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AWADmail Issue 146

December 5, 2004

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

From: Richard W. Davis (richard.w.davisATcingular.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hie

The word hie brings back fond memories of my Grandmother. As a child I loved watching her work in her kitchen, especially around the holidays. If I got in her way or started asking too many questions, Grandma would point her long finger to the door and say, "Hie thee hence!" I read the phrase much later in Shakespeare (Henry VI). And through Shakespeare I came to realize that "hie thee hence" was probably the Elizabethan equivalent of "scram".

From: Cindy O'Keefe (jcparadocsATameritech.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--vet

To doctor vs. to vet... Unfortunately, in this day and age we are much more likely to ask a human doctor to alter us in unnatural ways just as the word use describes.

From: Audrey Bailey (harmonyhouseATwebtv.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sic

Something I read years ago and I have been giggling about it ever since.

"At Scotland's Glasgow University, the following note was seen hanging on a lecturer's door: 'Today's tutorial is cancelled because Mr. N. is il.' After the misspelled final word, someone had added: '(sic)'."

From: Matt Drenth (vze3373qATverizon.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sic

I always thought sic was actually an acronym "Spelling/speech in context". Is there any truth to this understanding?

    It's one of those acronyms that are coined after the fact. Some other examples of spurious acronyms:
    news : north, east, west, south
    golf : gentlemen only, ladies forbidden
    tip : to insure promptness
    -Anu Garg

From: Charles Coleman (charles_colemanATinnovations.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tog

In Australia, your 'togs' are your swim suit, or 'cossie' (short for costume).

From: Ri Weal (poetriATactrix.co.nz)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tog

In New Zealand your togs are not your clothes, but your swimming costume. So a Kiwi reads your second quote:
"We wore our best surfing togs: light blue Levi cords, Pendleton shirts, Converse sneakers."
and thinks, man, I'd never go swimming like that!

From: Patrick Williamson (williamsonpATada.org)
Subject: Animals and People

Michael Pollard's quote about the intelligence of pigs and our schiziod relationship with animals reminded me of a story I once heard. A city fellow was invited to spend a weekend at a friend's farm. Several things were new to the city fellow, but the strangest thing he saw was a pig with a fancy artificial limb. When asked about it, the farmer replied "That is no ordinary pig. Last year our house caught fire while we were sleeping, and that pig knocked his snout against our bedroom window, woke us all up, saved our lives. Another time, little junior was swimming in the creek and hit his head on a rock. The pig dove in, grabbed Junior by the trunks and hauled him out. A pig like that, you don't eat 'em all at once."

I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything. -Steven Wright, comedian (1955- )

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