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AWADmail Issue 140

October 24, 2004

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

From: Patricia Smith (patriciassmith1ATcs.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--stump speech

In the frontier days of the US when the forests were being cleared, the settlers gathered in a clearing and the politician stood on a tree stump so he could be seen and heard. A lot of drawings are floating around of Abraham Lincoln standing on stump. I think one of my early history books had such a pix.

From: John Ryan (johnryan4ATearthlink.net)
Subject: stump speech

When Ole Gene Talmadge campaigned for governor and senator in Georgia in the 1930s and the 1940s, the woods had been so denuded that he had to take a portable stump with him to some venues.

From: Ronda McDiarmid-Reid (rmcdiarmidATshaw.ca)
Subject: Make your vote count

As a non-American - but a North American (yes, Canadian), I cannot tell you how many people I have had political discussions with in the previous four weeks about the American election - and how we all figure that we should be allowed to vote in this election. This decision can and will affect my life, just as much as it will affect the citizens of the USA. Making an informed decision and voting is a precious commodity that many do not understand the value.

From: Marvant Duhon (mduhonATbluemarble.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--October surprise

I grew up in Louisiana, and my family paid considerable interest to politics. The term "October Surprise" was in use for practices throughout the South from the 1960's (I would not know about earlier) onward. The commonest forms were the "Saturday Night Surprise" where fliers were put in mail boxes and the "Sunday Morning Surprise" where they were put on cars during church services, generally on the last weekend or two before the election. Typically there would be a revelation of a miscegenational nature, such as black ancestry or another mixed race ancestry. It has not been that long since the Bush campaign smashed John McCain (who did not realize that he had to make a prominent denial to such trash) in a presidential primary by a "Sunday Morning Surprise" that claimed his adopted daughter was a "mixed race love child".

From: Macklin Smith (macklinsATumich.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--heretic

I think of heresy, heretically, as the losing side in a religious controversy. It is a good thing to be reminded of the etymology, from Greek, in the verb "to choose".

Heretics have had their books--or even their bodies--burned for promulgating such ideas as: we are born naturally good, not stained by sin (Pelagius); the bread and wine of the Eucharist are symbolic, not substantial (certain university professors); it is a worthy thing to translate the Bible into English (John Wycliffe).

The orthodox opinion, of course, is that orthodoxy is divinely sanctioned.

From: Lisa Aziz-zadeh (lsaATucla.edu)
Subject: anagram experts needed

We are doing a brain mapping (fMRI) study on anagrams and creativity and need anagram experts to participate. The study is located in West Los angeles, and starts immediately. You must be right handed and a native English speaker to participate. you will be compensated $25/hr for your time. If you live in los angeles and are interested, please let me know if you are interested ASAP.

By words the mind is winged. -Aristophanes, dramatist (c. 448-385 BCE)

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