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AWADmail Issue 323

September 7, 2008

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

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the net

Secret Of Newborn's First Words Revealed:

Making an Arguement for Misspelling:

You Write Potato, I Write Ghoughpteighbteau:

From: Phip Sams (phipsams frontiernet.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--therefor
Def: For that; in return or exchange for something

This word has become very important to those studying the Bible. We recognize it denotes a transition -- so I have long taught my people to ask themselves "What's that therefor there for?"

From: Paul Spletzer (pspletzer aol.com)
Subject: Harry Truman

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." -Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president (1884-1972)

This was the Thought of the Day. It has a substantial error. President Truman's middle name is the initial 'S'. Therefore there should be no period after the 'S'. His name is/was 'Harry S Truman'.

From: Yvonne (ysprauel free.fr)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--prorogue
Def: 1. To discontinue a session of something. 2. To defer or to postpone.

Funny how sometimes meanings can glide. In French, "proroger" is mainly used for "continue a period of time" (and not discontinue!), as in "le délai a été prorogé", meaning the period was prolonged.

From: Kevin Sweet (kevinsweet safariltd.com)
Subject: prorogue

Very similar to the Latin origin "prorogare" of the word of the day "prorogue", is the Spanish word "prórroga" which is usually used in the sense of an extension to an allotted time. "Conseguir una proroga" or to "obtain an extension" might be used with regard to a tax deadline.

From: Dave Hood (dhood csulb.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--prorogue

A Roman consul, for instance off fighting a war, had a one-year term. If his term was almost up, and if he was within an inch of winning the war, he would be prorogued, that is, his term would be extended for another period (usually a year) so he could finish the war.

From: Ron Gerard (ron gerard.as)
Subject: This week's theme

This week's theme reminds me of the punishment we had at my school [Highgate School, north London] in the 1960s. The miscreant had to buy a "Penalty Copy" which was a printed page of words that could easily be confused and then copy it out, writing in the same style as the print. And, if your writing was not considered close enough, you were given another. I think it started "there their they're".

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you CAN make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all." -Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) [Through the Looking Glass]

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