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AWADmail Issue 330

Nov 2, 2008

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

From: Gil Glass (furrynewyorker uwalumni.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--obambulate
Def: To walk about.

How ironic that the word "obambulate" refers to an action that was so conspicuously executed by Senator Obama's opponent, Senator John McCain, during their second debate!

From: Jane Sprague (janecsprague aol.com)
Subject: Obama words

In New Mexico, maybe nationally, we who speak Spanish have conjured "Obamanos", meaning "Let's get going with Obama", or "for Obamana" or "Let's walk about with Obama", or many possible extensions of cheer along the campaign way.

From: Debbie Tegarden (datb alumni.princeton.edu)
Subject: obambulate

There is a collection of Obama-inspired neologisms that the editors of Slate began to collect (and market) earlier this year. The list ranges from the gentle veggie barackoli to the more aggressive obambardier.

From: James Friend (frienddjp comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bidentate
Def: Having two teeth or toothlike parts.

In chemistry the term bidentate characterizes an organic compound containing two groups which can bond with a single metallic ion. When the structure is drawn it looks like the metal ion is being bitten. The general name for such complexes is "chelate" because the structures resemble a crab's claw. There are also tridentate and tetradentate molecules.

From: Michael Shpizner (mshpizner us.fujitsu.com)
Subject: palindrome

Apropos of today's word, you've probably seen this wonderful Sarah Palindrome:
"Wasilla's all I saw."
(I wish I could take credit for it, but alas, I didn't create it.) Regardless of one's political persuasion, that's a thing of beauty, is it not?

From: Steve Benko (steve.benko gecapital.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--palinode
Def: A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem.

Palinode, eh? How about this pair:

1. "I think by pickin' Palin
This election I am nailin'.
Need I even mention
How she looked at the convention?"

2. "Yes, I picked her," said McCain,
"I thought she had a brain.
But now I'm in a thicket
Having Sarah on the ticket."

And a few PALINdromes:

"Harass Sarah!"

"Is Wasillah all I saw? Si!"

"Peeks at foe Russia, is sure of task. Eep!"

From: Walter Desmond (w.desmond sbcglobal.net)
Subject: 2008 campaign words

In anticipation of one of the VP words (palindrome), I quote candidate Biden, in comparing how many time he's been around the foreign policy track vs. his opponent: "Palin I lap." She in all grace, shows her bubbling informality by replying: "Yo, Joe, O joy!"

What a great topic this week! (actually all weeks!)

From: Donna Haidary (dlhaidary sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--barrack
Def: 1. To shout in support: to cheer. 2. To shout against: to jeer.

The word Barrak is close to the name of Barack Obama whose name has only one "r". This name in Arabic means blessed, which is derived from the Arabic word "Baraka" which means to bless (verb) or blessing. The Arabic word "Mubarak" is also derived from "Baraka".

When Muslims greet each other at the end of the month of Ramadan fasting they say "Eid Mubarak" which means: May Allah bless you on this holy occasion. There is a US postage stamp honoring the Muslims of America with "Eid Mubarak" in Arabic calligraphy. But only "Eid" in English is shown.

Also, the President of Egypt is Hosni Mubarak. Hosni and Hussein (Barak Obama's middle name) are derived from the same Arabic word "hassan" which means "good" or "noble".

From: Donna Schwieder (southerncross pgtc.com)
Subject: presidential candidates

You wrote: "This week I have selected five words that appear to have been coined after this year's presidential candidates (Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin)."

You did not include ALL the presidential candidates. We do have other valid parties. Any reason you did not include them?

Besides the two major parties, Democratic and Republican, we have many other political parties in the US that have fielded their candidates for president. There are the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and many others, besides independents. I featured candidates for the two major parties only because I didn't want this theme in AWAD to stretch as long as the campaign for the presidential election. Not to mention the challenge of trying to find words that appear related to all those candidates' names.
-Anu Garg

From: Andrew Clarke (arfur.c gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--obambulate

You wrote: "Enjoy these words, and don't forget to vote!" I wish I could. Voting for the next PotUS is way too important to be left to Americans :)

Cheers, APC
London, England

From: Joseph Spenner (joseph85750 yahoo.com)
Subject: Four-year job

You said: "All those bucks for a position that earns less than half million dollars a year and lasts only four years!"

Not entirely accurate. Those guys continue to get paid for the rest of their lives! Of course, during those four or eight years, you've aged 30. So, it's earned.

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you cannot understand them. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

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