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AWADmail Issue 126

June 19, 2004

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

From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the net

Web Site Maps U.S. Language Tapestry:

Behold the Talking Chimp:

From: Danielle Carpenter Sprungli (carpenterATwbcsd.org)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--napiform

In your article you say "My computer science department building was located cater-corner from Severance Hall..."

Did you know that, according to a Harvard survey based on 10,706 respondents in the US, you are among the 1.34% of those people who use cater-corner as opposed to kitty-corner (49.53%) or catty-corner (30.38%) when referring to something that is diagonally across from you? I took the time to look this up because I had never heard or seen "cater-corner" and wondered where it came from. As it turns out, this has come about due to a difference in dialect and not a difference in word usage, although I believed it was the latter... Maybe a subject for future weeks?

From: Bill Reynolds (bill_reynATyahoo.com)
Subject: people characteristics

In the movie "Splash", Madison did not know what a wrapped present was. She sat admiring the wrapping until she was urged to open it. With a delightfully surprised expression, she said, "There's more?" Inside the wrapping was a music box.

From: Mark DiMassimo (markATdimassimo.com)
Subject: Music in the Soul

As an advertising man and all around brand advocate, I can tell you why you found those ads for lifts and tucks in the classical music program.

Unfortunately, the audience for classical music is alarmingly old and aging. The advertisers and their agencies know this, thus the ads. If you ever get a chance to see, read or meet Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, seize the opportunity. He is an absolutely brilliant performance artist in addition to his other proficiencies. He tackles the subject of the 3% audience -- the classical music industry thinks 3% of Americans is about all the audience they can aspire to -- and is inspiring on the subject of the music in our souls as well.

From: John Marshall (johnATshadowbroadcast.com)
Subject: ads in concert programs

Believe me, very few of the advertisers are in the book because that is the most efficient use of their ad dollars, each advertiser is begged, coerced, bribed or otherwise lied to about the value of advertising in most any arts program. The reason you were able to enjoy Beethoven, Hayden, Dvorak is because of some "lovers of the arts" with "real music in their souls", raised the money for each and every performance. Who cares about their motive? Without them the arts are dead.

From: Frannie Brozo (qaATloftonlabel.com)
Subject: Intro to this week's subject

Thank you for the sensitive introduction to this week's set of words. It resonates with the feeling produced by the book I'm reading that deals with WWI and facial injury reconstruction. As is today, so many young people survive, are healed (as much as possible), and go on to live a life dealing with people who never bother to look for 'the music within'. I was humbled by several of the passages I read. Thank you for the reminder.

From: Janet Bass Smith (jlbsmithpianoATinsightbb.com)
Subject: Re your comments about orchestra concerts

I am the marketing director for the Bowlng Green Chamber Orchestra in Bowling Green, Kentucky. One of the things we are trying to do is get rid of the "stuffiness" connected with orchestra concerts. Our Maestro mingles with the crowd as they enter the theatre and does not make a "grand entrance" on stage. We still have the orchestra dressed in the usual black tuxes, but part of the reason for that is not to have the audience distracted by various colors of dress. Along with the classics (Copland, Bernstein, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach etc.), we program Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bluegrass, the Beatles, and Mannheim Steamroller. People may and do come dressed casually.

Our program booklet is NOT filled with ads for plastic surgeons. Our main sponsors are an overhead garage door company, car dealerships, several banks, several attorneys, several doctors who are NOT plastic surgeons.

From: Steph Selice (redheditorATaol.com)
Subject: Happy 100th Bloomsday (see labrose)

FWIW, I was supposed to be born on Bloomsday 1957 but showed up three days early. Fortunately, despite this oversight, June 16th is still a literary milestone worldwide. : )

Here's a website that strips James Joyce's Ulysses down to its essentials. Raise a pint to the master and enjoy!

From: Carolyn Jones Silver (carsilverATjuno.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gauche

For the benefit of new AWAD subscribers, and any others who may not have seen your book A WORD A DAY, could I ask you to reprint one of the best word jokes? I can't lay hands on my copy (stolen, most likely). Anyway, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, when he was Canadian prime minister, listened patiently to a socialist delegate expounding interminably and gracelessly. At the end, Trudeau said simply, "How fortunate we are in this country, Mr. Speaker, that our left is more gauche than sinister."

While language is forming, writers are applauded for extending its limits; when established, for restricting themselves to them. -Isaac Disraeli, writer (1766-1848)

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