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AWADmail Issue 641

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 Huge. This week's Email of the Week winner, Donald Mokgale (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 free PDF download, absolutely gratis. Hurree y'up.

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

Divided by a Common Language
The Guardian

Why Adverbs, Maligned by Many, Flourish in the American Legal System
The Wall Street Journal

From: Mark Willcox (willcox datahelper.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--lubricious

The subject Crisco party had just come up in conversation. Perfect fit with this word!

Mark Willcox, Minnetonka, Minnesota

From: Julia O'Connor (mudshark444 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--lubricious

I would love to know how many of your readers immediately went hunting down the lyrics to "Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney"! (video, 3 min.)

Julia O'Connor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

From: John Hoskins (hoskinsjohn59 gmail.com)
Subject: Diffident

In Gilbert & Sullivan's Ruddigore, young Robin Oakapple bemoans his diffident nature:

My boy, you may take it from me,
That of all the afflictions accurst
With which a man's saddled
And hampered and addled,
A diffident nature's the worst.

John Hoskins, San Francisco, California

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

From: Donald Mokgale (donald.mokgale gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--virulent

You know, the first and last time I heard this word was in the movie called V for Vendetta in which the protagonist was doing his monologue using alliteration with the letter V. It goes:

"Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the 'vox populi' now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition." (video, 1.5 min.)

Donald Mokgale, Johannesburg, South Africa

From: William Downing (wdowning rohrbachassociates.com)
Subject: Convivial

I read once that "convivial" is sometimes used in obituaries (WebCite) to describe those who were known to imbibe with frequency.

William Downing, Iowa City, Iowa

From: David Ferrier (ferrierd shaw.ca)
Subject: convivial

Re: convivial (friendly; sociable; cheerful; jovial).

After successfully completing a work assignment, I was criticized because I was not Mr. Conviviality. I was not there to be friendly, sociable, cheerful, and jovial: I was there to do a task, which I did competently. Thank you for clarifying this.

David Ferrier, Edmonton, Canada

A word has its use, / Or, like a man, it will soon have a grave. -Edwin Arlington Robinson, poet (1869-1935)

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