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AWADmail Issue 626

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

Sponsor's message: Summer is a verb. This is a call-to-action for all you tanning double-domes out there, especially this week's Email of the Week winner Fran Simon (see below) -- we're offering a beaching deal for word lovers: One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game. A real steal at $15; for a very limited time -- TODAY ONLY -- 2 for $25 and shipping* is absolutely FREE. Hurry'up!

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

The Importance of Punctuation
YouTube (7 sec.)

And the Importance of the Serial Comma

The F-Word: Let's Just Call It What It Is

Good Grammar Saves Lives -- and Rescues Friendships
The Guardian

What's in a Name? A Lot, If You Live in Iceland
The Guardian

From: Deborah Gallagher (icoachu pacbell.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--squirrelly

Love this! My husband and I are avid cyclists; we encounter squirrels on two wheels as well as four legs, as well as asses (both the two-wheeled and four-legged variety) where we live in Northern California (between San Francisco & Sacramento). This group of animal words are as relevant as any you've offered. Chapeau, and well done.

Deborah Gallagher, Vacaville, California

From: Kamalika Poddar (kamalikapoddar gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--squirrelly

My friends call me squirrelly because of the way I nibble at my food. But now it looks like they had a lot more foresight because I am always jumping around. And truth be said, at times a bit eccentric too!

Kamalika Poddar, Chennai, India

From: James Barrett (james.barrett ricoh-usa.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--squirrelly

Another common use of this word applies in automotive sports in a like minded way: upon large acceleration, the driving wheels lose traction and spin.

Example: "Bubba's fiery V8 caused his Chevy to get squirrelly out of turn three at Darlington."

Cheers, and thanks for the years of mirth and amazement!

Jim Barrett, Huntington Beach, California

From: Eric Forat (forat uol.com.br)
Subject: canaille

Today in French you would rather use the word "racaille' for the group name, and "canaille" for a member of such group, as in: C'est un salaud et une canaille, qui fait partie de la racaille qui soutient (tel politicien). the only courant usage would be "s'encanailler", meaning "going slumming" for a high-status individual.

Eric Forat, São Paulo, Brazil

From: Jens Kaiser (voodoodoll t-online.de)
Subject: canaille

The German word Kanaille, while somewhat antiquated, is still sometimes used to describe a person of questionable character -- a rogue, but without the whiff of romanticism and perhaps even gallantry that this word often hints at. To illustrate: Robin Hood is a "Schurke" (rogue), while he would be a "Kanaille" if he had stolen from the poor and lived a life of luxury with his ill-gotten gains.

Jens Kaiser, Rudolstadt, Germany

From: Joel Pond (joelpond hotmail.com)
Subject: Monkeyshine

I do have to point out the image you displayed as an example of "monkeyshine" is incorrect. A chimpanzee is an ape, not a monkey. A more appropriate image would be of any monkey from South America (e.g. capuchin, woolly, or spider monkeys). Monkeys have tails, apes (chimpanzees included) do not. Primates helping primates...

Joel Pond, Chicago, Illinois

Thanks for catching this. We've updated the picture on the website now.
-Anu Garg

From: Richard Stallman (rms gnu.org)
Subject: Monkey business

A monastery started selling jam and wine over the Internet. Was that monk e-business?

Dr Richard Stallman, Boston, Massachusetts

Email of the Week (Courtesy One Up! -- Playing mind games is wicked fun!)

From: Fran Simon (fsimon tulane.edu)
Subject: Puce

I am fascinated by puce and its definition today. Of course, being a Francophile, I know its relation to marché aux puces. However, in my family, puce meant a green that was somewhat browner than chartreuse. And I find that I am not the only person with this confusion. Please see this webpage with much discussion on the topic.

Fran Simon, New Orleans, Louisiana

From: Chris Papa (doxite verizon.net)
Subject: puce

Just as with canaille (text), here's another word prominently featured in a G&S opera. W.S. Gilbert employs it in the famous Mikado's Act 2, "Punishment fit the crime" number:

The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
And permanent walnut juice ...

Chris Papa, Colts Neck, New Jersey

From: Michelle Graham (tox-ic charter.net)
Subject: Words coined after animals

This is a wonderful selection this week but I would have liked to have seen added "parrot" or "parroting". Being owned by three African Greys and a Lilac Crowned Amazon because they "parrot" not only me but each other and by day's end I am indeed "squirrelly" after listening to them! :)

Michelle Graham, Hollow Rock, Tennessee

From: Suzi Peel (peel.suzi mac.com)
Subject: Re: AWADmail Issue 625

Your Thought for the Day Sunday 6 22 14 is much less powerful or sensuous in English:

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.
-Roland Barthes, literary critic and philosopher (1915-1980)

In French the word is "tongue" as in mother-tongue: "The tongue is a skin ..." more double-entendres.

Thank you as always for the stimulation. [wink]

Suzi Peel, Maryland

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

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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