowski in the TV series The Ascent of Man (video, 4 min.)

Mike Sivertz, Upton, New York

Plot Twist
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: anfractuous and heliotropic

I’ve resurrected the game “Twister”, originally called “Pretzel”, which debuted in 1966. Curiously, the game got a huge popularity boost when actress Eva Gabor played Twister on The Tonight Show with host Johnny Carson. Rival toy companies bad-mouthed this very physical game, labelling it “sεx in a box”. Here, I’ve brought Trump and Putin together, playing Putin’s “Capture the NATO Countries” version of Twister. Trump is clearly into it, as their bromance continues, even though it appears Putin has the distinct advantage.

Rise and Shine
The word heliotropic inspired this botanical scenario of a sunflower and one more adapted to shade. Begonias, hydrangeas, foxglove and coleus come to mind as “shady” flowers. On a side-note, Ukraine was one of the world’s major growers and exporters of sunflower seeds. With Putin’s war in its third year, one can only presume that Ukraine’s sunflower seed yields and export have dropped off precipitously.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


1. Alible
2. Fulgurant
3. Anfractuous
4. Heliotropic
5. Antelucan
= 1. A foul eat
2. Aphotic
3. Uncurling; unbent
4. Still face
5. Auroral
An antigram
-Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

This week’s theme: Adjectives
1. Alible
2. Fulgurant
3. Anfractuous
4. Heliotropic
5. Antelucan
= 1. Alimental
2. Lucent
3. Evokes circuitous
4. Face the aerial sunlight path
5. Just before dawn
= 1. Healthful
2. e.g. Jack-o’-lantern
3. Circuitous plait, belt
4. Get ‘em to face sun
5. Sunrise view ahead
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)
= 1. Beneficial value to gut (juice)
2. Camera flash
3. Careens
4. To like hot sun; thus, tilt
5. Pre-dawn
= 1. A meal I love to eat
2. Lucent; lit up
3. Such acute, jerkish turns
4. Fancies a light
5. Before dawn
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Oh, it’s tasty enough -- but dismay!
It’s not alible -- take it away!
Food must nourish, contain
Nutrients that sustain,
Whether snack or a wedding buffet.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

Oh dear! You look sickly and frail.
You need to get healthy and hale.
My advice, never fallible,
Is to eat something alible
Like kohlrabi or carrots or kale.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Though an alible meal Mom would make,
Not a bite would her bratty boy take.
Good food he’d refuse,
But later he’d choose
To consume lots of candy and cake.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The mother said, “Put that snack back!”
Of what her kids ate, she kept track.
“An alible treat,
I’d rather you eat.”
“Can’t I have a cookie?” whined Jack.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“While veggies are certainly alible,
They’re not what we crave,” said the cannibal.
“Missionaries who come
To convert us are yum,
And not innocent like some poor animal.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


With their fulgurant, passion-filled eyes
Women toy with us vuln’rable guys.
We are innocent, meek;
So suggestible, weak --
Or mayhap that’s the hunter’s disguise?
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

To meet me she plotted with guile,
And I dated her then for a while.
Though her mesmeric charms
Had set off alarms,
I was doomed by her fulgurant smile.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

They were quite a spectacular sight,
Those fulgurant flashes of light.
But scared in my tent,
I knew that they meant
I couldn’t go pee all that night.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

What on earth is that fulgurant light
That keeps flooding my window tonight?
I’d not mind it, you know,
If someone would show
Why it’s there! So my hair won’t turn white!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

She said of her husband named Kyle,
That he had such a fulgurant smile.
His teeth were so bright;
Kept her up the whole night.
She had not slept a wink in a while.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Lois, “You couldn’t be duller, Kent;
I want someone with spark, someone fulgurant.
With red cape and blue tights,
When we turn out the lights
He’ll talk dirty; we girls like a vulgar bent.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The best film plots and novels, I’d say,
Are anfractuous -- so, too, the play --
With a chain of events
That intrigues and torments
Till the very last scene of the day.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

The Highway to Hana, you’ll find,
Is narrow -- and, boy, does it wind!
That anfractuous route
Is considered a beaut,
Although not if you’re carsick-inclined.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Uh, oh! we’ve got trouble galore!
Our compass won’t work anymore!
The path is anfractuous,
Our guide’s not come back to us,
Our feet (and our tempers!) are sore!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

A famed San Francisco old street,
Is named Lombard, and it’s very neat.
Its anfractuous route
Is great fun to commute,
And no visit without it’s complete.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“An apple!” said Isaac. “Miraculous!
It shows you how life is anfractuous!
That bump on the head
Could have killed me. Instead,
Huge advances in physics and calculus!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Being heliotropic, I tend
To rotate through the day -- and my end?
That I bask in the light
Of the sun, morn’ till night --
I’m a daisy -- why else would I bend?
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

The botanist has expertise
And lectures for hours with ease
His favorite topic?
Plants heliotropic --
Please don’t get him started on these!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The winter for me is no fun.
But summer is second to none.
When it comes to the topic,
I’m heliotropic.
I do like to worship the sun.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“We daisies are heliotropic;
From being in shade we get no kick,”
Said the flowers. “But please
leave us out in the breeze;
In a vase we become claustrophobic.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“The ideas that I value the most
Come at times antelucan,” I boast.
“In that limbo, pre-dawn,
Books and poems will spawn.
It’s my muse, hard at work, at her post.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

My dog, once again, starts to bark.
I’m awakened, although it’s still dark.
Antelucan’s the hour;
My mood’s getting dour.
Why can’t he get lost in some park?
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

When I said “antelucan” today
My neighbor asked, “What did you say?”
“Before dawn comes,” I said.
She nodded her head.
Simple speech is by far the best way.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

My alarm antelucan I hate;
I would really much rather sleep late.
I’d like to press “snooze,”
But if I so choose,
My new boss will not think me so great.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“My colorful bill,” said the toucan,
“Goes to waste when the time’s antelucan.
Joan and Sally come fawn
When they see it at dawn,
But there’s no one can do me like Sue can.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“It’s not easy being inf-alible, is it, bro?” sighed Donald to the Pope.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Furious at being covered in alien slime, the starship captain went on an aw-fulgurant.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Sure, go ahead anfractuous and our land to pieces and spit us out,” said the bitter tribal leader to the oil company representative.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

He called his Hawaiian chopper tour of the Islands, Heliotropic.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Ah’m a-gonna heliotropic-al disease wit’ dese here herbs,” the Alabama naturopath assured the returning explorer.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

My antelucan beat all her nieces and nephews at chess.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

“Matthew, Mark, and John never suffered the writer’s block which plagued the fourth Evangelist. Thus there were only three Gospels during the Antelucan Period,” explained the bible scholar.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Color Blinded
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Color Blinded!

This past weekend Trump was invited to the Black Conservative Federation’s annual gathering to receive their inaugural “Champions of Black America” award. His rambling acceptance speech was filled with lies and blatant pandering. “In fact, my favorite color is black!” A video from the event showed that close to 85% of the audience was White. Trump has a decades-long history of racism.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

If there be such a thing as truth, it must infallibly be struck out by the collision of mind with mind. -William Godwin, philosopher and novelist (3 Mar 1756-1836)

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