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AWADmail Issue 662A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor’s Message: “Old’s Cool” sums up our philosophy of life in a neat little turn of phrase. Look at what this UP-i-tee shirt is saying loud and clear: Common sense. Nerve. Backbone. Self-reliance. Perseverance. Old school with a shot of wry, served neat. We’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Carolina Amoruso (see below), as well as all AARP AWADers the TODAY-ONLY sale price of $20 -- so why not flaunt your charming lack of political correctness with wit and style, and a little grit to boot?
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
How Rhythm Shapes the Way We Use and Understand Language
Can Hip Hop Save Endangered Languages?
National Grammar Day: Stop Fighting the “Good” Fight
From: Scott Davis (scottdavis3 gmail.com)
Today’s word brings to mind one of my favourite terms, Quango: quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization.
Scott Davis, Halifax, Canada
From: April Gornik (artnik pipeline.com)
How about a government wholly or party owned by companies, like the USA?
April Gornik, North Haven, New York
From: Michael Redepenning (mredepenningjr gmail.com)
I have the perfect word for tomorrow! The only problem is that it’s German.
Michael Redepenning, Amberley, New Zealand
From: Milan Schonberger (milan.schonberger sbcglobal.net)
A very touching and effective defervescence scene is so skillfully shown in the Academy-Award-winning Czech film Kolya. While Klára helps Kolya, who suffers very high fever, to defervesce, her love for Louka, the boy’s stepfather, grows more ardent. (video, 4 min.)
Milan Schonberger, Los Angeles, California
From: Steven Stine (scstine1672 gmail.com)
In the spirit of playing Devil’s Advocate, I would like to offer a contrary opinion to Wednesday’s quotation.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY (4 March 2015):
Steven Stine, Highland Park, Illinois
From: Gloria Dumas (dumaswitsend aol.com)
Probably adding to others from the US Pacific Northwest, we know the Mima mounds “tumuli” but are really the leavings of giant prehistoric gophers!
Gloria Dumas, Port Orchard, Washington
From: Carolina Amoruso (a2awee verizon.net)
In Italian a “poltrona” is an easy chair. The image, of course, is just dropping oneself into it after a hard day at the soccer stadium. “Poltrona” gave rise some years ago to “poltroneria” or the slothful disengagement from the world especially Italian political life and is associated with TV watching. You might say it’s a not-too-distant cousin of couch potatoism closer to home.
Carolina Amoruso, Jackson Heights, New York
From: Scott Wagner (scott.wagner.ny gmail.com)
Given a sixth quasi-vowel in the English language, will you slyly stymy thy rhythm with a Satyrday tryst, or will you snub poor “Y” as unworthy?
Scott Wagner, Rochester, New York
From: Richard Mott Pearce (rmottpearce outlook.com)
One of my favourite words that might fit your list this week is syzygy. My father was an astrophysicist and taught me this word when I was a boy. Now at 79, your words this week brought back a fond memory.
Richard Mott Pearce, Tsawwassen, Canada
From: Doug Peterson (dopeter rei.com)
This week’s theme reminds me of a game we play around the campfire. We take a traditional nursery rhyme and try to come up with a version that is inspired by the original but is made entirely of words using only one of the vowels. We call it a Single Vowel Nursery Rhyme. For example, if the original rhyme is:
Mary had a little lamb
Then the Single Vowel Nursery Rhyme could be:
Jojo owns two bold old dogs
Doug Peterson, Kent, Washington
From: Bob Stein (stein visibone.com)
Can it ever be writ? A paragraph, or even a sentence, where all words in it own, how shall I say it, a solo soft letter. I do not know! It is hard! But mebbe.
Bob Stein, Lyme, New Hampshire
From: Geoffrey Wildanger (edward_wildanger brown.edu)
This week’s word of the day theme reminds me of the great writer Georges Perec. For those who are unfamiliar, Perec was among the members of the French literary movement Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle), which pioneered the use of constraint-based writing. One of Perec’s most famous books is La Disparition, which is a detective novel written entirely without any words in which the letter “e” is used, and without deviating from standard orthography. As in French, “e” is the most common vowel in English, and the novel has been successfully translated into English as A Void. The oulipians refer to this rule as a lipogram. This week might best be thought of, however, as an experiment in univocalics. That is, a text in which, again without deviating from standard orthography, only one vowel is used. Perec accomplished this in French in his text What A Man, however, my favorite example is by the Canadian writer Christian Bök, whose Eunoia is organized around five univocalic chapters.
Geoffrey Wildanger, Providence, Rhode Island
From: John Noll (john coastal-mktg.com)
This Week’s theme reminded me of a recent crossword clue: aioli, e.g.
John Noll, San Ramon, California
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
If you’re sick in a clinic parastatal,
-Greg Holmes, Louisville, Kentucky (gregholmes2100 gmail.com)
When his doctors proclaimed defervescence
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
The judge declared, “Imprimis,
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)
When injecting a poltroon named Dick
-Bob Thompson, New Plymouth, New Zealand (bobtee xtra.co.nz)
The Anthropologist felt great,
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. -William H. Gass, writer and professor (b. 1924)
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