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AWADmail Issue 523

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

Sponsor's message: This week's Email of the Week is from Michele Hush (see below), who will get a pretty cheap education as well as FREE (ONEUPMAN)SHIPPING on any of the many treasures of our Miltonic mind.

From: Jerry Miller (jemiller wakehealth.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--monology
Def: 1. A long speech by someone, especially when interfering with conversation. 2. The habit of monologizing.

The word monology reminded me of a teacher I had in high school who, when someone started talking out of turn in class would say, "Excuse me for interrupting the beginning of your sentence with the middle of mine."

Jerry Miller, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

From: Neal B. Scott (nealbscott spamcop.net)
subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--logomachy
Def: 1. A dispute about words. 2. A battle fought with words.

My first thought on seeing logomachy was the YouTube series called Epic Rap Battles of History. Actors portray historical/cultural characters having a war with words to see who is the best rapper. Some examples are Albert Einstein vs Steven Hawking, Michael Jackson vs Elvis, Shakespeare vs Doctor Seuss, and Justin Bieber vs Beethoven.

Neal B. Scott, Manassas, Virginia

From: Jan Kitzing (loon marktwain.net)
Subject: logomachy

I love this word! (It is new for me.) Every single day my husband and I play Scrabble. We have our Scrabble dictionary at hand and have recently acquired a "cheat" sheet, full of unusual words. Now we can have a daily logomachy! Thanks for the grand word!

Jan Kitzing, Lewistown, Missouri

Email of the Week brought to you by Oneupmanship -- Winning isn't everything. Just kidding!.

From: Michele Hush (hushsix yahoo.com)
Subject: Phylogeny
Def: The evolutionary development of a species, a group of organisms, or a particular feature of an organism.

I often Google additional information about the words you post. Today, in search of the phylo- prefix, I stumbled onto a page on the PBS NOVA site. It's about a computer game called Phylo scientists are using to help solve problems in genetics. Clever!

Michele Hush, Long Island City, New York

From: Mary Cole (mary.cole comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--phylogeny

How could you resist quoting the old saw: "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"? This means, of course, that in developing from an embryo to a viable creature, an animal goes through an evolutionary development which resembles that of how its ancestors evolved as adults. A human embryo, for example, passes through stages where it could be said to resemble a fish, then a lizard or lower mammal, then moving on to its ultimate human form.

This theory has been rejected over the years, but there are still those who enjoy the saying!

Mary Cole, Norwell, Massachusetts

From: John DeCarlo (johndecarlo gmail.com)
Subject: Scotophobia
Def: 1. Fear of the dark. 2. Fear or hatred of Scottish people or culture.

There may be a third definition brewing. Given the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decisions aggravating all parts of the political spectrum in the US, I have seen a few people try out SCOTophobia (SCOTUSophobia is just too long and unwieldy) to indicate fear of SCOTUS.

John DeCarlo, Arlington, Virginia

From: Alfredo Cruz (alfredo.cruz rrd.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--epigraphy
Def: 1. The study of ancient inscriptions. 2. Inscriptions collectively.

I was just waiting for the last word to arrive, even setting apart time in my schedule for doing the humble exercise of making all possible combinations of the ten combining forms featured this week yielding 25 words. I appreciate the fun you're enabling this time and the logography you share every day.

Alfredo Elder Cruz, Tlalnepantla, Mexico

From: Claudine Voelcker (claudine.voelcker googlemail.com)
Subject: Lego language

The introduction to this week's theme made me immediately think of German, a Lego-Language par excellence. With a number of friends I indulge in frequent jousts of Wortschoepfungen (wort = Word, Schoepfung = creation), juggling with not only affixes but also intonations and accents. Over time, I created an amusing collection of "erlesene Verleser", exquisite "misreads", which we go on enlarging every day. Erlesen (verb): to acquire by reading (information, knowledge) Verlesen (verb): to misread, to read out, to select, to choose, to pick out erlesen/verlesen (adj.): exquisite, delicate, distinguished, select, recherché, choice.

Playing on words in German is a daily delight, and even the most rebarbative text turns into an Ali Baba Cavern of entertaining treasures if you abandon yourself to the pleasure of erlesen the erlesenen pieces of Verleser this wonderful language profusely provides.

Claudine Voelcker, Munich, Germany

Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. -Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)

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