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AWADmail Issue 66

February 3, 2002

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages

From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
Subject: Linguaphiles cross half-million mark

Last week the number of wordlovers on AWAD list reached 500,000. Check out the stats with the distribution of addresses by countries and their flags.

Thanks to all of you for making this the largest and most enjoyable community of wordlovers. You can share it with others by sending a gift subscription.

The latest edition of AWADnews is now available.

From: Hendrika Vande Kemp, Ph.D. (hendrikaATearthlink.net)
Subject: Regarding the word ethology

I forwarded today's word to a list of historians of psychology, who all want you to know that there was an earlier, 19th century version of ethology:

In his 1843 SYSTEM OF LOGIC, J.S. Mill proposed the development of a new science he also called "ethology," whose purpose would be the explanation of individual and national differences in character, on the basis of associationistic psychology. Needless to say, the French sense of the term has prevailed.
-Raymond E. Fancher
Editor, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychology
York University

From: Helen Ferrara (hferraraATaol.com)
Subject: Enronomics (Re: esemplastic)

In regard to your comments about Enron and "enronomics" to describe their method of economics and accounting, I believe that before long the idea of "going enron" will be used to describe other such unfortunate failures.

From: Thomas Shunk (tshunkATbakerlaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--ultramontane

Your commentary relating to 'ultramontane' include a reminiscence of your days in Cleveland, which you remember as being located on the "North Shore." While there might be some Clevelanders who mistakenly use this phrase, the much more common Cleveland expression is that we live on the "North Coast," which is accurate, even from the point of view of our Canadian neighbors. A brief check of the Cleveland White Pages shows 23 entries for "North Shore etc." businesses, but roughly five times that number of entries for "North Coast etc." businesses, from "North Coast Abrasives, Inc." to "North Coast Wood Products."

From: Sharon Streeter (diomo1ATmsn.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--opsimath

At 58 I'm learning the cello. "Opsimath" inspired a poem. Thanks!

She plucked the open D-string on her cello,
Felt of its vibration, followed fading tremor
As it rose, expanded, filled the room, and then,
Evaporated. She, the aging opsimath, eager
To explore the strings of steel, membranous
Polished woods, the hollow core
And all its possibilities, placed index finger Carefully and plucked again. D, clear and pure.

From: Jeffrey Carpenter (jcfish57ATyahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hangdog

Re: "hangdog" No doubt that the delinquent canines would be given the ultimate penalty---wasn't it Salem or another community caught up in witch fever that executed several dogs along with the humans? And the 18th century Brits, who would hang petty thieves (read _The Fatal Shore_) would probably include the thieves' best friends as accomplices. I associate the word with the sentiment expressed by the public who gathered at such executions, those who stay "until the last dog is hanged," whether sea-dog pirate, highwayman, Fagin, or starving pilferer, all of whom hadn't a dog's chance in the courtroom.

From: Raymond McGrath (rmcgrathATpacbell.net)
Subject: Oblique Sports reference (Re: sticky wicket)

Here's an oblique sports reference culled from an old music review:
"The X Symphony played Brahms last night. Brahms lost."

From: Eric Shackle (eshackleATozemail.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cruciverbalist

Cruciverbalists may like to read about the world's first crossword; others may prefer The President's Pretzel Problem. Both stories are in the February edition of my e-book.

High is our calling, Friend!--Creative Art
(Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,)
Demands the service of a mind and heart.
-William Wordsworth, poet (1770-1850)

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