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AWADmail Issue 684

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

Sponsor’s Message:
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From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Declaring an Official Language in the United States is Unnecessary -- and Un-American

SayWhat: A Video Version of Urban Dictionary
Irish Times

Move over Shakespeare, Teen Girls Are the Real Language Disruptors

Email of the Week (Grit. Integrity. Courage. Authenticity. BUY into ‘Old’s Cool’ TODAY.)

From: Debbie James (via online comments)
Subject: micturate

“Michael Owen, formerly a soccer player, will not spend a penny unnecessarily. ‘Don’t care how much I’m bursting,’ he tweets, ‘I refuse to pay 20p to have a wee at a train station.’
One applauds his thriftiness while simultaneously wondering what he does in the circumstances to relieve himself. One also wonders when he found himself in this frightful situation. When last I needed to micturate on railway premises, the going rate was an inflation-busting, wallet-hammering 30p.”
Alan Taylor; How Would Rabbie Burns Vote in the Referendum?; Sunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland); Feb 9, 2014.

Following on the Michael Owen story, the joke goes that the English refused to join the European monetary union as, instead of spending a penny, they would then have to euronate!

Debbie James, Cape Town, South Africa

From: Peter Jennings (peterj benlo.com)
Subject: Micturate

I can’t see this word without thinking of Anthony Burgess’s novels. I had never encountered the word in a non-medical context until I began reading Burgess. He must have loved the word as it seemed to appear in every work.

Peter Jennings, Stoney Lake, Canada

From: Pete Saussy (bujinin netzero.com)
Subject: micturition

I first heard this excellent euphemism in the context of “The boss is in a high and aggravated state of micturition.” Sounds Johnsonian. Technically, I’ve heard it used in reference to the pissing of frogs and toads.

Pete Saussy, Pawleys Island, South Carolina

From: Henry Willis (hmw ssdslaw.com)
Subject: Retromicturition

When I represented Teamster locals a long time ago (think disco, killer rabbits, and Charlie’s Angels) I learned the term “retromicturition” for when an employer reneged on an agreement, i.e., pissed backwards. Still applies, unfortunately. [Also see retromingent.]

Henry Willis, Los Angeles, California

From: Hiller B. Zobel (Honzobe aol.com)
Subject: micturition

When tempted to counter a slanderous verbal attack in similar language, remember the old adage: Never engage in a micturition contest with a member of the genus mephitis. (You’re likely to be skunked.)

Hiller B. Zobel, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Ian Gordon (awad ipgordon.me.uk)
Subject: Re: Micturate

I first encountered this word in the works of Douglas Adams. In The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, the third worst poetry ever is said to be that of the Vogons, a typical example of which begins with the lines:

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblodgits in a lurgid bee.

Ian Gordon, Surrey, UK

From: Richard Stallman (rms gnu.org)
Subject: Osculate

Disney World is located in Kissimi which is in Osceola County. So I said it was the town of Kiss-me in Oscular County.

Richard Stallman, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Howard Bussey (howard.bussey gmail.com)
Subject: this week’s words

A family joke is that eating comprises the processes of salivation, mastication, and gurgitation. This hits about 2.8 of this week’s words.

Howard Bussey, Pittsford, New York

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

While golfing today I was almost too late
To find a tree to micturate!
But just in time--
Aha! a Nordic pine!
And so the ground I could saturate.

-Barry Thomas, Athens, Ohio (thomasb ohio.edu)

If you choose to ask where you may micturate
Your high language skills it may indicate.
But best bet is brevity:
Just say “Man, I gotta pee!”
Or else, smarty-pants, it might be too late.

-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Nightly, great passions we simulate;
Nightly, we tremble and osculate;
But it’s just summer stock,
And our lips never lock--
What night will you fathom true love too late?

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

There comes the time at end of date,
You decide if you osculate,
Do you add to the bliss,
Of a romantic kiss,
Or will a chaste handshake await?

-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Folks with weak stomachs might hesitate
to watch this debate of the candidates.
What some of them tell us
is apt to impel us
to leave our TVs and regurgitate.

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

From nightcap, a little askew,
furry face seemed to play peekaboo.
But what clued Little Red
was what Grandmother said:
“All the better to masticate you!”

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

A foolish pony from a star of Orion
Traded his hooves for paws of a lion.
With joy he danced
With vigor he pranced
This foolish exungulate from Orion.

-Milan Schonberger, Los Angeles, California (milan.schonberger sbcglobal.net)

If you try to my kitty exungulate
You’ll be something the King of the Jungle ate
One look at the clipper
And poof: Jack the Ripper
The house like in earthquakes will undulate.

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

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns on the week’s words

Another NY Yankee said, “I didn’t expect Micturate so high in the pissing contest.”

Romances begin with hand-holding; then things quickly osculate.

“Rieger, ‘dja ta’te that awful home brew?”

Henry the 8th was chewing the fat with Anne, so the priest said to masticate only.

Begging to nail her, I used to argue with my exungulate at night.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place. -William Strunk and E.B. White, authors of The Elements of Style

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