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AWADmail Issue 232

October 22, 2006

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 wordsmith.org)
Subject: Wordsmith.org online chats

Everything you wanted to know about etymology but were afraid to ask. Our guest in this live chat is Anatoly Liberman, author of "Word Origins and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone". The event will take place on Oct 29, 2006, 7 pm Pacific (GMT -8).

Why bother studying American dialects? Chat with Joan H. Hall, Chief Editor, Dictionary of American Regional English on Nov 14, 2006, 6 pm Pacific (GMT -8).

For more details, please see wordsmith.org/chat.

Mark your calendars.

From: Ensorcellor (from the bulletin board)
Subject: Books Are Not As Attractive To Thieves

Reading your list on the merits of hardcover books brought back a memory of my English teacher, MaryVirginia Rosenfeld, from John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana. She said she never bothered to lock her car because "nobody steals books", and in 30 years she has never been proven wrong. In 1970 she distributed a bibliography entitled "Great Books For a Lifetime's Reading"; I am still working on it. My dear Miss Rosenfeld, now curled up in the most comfortable reading chair in the great beyond (it has excellent light plus tea and cookies at hand), you are never forgotten.

Read the whole thread and discuss at wordsmith.org/board.

From: Mary Cope (copem comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bibliopegy

There was a time when I would have agreed with you about paper books still being OK with me. There is nothing like curling up with a good book any time of the year.

Now that I am legally blind, however, and can no longer curl up with a print book, this new scanner is a blessing. Most of my books I get on tape or I download audio books. But there are books and articles that never make it to an audio form. This is extremely frustrating. And not all print books and magazines find their way into Braille (not that I can read Braille at any really satisfying speed). So the scanning programs that convert text to audio are really a godsend for those of us who can no longer read print because of blindness, dyslexia, or physical handicap.

From: Duncan A Hall (duncan.hall eds.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bibliopegy

I remember reading an Isaac Asimov story about what an electronic book should have:

From asimovonline.com
"What is the title of the essay that Asimov wrote concerning the ultimate self-contained, portable, high-tech reading device of the future which turns out to be a book? Where can I find it? The title of the essay is "The Ancient and the Ultimate". It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in January 1973, and appeared in the Doubleday collections The Tragedy of the Moon (1972) and Asimov on Science (1989)."

From: Mark W. Feldman (mwfeldman sprynet.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hornbook

Gee, I always thought "hornbook" referred to a pornographic magazine for horny guys...

From: Katherine Day (kblday twcny.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--pericope

In Biblical studies, pericope is a term that is used constantly: most commentary is on a small piece from one book of scripture, after all (the whole being so very, very large).

Whether for preaching or for scholarship, the pericope is the most used form of scripture. As a seminary-trained priest (Episcopal) with a classical background, I have long been charmed by possible synonyms for pericope. The Greek sense of something cut out of something larger leads me to the English "cutlet", which in turn takes me to the German "Schnitzel", and the non-Euclidean geometry term, via German, of "Schnitt", a piece of a line cut off. It's a cheap thrill, enjoyed only by dorky scholars like me, but I do like to think of myself as working on a Schnitzel when I'm preparing the sermon. (I've never, ever laid that on my congregation . . . )

It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. -Robert Southey (1774-1843)

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