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AWADmail Issue 677

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

Sponsor’s Message:
Do you think Father Knows Best? And wants the best? We certainly do. So, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Kaila Luttrell (see below), as well as all the old’s cool dads out there a chance to prove it. First correct answer to our 100 Common Cents Questions Contest gets an autographed copy of the perfect gentleman’s motorcycle movie Indian Summer. Ends Sunday at midnight -- show us how smart you are NOW.

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

Create an Old Book (then scan it and OCR it and read it over the net)
YouTube (3.5 min.)

Eight Pronunciation Errors that Changed Modern English

From: Sharon Mink (sharonmink gmail.com)
Subject: Thought for today, June 16

The [Nobel] prize is such an extraordinary honor. It might seem unfair, however, to reward a person for having so much pleasure over the years, asking the maize plant to solve specific problems and then watching its responses.
-Barbara McClintock, scientist, Nobel laureate (16 Jun 1902-1992)

Thank you for sharing the quotation by Barbara McClintock. She was an amazing lady and magnificent scientist. I was honored to have met her. She and Rosalind Franklin are two of my favorite heroes. At least Dr. McClintock was recognized for her work.

Sharon Mink, Haifa, Israel

From: Gary Brown (revnor aol.com)
Subject: Tenebrous

You mentioned, in today’s post, the etymology of tenebrous from the Latin word tenebrae, which means “shadows” or “darkness”. This is a word familiar to many Christians, since there is an ancient service of Tenebrae still used in many churches today. This service is often used on the evening of Maundy Thursday during Holy Week (the week that leads from Palm Sunday to Easter), although it can also be used on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. The service can include the receiving of communion and various other worship elements, but it is primarily shaped around readings from the dramatic scripture story of Holy Week, combined with the extinguishing of candles and other lights until the worship space is totally dark, symbolizing the extinguishing of the life of Jesus on the cross.

By the way, I also enjoyed your Thought for the Day from Euripides today, since I am a father growing old with a daughter who is very dear to me. I passed the words along to my daughter!

I have enjoyed your posted words since a friend from Spain sent me a subscription.

Gary P. Brown (a retired pastor), Hammondsport, New York

From: Bruce A. Bateman (bbateman pticom.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turbid

In the world of water chemistry, turbidity refers to particles of matter suspended in a body or column of water. Without getting overly technical I will say there are precise measurements and predetermined scales or levels of turbidity allowed in various water classes. While a muddy, turbid river is allowable, your friendly bottle of drinking water would likely lose sales appeal with the same amount of debris floating around in it. There are a number of ways to precipitate these particles out and clarify the once turbid brew.

Bruce Bateman, Saipan Island

From: Meredith McQuoid-Greason (mcquoidM si.edu)
Subject: turbid/turbidity

Turbidity is an important measure of water clarity in marine and freshwater environmental studies. As suspended particles in the water increase (higher turbidity), the amount of light able to pass through the water column is decreased, thus inhibiting photosynthesis important to sea grasses and phytoplankton. Higher turbidity also increases water temperature because suspended particles absorb more heat; that then reduces dissolved oxygen important to both plant and animal life. Suspended particles can also clog fish gills and smother bottom-dwelling organisms. Causes can be erosion of soil and stream banks, urban runoff or waste discharge, and high algal growth. Turbidity is typically measured visually with a Secchi disk. See more here.

Meredith McQuoid-Greason, Davidsonville, Maryland

Email of the Week (Win Indian Summer TODAY -- There are no cowboys in this movie.)

From: Kaila Luttrell (kailax gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tenebrous

You wrote:

Again, these words are selected using a pseudo random number generator, so don’t use them for divination or for life’s big decisions (Should I marry him?).

I clicked the link to the random generator with “Should I marry him?” in mind, just for fun. The result? Bluebeard.

A rather tenebrous answer. :)

Kaila Luttrell, Vancouver, Washington

From: Jim Saksa (james.f.saksa gmail.com)
Subject: Random theme

This week’s theme made me think of the usefulness of the term stochastic, which refers to a random variable in statistics or probability, and the broader, more casual use of random, which can mean something truly random or something done without forethought or planning. This week’s theme is random, but it isn’t stochastic.

Jim Saksa, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From: Bart Zoltan (bartzoltan gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tenebrous

You do not get a random number when you throw a pair of dice. There is only one way to get to 2 or 12, but there are many combinations that will yield, for example 7 (1&6, 2&5, 3&4, 4&3 (not the same as 3&4), 5&2, and 6&1).

Bart Zoltan, Old Tappan, New Jersey

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

Romance is a tenebrous mission.
Turns quickly from fusion to fission.
One day you’re smitten.
Next, it’s all swidden.
Try golf as a simpler ambition.

-Steve Kirkpatrick, DDS, Olympia, Washington (stevekirkp comcast.net)

Three nights did I scour the dank whidden
For bullion they claimed there was hidden
And found but a shilling
Plus a posh couple swilling
On top of an old kitchen midden.

-Laurence McGilvery, La Jolla, California (laurence mcgilvery.com)

When you’re building the Navy a carrier
The budget is never a barrier
To make it a sure bid
Submit numbers turbid
Start work and then price it up scarier.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

My best-selling lim’ricks on Amazon
Will have a first-class prolegomenon
‘Cause famous I am
Like old Omar Khayyam
Or I think so depending what drugs I’m on.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Three does found themselves never fructuous.
They wondered, “What brings such bad luck to us?”
At last they concluded
that they’d been deluded.
“It certainly looked like a buck to us!”

-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns on Words of the Week

“We are a grumpy group of little Indians, all tenebrous.”

“Swidden by chance be Old MacDonald’s place, would it?”

The man with a cold said he was deturbid to clean the stagnant pond.

“That awful punster has prolegomenonymous so no one will know his identity.”

“Why fructuous?” asked the immigrant grape-pickers on pay day.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it with. -John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704)

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