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AWADmail Issue 688

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

What’s Your Pronoun?
The Web of Language

I am Neither Mr, Mrs, Nor Ms, But Mx
The Guardian

The Mysterious Origins of Punctuation

Email of the Week (Criticize ONEUPMANSHIP here -- you may already be a winner!)

From: Andrew Lloyd (knockroe gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fribble

Fribble: A wasteful or frivolous person or thing.

Wrong wrong almost right. As anyone from New England will tell you, Fribble is the name used by the restaurant chain Friendly’s for their milkshakes As the standard portion of this calorie-rich beverage is 22 oz (624 g), the result is a waist-full person. Should be consumed with a “Very Berry Hot Fudge Sundae” to fill the hips as well.

Andrew Lloyd, Knockroe, Borris, Co Carlow, Ireland

From: LuJean M Pierce (mtnsunshine1557 centurytel.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fribble

Oh, yeah. This verb is me all over. I always fritter away time & do not do the chores, etc. that I need to do. I have always described myself as a procrastinator. I like “fribbler” much more. I am fribbling right now as I fritter around with my computer rather than doing something useful while I wait for my washer to run its cycle. OKAY! I have only 10 minutes until lunch time. Maybe I can get in some more fribbling & frittering. Whoopee! Two minutes of frittering with a phone call (well, it was necessary to know whether my friend and I are going to ride together to sing at the nursing home today, so I guess that was not frittering or fribbling).

LuJean M Pierce, Mentone, Alabama

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Belie

A famous example for Shakespeare’s use of double entendre to create irony can be found in Act IV, Scene 1 of Othello where Iago manages to completely pull the wool over Othello’s eyes regarding Desdemona’s plea to forgive Cassio. In a state of near incoherence Othello exclaims: “Lie with her? lie on her? We say ‘lie on her’ when they belie her!” The innuendo at one and the same time serves to misrepresent the truth and to contradict, i.e. belie, Desdemona’s real intention of wishing to enhance her husband’s reputation as a generous man and a judicious governor.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Donald Neosapien Mokgale (donald.mokgale gmail.com)
Subject: belie

The first first time I heard this word was on Family Guy and it obviously came from the ever-eloquent Stewie Griffin, who was conversing with an old man at the airport, who was trying to get Stewie back home to his parents because he thought that he was lost, so Stewie replied to the man saying; “The ruptured capillaries in your nose belie the clarity of your wisdom.” Quite a profoundly eloquent character indeed.

Donald Mokgale, Johannesburg, South Africa

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

Despite his wife’s sensible quibbles,
the fribbler is wed to his fribbles.
He goes stark, plain mad
in his zeal for each fad,
as if Mrs. were speaking in riddles.

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

She answers the doorbell. Surprise!
The young man’s appearance belies
what she’d read on the Net.
She recalls with regret
that no mention was made of his size.

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

Declared Kubla Khan, “I descry
a river that’s sacred nearby.
Through caverns it runs
to a sea without sun.
This place shall my dome occupy!”

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

If they find on your land a deposit
Of oil your wife you may cosset
Your kids’ll drive Beamers
And act like they’re lemurs
While you think you’re wise as a prophet.

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

In our youth when for peace we were eager
We’d go sing a song with Pete Seeger
With banjo he’d be
At our march on DC
And we’d Johnson and Nixon beleaguer.

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

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

“I’m out of chuck roast, ma’am. I wonder fribble do?”

If you don’t tell the truth under oath you will belie-able.

Some people descry when they go to weddings.

A child? Sparing the rod will cosset to become spoiled.

That shortstop is strictly a beleaguer.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment. -Hart Crane, poet (1899-1932)

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