Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



AWADmail Issue 637

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, and it's not past tense yet. This is a last call-to-action for all you tanning double domes out there, especially this week's Email of the Week winner Daniel Ford (see below). Purchase One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game -- a real steal at $15 (and FREE shipping) and we'll throw in a lagniappe surprise valued at $25. Hurry'up -- today only!

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

Economic Success Drives Language Extinction

America's War on Language
The Web of Language

So You're a Pedant? It's Nothing to Be Proud of
The Guardian

From: Debbie Wolf (djwolf51 yahoo.com)
Subject: Vouchsafe

I'll wager that this word stirred memories in the heart of every born-and-raised Catholic reader. No litany or novena was complete without it. Although I must have uttered that word hundreds of times, I realize now that I never knew its meaning back then. But it sure did sound official.

Debbie Wolf, Lansing, Michigan

From: Lane Mansell (lane.mansell att.com)
Subject: Disabuse and Mumpsimus

A little riddle combining two recent AWAD words:

Q: Can you disabuse a mumpsimus?
A: Yes, but it won't matter.

Lane Mansell, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

From: Daniel Ford (forddm verizon.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--disabuse

What a perfect aphorism for the AWAD word, disabuse: disabusing people of the idea that they are the center of the universe.

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
-Stephen Jay Gould, paleontologist, biologist, author (1941-2002)

As a thinker, old Stephen Jay Gould
Was never very easily fooled.
No paralysis
From analysis
Would leave him among idiots pooled.

Daniel Ford, Middletown, New Jersey

From: Timothy Mooney (tim_mooney earthlink.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--promulgate

The word promulgate reminds me instantly of Lee Blessing's play, "Fortinbras", in which Fortinbras, stumbling onto the massive slaughter that is the end of "Hamlet", realizes that nobody is going to fall for the "a ghost told him to do it" explanation. If Fortinbras wants to hold onto this new found power in Denmark, he must "promulgate" a rumor about a "Polish spy" who has infiltrated the court of Denmark and killed most of its royalty. Working on a production of this play, we started referring to the entire scandal as "Promul-Gate"!

Timothy Mooney, Arlington Heights, Illinois

From: Eric Shackle (ericshackle bigpond.com)
Subject: Rhyme for orange

It's not true that no words rhyme with orange. There was a man -- I'm not kidding -- named Henry Honeychurch Gorringe. He was a naval commander who in the mid-19th century oversaw the transport of Cleopatra's Needle to New York's Central Park. Pouncing on this event, the poet Arthur Guiterman wrote:

In Sparkhill buried lies a man of mark
Who brought the Obelisk to Central Park,
Redoubtable Commander H.H. Gorringe,
Whose name supplies the long-sought rhyme for orange.

Eric Shackle, Sydney, Australia

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

Language furnishes the best proof that a law accepted by a community is a thing that is tolerated and not a rule to which all freely consent. -Ferdinand de Saussure, linguist (1857-1913)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith