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AWADmail Issue 176

September 3, 2005

From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
Subject: Chat with Laughter Guru

Discover the magic of laughter: discuss the idea behind laughing for no reason with Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of the laughter yoga movement and laughter clubs worldwide. Online chat, Sep 6, 2005.

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

'No, there are no F***ing postcards':

Language Born of Colonialism Thrives Again in Amazon:

Reading With Our Ears:

Books by the Numbers:
According to these numbers, with my book you get 3,216 words per dollar or 4,646 words per ounce.

From: Marilyn Waggoner (mrmjwATuhhg.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rhinorrhea

Ever since having become a medical transcriptionist, I have loved this word, because of the mental image it conjures up (do you, too, see a rhinoceros with a water bottle on his head and tons of Puffs Plus lying about?)

But your inclusion of the related word, logorrhea, made me smile from ear to ear, because in the past I have been accused of circumlocution (flailing about the proverbial herbiferous undergrowth) and being excessively loquacious, but I believe logorrhea describes my malady much more accurately.

That is, if you can call it a malady. . . I love nothing better than the "perfect word" for what I am attempting to convey!

From: Ellison Goodall (brideyrevisitedATaol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--alexiteric

From Today in Literature's mailing for 8/30/05:

"On this day in 30 BC, Cleopatra committed suicide. Death by self-inflicted asp was no whim: Cleopatra's search for a painless exit caused more than one unfortunate to be experimentally force-fed this or that drug or snake. The dress-rehearsing done, came the final act: "Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have / Immortal longings in me. . . ."

Is it coincidence or clever historic consideration that placed alexiteric as today's AWAD offering? An alexiteric would have thwarted those immorting longings....great word, thank you!

From: William S. Haubrich, MD (willhaubATaol.com)
Subject: alexiteric

"Alexiteric" brings to mind another medical term of different Greek origin and meaning. "Alexithymia" combines the Greek a-, without; lexis, word or expression; and thymos, mental state or mood. It is a condition wherein a person is unable to express a certain emotion in its true terms but rather resorts to symptoms. For example, not being aware of, or unable to express, his condition as "depression", he complains rather of poor appetite, constipation, and inability to sleep soundly. Such symptoms, properly interpreted, often respond favorably to anti-depressive medication.

From: William Hunt (wwhunt1917ATsocal.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fomites

As an example of the word fomites: here is a link telling of British using blankets of patients who died of smallpox to infect Indians with smallpox: nativeweb.org.

From: Rudy Rosenberg Sr. (rrosenbergsrATaccuratechemical.com)
Subject: fomites

By definition, if I am a Semite, is my wife a fomite?

From: William Hunt (wwhunt1917ATsocal.rr.com) Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--styptic

When I started shaving about seventy years ago, an essential part of every blade razor shaving kit was 'styptic pencil'. It made minor cuts stop bleeding by making walls of small blood vessels contract.

I couldn't remember the name of the active ingredient, and had to look up an ad for it, to learn that the active ingredient is aluminum sulfate. Forgive the Spam, here's the ad.

From: Jonathan Gellman (jonathansgATyahoo.com)
Subject: Re: AWADmail Issue 175

Your comment about spelling b reast to avoid inane corporate filters reminds me of the time I had a message bounced about the first word in the Hebrew Bible: bereshit [in the beginning]. Only a mindless filter could convert the sacred into the profane so readily.

From: Edward Pechter, MD (drpechterATaol.com) Subject: sizing breasts (Re: AWADmail Issue 175)

In response to my request in AWADmail Issue 175 on August 28 for the best term to describe the distance across a single breast I received over 250 e-mails from generous linguaphiles around the world. Many neologisms were proposed, such as "breastance", a combination of breast and distance, and "tidth", which needs no explanation. Because of the similarity of my surname to the pectoral muscles of the chest a great many variations of my name were offered: very funny, guys. Of the many descriptive terms offered, including amplitude, beam, chord, depth, diameter, girth, latitude, protuberance, and width, my favorites were arc and span, both submitted by multiple individuals. Many still prefer 'breast breadth' despite the pronunciation issues but that would force me to conclude that my patients seeking augmentation suffer from 'shortness of breadth' or, worse, 'bad breadth.' I tried to answer everyone who replied but in case I missed anyone I again offer my sincere thanks for your time and wisdom. I gained renewed appreciation for the work Anu does putting together this service. Sorting through hundreds of e-mails is quite a task even for a couple of days; doing it for years at a time is a heroic undertaking for which we all owe him our gratitude.

The great men in literature have usually tried to bring the written word into harmony with the spoken, instead of encouraging an exclusive language to write in. -John Erskine, novelist, poet, and essayist (1879-1951)

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