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AWADmail Issue 590

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

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

Unusable Words
The New Yorker

How French Toast and Eight Other Site-Specific Foods Got Their Names
BigStock Blog


Email of the Week -- (Brought to you by One Up! -- Hello, doubledomes!)

From: Michael Riisager (pmichaelriisager hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--measly

"Measly pork" is the term applied to the blotchy appearance of swine flesh infested by certain parasitic worms or their larvae. Ingestion of poorly cooked meat so infected could result in serious illness in humans. This knowledge may have been the base reason for the prohibition of eating pork in many ancient religions.

In rusty memory of my public health training in medical school in England... but what a cornucopia of etymology!

Michael Riisager, Yarmouth, Maine

From: Peter Smith (plunky topmail.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--anemic

Please remember a significant minority of Anglophones -- including those from the mother country of which I am one -- spell words differently from those in the USA. It's not just colour and buses, it's anaemic as well. Who knows which is correct? We Brits like to think we are, but at least we deserve a mention!

Peter Smith, London, UK

From: Leslie Partridge (leslie.partridge arcadis-us.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cancerous

If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living. -Jewish proverb

Isn't this what wars are? Minus the "wonderful living".

Leslie Partridge, Columbus, Ohio

From: Maxine Beckner (mbeckner netins.net)
Subject: Pestilent

My mother attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, from 1925-1929. I have all the letters written between her and my father, who were dating from afar at the time. Whenever students became ill with a contagious disease at the college, they were sent to the "pest house" to be treated. Sadly, some died of their illnesses. I found it very interesting how the vernacular had changed by the time I came along in 1949. I had never heard that term before I read her letters.

Maxine Beckner, Clear Lake, Iowa

From: Nirati Gupta (niratigupta gmail.com)
Subject: AWAD is special

Dear Team at AWAD:

At first I opened my mailbox every day for that one special word that you gifted me daily. Then I started coming back for little thoughts that you appended. And now I eagerly look forward to the Sunday mail you send. People end up sharing small bits of their lives in their response to these characteristic words. I never thought sharing of tiny little words could shrink the globe so.

Thanks AWAD!

Nirati Gupta, Delhi, India

You can never understand one language until you understand at least two. -Ronald Searle, artist (1920-2011)

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