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AWADmail Issue 128

July 27, 2004

A 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

Juggling Multiple Languages:

Jargon Busters:

From: Mehana (mehanaAThawaii.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--kilkenny cats

Republicans and democrats in the United States are clawing at each other like kilkenny cats to the point that I'm afraid all that will be left in November this year are two tails: one elephant and one donkey.

From: Don Hanson (drhanson34ATyahoo.com)
Subject: Flower (Re: running dog)

Your delightful note on Flower caused me to paws and recall my similar experiences with how well I was trained by our dog.

If she does a column or two in your stead, will she do it in cursive?

From: Cathy Cotton (cathycATpobox.com)
Subject: Flower

Dear Flower,

What a cool name! I'm a four-foot iguana and my name is Mary. How lucky you are to have a little girl to play with! So, you like to run? I don't do much running, but when I do, I'm really fast and scary because I'm all muscle.

My adopted mom complains all the time too and, she resists being trained. But I have the patience for both of us. Patience is in my blood because my ancestors have been around for ages and we eat lots of vegetables.

My human vocabulary is limited so I don't get much into your dad's emails, but he sounds like fun - mom seems to like AWAD anyway. Are you really thinking about filling in for your dad? If so, we could use some study of animal language. Whaddaya say?

My best,


PS - Don't drool on the keyboard. I did that once and mom cursed and was totally miserable for weeks afterwards. :-)

PPS - You seem to be doing well on the training. Here's a tip: when you REALLY want something, stare at them and shake your head up and down - this seems to amuse them heartily and makes them want to please you. I think it means "say yes!" in their mode of communication. Keep up the good work!

From: Tony Giles (tgilesATb2s.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--running dog

As a dog-lover, I enjoyed reading about your family dog, Flower, who chases cars. My own dog, Ginger, used to have the same habit when a puppy. I wrote a haiku on the subject that I'll share with you and your other readers:

Oh, silly puppy,
Chasing ev'ry passing car...
What if you caught one?

From: Jan Rahm (jan.rahmATlmco.com)
Subject: Flower the puppy

Your account of dealing with your new puppy was charming. It reminded me of my first dog, which my son and I adopted from the street rather than taking it to a shelter. Sabina was a female and was determined to be the dominant member of the household. An experienced dog person tried to help me, but the words that finally helped were, "You have to be a bigger bitch than she is." That I knew how to do.

From: Andrew Pressburger (andrew.pressburgerATprimus.ca)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--running dog

A very appropriate topic for the current canicule (dog days).

The Chinese were not the first ones to use canine imagery to apostrophize the enemy. When the inevitable falling-out between Stalin and Tito had finally occurred in 1948 or thereabouts, the Yugoslav was roundly and routinely denounced as the chained dog of imperialism.

From: Kathy Dillon (kathy.dillonATsympatico.ca)
Subject: Your Running Dog

I live in an apartment building (in Toronto, Canada). I'm on the seventh floor. There are two adjoining balconies. A couple of months ago, my neighbour on one side added a boarder and her cat for a temporary stay. One night, after dark, I went out on my balcony for a breath of "relatively" fresh air and encountered the cat. We were both startled and amazed to see each other. Since then, "Spock" (named so because he had big ears as a kitten) and I have truly bonded. With permission from real mommy I have become a step-mommy and enjoy almost daily visits from the cat (a black cat...no more worry about that superstition).

From: Jon Rutherford (jonrutherfordATsbcglobal.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--facile

Facile's pedigree traces back to "Indo-European root dhe (to set or put) which is also the source of do, deed, factory, fashion, face, rectify, defeat, sacrifice, satisfy, and many other words."

Shouldn't the list prominently include Homer Simpson's "Doh!"?

From: Libby Janda (scarletta13ATmn.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--philodox

At my high school, we voted the class philodox "Most Likely to become President of the USA". I think he may pull it off, too!

From: Tomislav Doslic (doslicATfaust.irb.hr)
Subject: philodox

How about "philophon" - Someone who loves the sound of his/her own voice; a talkative person. (Opinions are not important, as long as they can be expressed aloud and elaborated at length.)

From: Jacques Chevron (jacquesATjrcanda.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--polyglot

My family includes members from several countries. At the diner table we'd switch from one language to another depending on whom we were talking to or what language would best express what we wanted to say.

When one of our monolingual friends expressed amazement, my dad's favorite joke was to respond: "Yes. We are a family of troglodytes." No one ever corrected him.

From: Brian Christeson (briancATextern.com)
Subject: Bertrand Russell on fools and fanatics (Re: incult)

Philosopher, mathematician and writer, Bertrand Russell, once said, "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

Recently I came across this same quote in a science-fiction novel by James P. Hogan. When one character recited the quotation, another asked meretriciously, "Shouldn't he have said 'I think' at the end of that?"

From: Kristy Coker (cokerkATaisd.org)
Subject: Contests linguaphiles can appreciate

I'll bet many of the word lovers who subscribe to AWAD will enjoy the results of two writing contests, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (in which entrants attempt to write the worst first sentence to an imaginary novel) and the Faux Faulkner contest (entrants parody Faulkner's style on a variety of topics). More info at bulwer-lytton.com and hemispheresmagazine.com.

Here is where people, / One frequently finds, / Lower their voices / And raise their minds. -Richard Armour, author, on libraries (1906-1989)

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