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AWADmail Issue 329October 19, 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)
Gloomy economy and the US presidential elections were clearly on readers' minds, as shown by the number of entries on these topics. "DOW, STOCKS, BONDS" and "ALASKAN MADAM SARAH" were employed well (see below).
More than 800 readers responded with thousands of univocalics. It was hard to
select a winner from so many fine entries. Congrats to Michael Choi of New
Jersey for his winning entry:
BIG SHIP SINKS IN FIRST TRIP
(Titanic, Apr 15, 1912)
Michael writes: "The Titanic came quickly to mind because I've been interested in ocean liners since I was a kid. In fact, one of the highlights of my memorabilia collection is a pre-disaster postcard that trumpets the apparent impregnability of the T and its sister Olympic in a rosily optimistic scene set at dawn."
He wins a copy of my book The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two, which Karl Boyd-Nafstad (boydnafstad gmail.com) described as DORD: BOOK ON WORDS ON TOP OF WORLD.
A special mention goes to Amy Guskin (muse fjordstone.com) for her suggested
headline for the last week in Oct in Everytown, US:
REMEMBER, NEXT WEEK: ELECT THE BEST
Thanks to all who participated. Some sent one, some a dozen. A few teachers told their classes about the contest and encouraged their students to come up with univocalics. Read on for a few selections from all the entries.
Describing real events:
RIGID BLIMP KILLS THIRTY-SIX IN FIRST FLIGHTEconomy:
(Hindenburg disaster, May 6, 1937)
-Bryan Lahey (lahey911 yahoo.com)
DEWEY BESTS DEM PREZ
FOOT ON MOON
A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL - PANAMA!
BUSH SNUBS UN
VP's STAFF HARD AT WAR AND SCANDAL
LAND AT LAST!
OTTO OPTS FOR TOP SPOT
JAPAN ATTACKS NAVAL ARMADA AT DAWN!
JAPAN ATTACKS YANK NAVAL YARD AT DAWN
CHENEY RESENTS CHECKS, DECREES EXEC EXEMPT. DEMS ELECTED.
BELL DEFENSE KEEPS QUEENS THREE FREE
LIZ SMITH'S INSIGHTS IN LIMITING STRICT CHILD DISCIPLINING WINS CITING
"DORD" - SHORT WORD BLOTCH ON WORDBOOK (1931)
MOST STOCKS NOW WORTH $0 -- BORROW LOOT FROM GOVTElections:
-Glenn Thomas (glenn.z.thomas jpmchase.com)
DOW HORROR: FROM BOOM TO DOOM, GLOOM
BANKS GAG AT CASH DASH
DOW DROPS: NO BOON FOR DOT-COM STOCKS
GREEDY DEEDS EXCEEDED NEEDS
STOCKS GO - DOW TOO - BOO HOO
WORTH DOWN FOR WORLD STOCKS
STOCKS DROP, FOLKS HOLD ON TO BONDS
STOCKS SWOON, NO BOTTOM SOON
NASDAQ CRASH: ALL AGHAST AT SLASH
BUSH BURNS BUCKS, BULLS RUN
BANKS BACK BARACK's PLAN
STOCKS' DROP STOPS FOR NOW
MASS ANGST AS WALL ST. FALLS
DOW DROPS; SOLD-OFF STOCKS PROMPT FOLKS TO OPT FOR LOTTO
TOO LONG TO HOLD ONTO STOCKS?
THE END'S HERE
FED EXTENDS HELP: STREET STRENGTHENS, MESS DEEPENS
DOW DOWN! DON'T WORRY, GOVT. OWNS STOCK
BERK EXEC'S SCHEME ENGENDERS EXTREME RESPECT EVERYWHERE
JOHN NOT TOO OLD TO GO ONOddball:
-Cheryl Oribabor (coribabor parentenet.com)
SARAH P. (ALASKA) CAST AS MAC'S 2nd BANANA
ALASKA'S SARAH MAD AT BABY'S DAD
SARAH ASKS: NAFTA? WHAT'S THAT? QATAR, CHAD, GHANA? CAN'T SAY... AAH - CAN YA CALL AN ALASKAN PAL?
BARACK ATTACKS SARAH'S ALASKAN PAST
"BARACK'S BAD MAN," SAYS SARAH; "SARAH'S PATH BACKWARD," SAYS BARACK
ALASKA ASKS SARAH: ALL GAS?
ALASKA'S SARAH LACKS SPARK AND SMARTS, SAY BARACK FANS
ALASKANS SAY SARAH ALL FLASH AND GLAM
AGHAST AT RALLY, ALASKA'S SARAH SAYS "ABRACADABRA!"
SARAH FALLS AS MANY BACK BARACK
PRESS'S LETTERS FLED WHEN NEW DENSE PREZ ELECTED!
SHARK SARAH SLAMS SHAM STAFF SCANDAL
ALASKANS MAD AT SARAH
BARACK'S PLAN: PACK JACK AND ALASKAN BACK
MAC CALLS BARACK PAGAN
MS. P. WINKS, THINKS VP WIN IN SIGHT
BARACK STANDS TALL AS MAC FALLS
PUCK MUM SHUTS UP, TURNS 'N RUNS
AT LAST! BARACK CRACKS WH GLASS CAP
BARACK HAS ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, KANSAS, AND SARAH'S ALASKA
PM BESEECHES - RE-ELECT ME!
