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AWADmail Issue 320

August 17, 2008

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

From: Roberta G (robertag clear.net.nz)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--loquacious
Def: Talkative; wordy.

This has appeared fairly recently in the film "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Hermione Granger, Harry's friend, in trying to explain her relationship with Viktor Krum, Harry's rival in the TriWizard Tournament, says:

"We don't really talk at all... Viktor is more of a *physical* being." Fearing misinterpretation, she goes on to say, "I just mean he is not particularly loquacious."

Nice to see the next generation having their vocabulary expanded by a medium which is often considered to be making them dumber.

From: Toni Finley (cupcakencorset gmail.com)
Subject: loquacious

Ah, loquacious! It takes me right back to 10th grade advanced English, when it was a favorite word of my teacher. She loved language and teaching, a good combination in an English teacher, no doubt, and would trill at the class when we got too loud or were slow to settle down, "Oooh, children, you are too loquacious and vivacious today!" Thanks for the memory jolt.

From: John George (john.george enmu.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--austral
Def: Southern.

In addition to the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) that can be seen near the North Pole, there are also Southern Lights, called Aurora Australis, at the other end of the Earth.

From: Gwenda Caplan (dcaplan global.co.za)
Subject: Austral

Here is a wonderful example of serendipity. A few hours after receiving yesterday's word 'Austral', I read this clue in the crossword of the same day: "Gold star for improving Latin in the south."

For those not into cryptic crosswords: Au is chemical symbol for gold; followed by an anagram of star, and the L from Latin .... answer: AUSTRAL.

From: Blake Newton (btnewton swisher.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--nugacity
Def: Triviality; futility.

A related term commonly used by lawyers is "nugatory" which means unenforceable or ineffectual as in a "nugatory contract" or a nugatory piece of legislation.

From: Katie Russell (redoctopus13 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--epiphenomenon
Def: A secondary phenomenon, one resulting from another.

The very next day after reading this word I decided to watch "Funny Face" with Audrey Hepburn. When she is at work in the bookstore being overtaken by the fashionistas she says, "This book deals with epiphenomenalism which has to do with consciousness as a mere accessory of physiological processes whose presence or absence makes no difference." I still had to pause and rewind to make sense of the entire sentence but at least I didn't have to look up 'epiphenomenalism'. Thanks!

From: Michelle Geissbuhler (goathill columbus.rr.com)
Subject: epiphenomenon

As I was reading in bed Thursday night, I encountered this word in David Guterson's highly-regarded novel The Other: "If I extrapolate from myself, there's a lot of deceit in the world without a beginning, middle, or end. The way it really works, a lot of the time, is that you suffer from the weight of what happened, from what you said and did, so you lie as therapy. Now the story you make up starts to take up space otherwise reserved for reality. For phenomena you substitute epiphenomena. Skew becomes ascendant. The secondary becomes primary. When it's time to confess, you don't know what you're saying."

From: Susan Korrel (suekorrel yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fugacious
Def: Lasting a very short time.

A friend, who is rather long winded in his writing, has the surname "Fugate". A group of us coined the term "fugatious" meaning to be very long winded. It is used quite commonly on our email group to preface any particularly long messages.

I doubt any of us ever dreamed that was actually a word pronounced exactly the same, albeit that it is spelt slightly differently, and the exact opposite definition of the word!

Bare lists of words are found suggestive to an imaginative and excited mind.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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