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AWADmail Issue 616

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

Sponsor's message: It's Officially Free. This week's Email of the Week winner, John Callagher (see below) -- as well as all AWADers worldwide -- can now make their own terrific fun word-nerd party for nothing. Introducing our best-selling One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game as a downloadable PDF, absolutely gratis. Hurree y'up.

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

New Word to Be Added to the Scrabble Dictionary

The Great Language Game
My score was 550. What was yours?
Discuss at our online forum Wordsmith Talk

From: Steven Prins (sprins1102 aol.com)
Subject: Shakespeare & Students

Apropos of your theme for this week, I thought you might enjoy this video (1.5 min).

Steven Prins, Santa Fe, New Mexico

From: Terry Mach (terry.mach urs.com)
Subject: Shakespeare

I was one of those odd high school students who was both entertained & fascinated by reading Shakespeare, rather than being haunted by him! I first fell in love with the Bard after seeing the movie Romeo & Juliet when I was twelve. We read several of his plays in high school and have read several more as an adult. What a great read of the human spirit and what a sense of humor he had!

Terry Mach, Cleveland, Ohio

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- with our compliments.)

From: John Callagher (callagher sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Shakespeare

As a young English man. those many years ago. A Warwickshire lad... I and a very few, equally passionate followers of Shakespeare, never worked on The Bard's Birthday. We spent that day drinking and generally wallowing around and about the public houses of Stratford-upon-Avon. The pubs never opened before 10 am. This allowed us to stand around and watch the glorious assembly of actors, great and small. The mayor of Stratford, obviously solemn with the burden of the mayoral chains of office. The mayor stepping off the parade with measured tread, followed by motley assorted seniors. Each one, resplendent with a variety of medals and ribbons worn with modest pride, paraded through the streets of the town. The parade ended at St John's for a bowing of the heads, a few well spoken words, punctuated with soft and loud Amens.

Many years later, sitting in the Globe Theatre, Stratford, Ontario, Canada. I had arrived early into the beautiful theater. I sat and became aware, as the seats filled, the vast number of the audience were from all corners of the world. The quietly hushed conversations near and far, bubbled and blended into a common sound of total understanding of the words of this Warwickshire man who lived, loved, and penned some 400 years before. Now 450 years have passed and I still fill with wonder at the power of the creative word.

Happy Birthday William. I love you, man!

John B Callagher, Columbus, Ohio

From: Sharon Smith (mainelyneuropsych gmail.com)
Subject: Dogberry

Because I live in Maine, I immediately researched why a former Mayor of Bangor had been ridiculed as a Dogberry. I'd have done better to focus on who did the lampooning -- a corporate publication.

I'd not realized that the division of the US into time zones, which we all now take for granted, was an early over-reach by corporations. Rather than seek to have a Federal law passed, railroad magnates unilaterally declared it a done deal in 1883.

Bangor's city council caved right in, but the mayor argued that corporations lack the right to pass laws. For this, "Railway Age" made him a figure of ridicule.

In 1918, an act of Congress made the time zone change legal. It was, after all, a good idea. But it had been forced on our nation by corporations. Then, as now, they believed themselves to be above the law, and vigorously acted upon that belief.

I've just ordered a copy of Beatty's The Age of Betrayal. Its subtitle is The Triumph of Money in America.

Sharon Smith, Canaan, Maine

From: Gray Frierson Haertig (gfh haertig.com)
Subject: Dogberry

I have always assumed (without having done any research to confirm) that dogberry was a euphemism for dog turd, though why Shakespeare should engage in euphemism is beyond me!

Gray Frierson Haertig, Portland, Oregon

From: Charles Keddie (ckeddie tbaytel.net)
Subject: Portia

Australian-American actress Portia de Rossi (born Amanda Rogers) chose her professional name after Shakespeare's Portia, the irony being that her first major international role was on Fox's Ally McBeal as a female lawyer.

Charles Keddie, Thunder Bay, Canada

From: Richard Royston (richard roystons.com)
Subject: Portia

"My other attorney is a Portia" would make a good (or, at any rate, interesting) bumper sticker.

Richard Royston, Madison, Connecticut

From: Kathleen Beattie (kathleenbeattie1302 gmail.com)
Subject: Plus ça change...

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
-Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

This morning I literally went from reading this insightful quotation of Anatole France in "A Thought for Today" to the following headline in The Guardian: The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars -- because it hurts their 'quality of life'.

Plus ça change...

Kathleen Beattie, Stratford, Canada

From: Mary Rhodes (mcrochets cruzio.com)
Subject: Romeo

I was recently introduced to a mature gentleman who explained that he was a romeo, along with his buddies when they went out to lunch every week: Retired Old Men Eating Out.

Mary Rhodes, Santa Cruz, California

From: Nancy Charlton (charltonwordorder1@gmail.com)
Subject: Names from Shakespeare

This topic could go on for weeks. In addition to the selected five, there are more:

Iago: deceiver.
Pandarus: a pandered, though this might belong to Homer or Chaucer too.
Polonius: a tedious old fool.
Banquo's ghost: it haunts you.
Edmund and Aaron: lesser editions of Iago.
Falstaff: fat bon vivant.
Bottom: the weaver.

I have referred to individuals as a Rosalind, a Mistress Quickly, a Caliban, a Miranda, a Juliet, a Capulet, a Montague, a Mercutio, a Dark Lady (nothing like the sun), a Prince Hal, a Horatio. There are more, I'm sure.

Nancy Charlton, Beaverton, Oregon

From: Irving N. Webster-Berlin (awadreviewsongs gmail.com)
Subject: Song based on this week's words

Here are this week's AWAD Review Songs (words and recordings) for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Irving N. Webster-Berlin, Sacramento, California

Compared to the drama of words, Hamlet is a light farce. -Anatoly Liberman, professor (b. 1937)

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