AAAA AND AAAAAA: AAARGH!Meta:
(Amateur Athletic Association of America faces costly court case against American Association Against Acronym and Abbreviation Abuse)
-John Forster (inquizition aol.com)
VEWEL SHERTEGE; E'S SEBSTETETED FER ELL ETHERS!
"THE NEWS" ENDS STEEL-TYPE PRESSMiscellaneous:
-Matt Ryan (mryan abnamromorgans.com.au)
NEWS NEVER RESTS EVEN WHEN LETTERS END
WE'RE LEFT SPEECHLESS!
VEXED, PERPLEXED TYPESETTER VENTS: SEND HELP! NEED NEW LETTERS!
FEW LETTERS LEFT. WHERE WERE THEY WHEN WE NEEDED THEM?
ESTEEMED PEER SEEKS CLEVER SENTENCES: ENTER HERE
GARG AWARDS MAD GRAMMAR FAN ANDY AN AWAD CANT ALMANAC
MADCAP LADY BLASTS CRAZY AWAD TASK
BUSH U-TURN: MUSTN'T USURP GULF!Comments:
And here's hoping next week's AWAD announces:
TOP-NOTCH OXFORD DOCTOR SCOOPS WORD SHOWDOWN
-Dr. Andrew Kay, Oxford, UK (music1 wildruby.co.uk)
EDEN NEWS: EVE REJECTS SERPENT
REED MED CENTER EXPERTS CHECK VEEP CHENEY
BRITISH MINISTRY DISMISSING KIPLING'S WRITINGS! RIKKI TIKKI HIGHLY SKITTISH!
DOCTORS NOW KNOW HOW TO STOP COMMON COLD FOR GOOD
MAN GNAWS AFGHAN
NOW PROOF BOSONS BOND WORLD
As an Anglophile German I read AWAD every day. Your contest has been a
challenge to try in German. A univocalic headline in a German newspaper:
A real headline from Variety from the 1930s:
STICKS NIX HICK PIX
It has long been my favorite headline and now, thanks to you, I learn it's also univocalic. The article is about how rural people in the US don't like to see movies about rural people.
-David Gravitz (davgrav gmail.com)
TEX FLEX BEX PEX
I think it interesting that "univocalic" contains four of the five vowels.
Ellen Degeneres's name is univocalic.
I am reminded of James Thurber's book, _The Wonderful O_ and his Captain
Black of the ship _AEIU_. Since the captain's mother had been stuck in a
porthole and had to be pushed out, he set about to eliminate the Os in all
names and objects as well as the objects themselves. "Books were bks and
Robinhood was Rbinhd. Little Goody Two Shoes lost her Os and so did
Goldilocks, and the former became a whisper, and the latter sounded like
a key jiggled in a lock."
During a heat wave in 1985 when I was on the New York Post copydesk,
I wrote the one-vowel headline "HELTER SWELTER", which was memorialized
in the Spike Lee film "She's Gotta Have It" in a scene where a newspaper
spins off the press to reveal the front-page headline. I guess Spike Lee
liked it because three years later, when he made the film "Do the Right
Thing", there is a news stand scene that dwells briefly on the same
headline -- but this time, it appears under a Daily News logo.
From: Janine McVeagh (janine.mcveagh ihug.co.nz)
I can understand the desire to separate American from English English -- we have a New Zealand dictionary too -- and most of us are used to 'translating' American, but the one word that does make me stumble is 'aluminium', rendered by Americans as 'aluminum' and pronounced entirely differently.
Never mind, as long as you can read us and we can read you, vive la difference!
From: Kelly C. Boylan (kboylan mvpcorp.com)
Q: How did Mr. Webster come to write the first dictionary?
From: Clive Cowper (clivealive juno.com)
The American science fiction author C.J. Cherryh offers a use of this word. Her real last name is Cherry, but her publisher thought that an author with that last name wouldn't be taken seriously. His solution: add a silent letter "h" to the end of the name. It worked!
From: Beth Showman (rb.showman gmail.com)
I've always liked Han Solo calling Princess Leia "Your Highnessness" in Star Wars, and now I have a word to describe it.
From: Alan Ogden (alanogden talktalk.net)
The people of Bristol, UK often put an L on the end of words, especially if they end in a vowel. That is how the city got its name. It was originally Bristowe, the town with a bridge.
"It must be left to students of musical semasiology to account for the psychological association that exists between the spiritual concept of goodness and saintliness and the notational accident of the absence of sharps and flats in the key signature, which results in the 'whiteness' of the music."
There are two factors that can make music notation look whiter: one is the absence of sharps and flats, the other is the use of longer note-values (whole notes and half notes).
The first was the subject of an edict from the Council of Trent in the 16th century: the church authorities wanted to clean up the (to them, unnecessarily) complications of church music, including sharps and flats. The product of this reform was ... Palestrina.
A composition teacher I attended once told me that in his choir-boy days he would judge the interest of a piece of music by how white it looked. Black meant later, therefore interesting, while white (all semibreves and minims) meant earlier (Palestrina etc.) and boring.
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
He Counts Your Words:
Its Native Tongue Facing Extinction, Arapaho Tribe Teaches the Young:
To know another language is to have a second soul. -Charlemagne, King of the Franks (742-814)