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AWADmail Issue 515

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language

From: Michael Tremberth (michaelt4two googlemail.com)
Subject: tenable
Def: Capable of being held or defended.

I'd like to add to the list of related words: tenuto, an Italian musical term (surely now assimilated into international English), abbreviated to ten. in music scores. The composer writes the direction above a note that is to be held, that is, played for longer than its indicated value. It is one of the mysteries of music that the length of the tenuto is one of the deep imponderables and subtleties of the art.

Michael Tremberth, St Erth, Cornwall, UK

Email of the Week - (Brought to you by One Up! - Are you wicked/smart?)

From: John Neely (john interwebula.com)
Subject: discrepant
Def: Marked by disagreement, incompatibility, or inconsistency.

There is an amusing back-formation from "discrepant" in mathematics for a particular situation when there is no discrepancy: crepant resolution. But I see in your etymology ("crepare: to creak or rattle") that perhaps the word should really mean something else.

John Neely, Minneapolis, Minnesota

From: Peirce Hammond (peirce_hammond ed.gov)
Subject: discrepant

Speaking of discrepant, I notice that the quotation for this day, "Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold" by Tolstoy, cuts in rather a different direction than the title of the early autobiography of one of Anu's favorites in the "Thought for the Day" realm, Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi titled that autobiography Experiments with Truth. His title rather suggests, indeed, emphasizes, growth through experimentation to me. That is a perception of truth that, at least, seems at odds with those who understand truth to be immutable and, so, challenges many of us. Discrepancies can do that and, therefore, can create wonderful teaching and learning opportunities.

Peirce Hammond, Bethesda, Maryland

From: Esther Friend (estherfriend copper.net)
Subject: Discrepant

Thank you for bringing this word to my attention. It supplies a long-felt need for my reaction to the musical, Camelot. When I first experienced this marvelous creation, I wondered why I loved the first half but wanted to walk out during the second half. Now I know that it's because the two halves are discrepant -- the second half in no way lives up to the rollicking promises of the first half.

Esther Friend, Lewes, Delaware

From: Hiller B. Zobel (Honzobe aol.com)
Subject: Tolstoy and Sherlock Holmes

The quotation from Tolstoy (May 9, 2012) ("Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.") evokes Sherlock Holmes's great principle: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Hiller B. Zobel, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Mary Tinsley Young (marytinsley jasnetworks.net)
Subject: Appreciation

As a professional writer, I am always looking to learn more, to be better at my craft. There are 3,489,231 sites out there that profess they can help me.

The only one to which I subscribe is yours. My vocabulary is more broad thanks to the daily words; my thinking is more broad thanks to the well-chosen quotations at the bottom.

Appreciate -- to estimate at its true value.

I do.

Mary Tinsley, Marshall, Michigan

No man, or body of men, can dam the stream of language. -James Russell Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)

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