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AWADmail Issue 699

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

Sponsor’s Message: We’re a 100% American, proudly-independent (some would say quixotic and recalcitrant) design studio, so gobble, gobble is our favorite holiday, if you know what we mean. “Old’s Cool” sums up our philosophy of life in a neat little turn of phrase -- old school with a shot of wry, served neat. In that spirit, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Doris Waggoner (see below), as well as all rebels, renegades, disrupters, and dreamers everywhere 20% off everything in store -- through midnight Monday only. BUY into OLD’S COOL NOW -- and be sure to use coupon code “oneupmanship”.

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

Singular ‘They’ is Word of the Year
The Web of Language

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is... an Emoji
OxfordWords blog

Taste the Translation

From: Simon Katzenellenbogen (via online comments)
Subject: sitzmark

The picture with this word reminds me of the first time I (an American) told my British wife and children that I would make a snow angel. They were rather disappointed when I sitzmarked, lay down, spread my arms, moved them up and down in the snow and got up. From a sitzmark to an angel.

Simon Katzenellenbogen, Manchester, UK

From: Thomas E. Lund (tLund oppenheimer.com)
Subject: Sitzmark

This recalls memories of a group outing to a ski hill in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on a warm spring day. One novice skier wore new blue jeans. One could track her progress down the slope by the line of blue sitzmarks.

Thomas E. Lund, Minneapolis, Minnesota

From: Libby A Durbin (ldbelle embarqmail.com)
Subject: sitzmarks

In 1954 on Oregon’s Mt. Hood I had my first and only skiing experience. I fell numerous times and left the slope more hazardous for other beginners because I didn’t know I was supposed to fill in my sitzmarks.

Libby Durbin, Lincoln City, Oregon

From: Scott Baltic (sbaltic rcn.com)
Subject: Outro

As a long-time print magazine editor, I’d like to add another meaning to the word outro.

Especially because many people tend to flip through a magazine from back to front, instead of front to back, the last editorial page in a magazine, that is, the page facing the inside back cover (or Cover 3 in magazine parlance) is considered to be particularly valuable real estate.

That’s why this page, usually called the outro, is typically home to a stand-alone, one-page item, such as a standing column, a stand-alone photo or mini photo essay, or some other attractive content.

It’s also a nice way to finish an issue of a magazine for someone who reads from front to back, since there’s a definite, quality *end* to the issue, rather than just some classified ads or similar rather unattractive miscellany.

Scott Baltic, Chicago, Illinois

From: Dr. Alexis Melteff (aapm52 yahoo.com)
Subject: outro

The earliest use of outro I remember was in the title of a very clever novelty record called The Intro and The Outro (recording, 3 min.) by the Bonzo Dog Band (1967).

Dr. Alexis Melteff, Santa Rosa, California

From: Leo O’Neil (leooneil verizon.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--outro

I am an over-70-year-old pro musician. We use the words midtro and outro when the phrases contain musical elements of the intro. Without the similarities to the intro they are called interlude and ending.

Leo O’Neil, Houston, Texas

From: Jamie Hook (hookshyu aol.com)
Subject: outro

The final measures of the outro of my father’s life slipped into silence on the day of intro of that word into my life. Your inspiration in the choice of that word for that day was reflected in his final inspiration. The joy of music that enveloped him mirrored my mother’s love of words and to have those fused and coming to me on this day of all days has given me unexpected solace. Thank you. (He was 98, my mom 91 when she went. They were both ready when it happened, and they and we were blessed in that.)

Jamie Hook, Princeton, New Jersey

From: Clyde Dawson (clydawson xtra.co.nz)
Subject: Solipsist

In a little book of poetry about ‘Evolution’, which was my dad’s first gift to my mother, there was a poem called The First Idealist. Solipsist reminded me of that:

A jellyfish swam in a tropical sea
And he said, “This world just consists of me”
There is nothing above or nothing below
That a jellyfish ever can properly know.
“So I come at last to the plain conclusion,
Which is fairly set free from any confusion,
That the Universe simply centers in me
And if I were not, then nothing would be.”
That moment a shark who was strolling by
Just gulped him down in the blink of an eye.
And he died with a few convulsive twists
But somehow the Universe still exists.
(By Grant Allen)

Clyde Dawson (California, now 48 years in New Zealand, octogenarian)

From: Ossie Bullock (osmundbullock aol.com)
Subject: solipsistic

Actually, ‘solipsistic’ itself can be a pretty good insult, assuming the recipient understands it. One ex of mine, a clinical psychologist, took to calling me that during our relationship’s painful end game.

Ossie Bullock, London, UK

Email of the Week (Grit. Integrity. Courage. Authenticity. Old School + Wit = Old’s Cool).

From: Doris Waggoner (waggonerdoris gmail.com)
Subject: solipsism

When a nephew’s first child was a newborn, he noticed her eyes moving and commented, “I wonder what she could possibly be dreaming about. She’s got no experience yet so she’s got nothing to dream about.” I think that was solipsism (your second definition) on his daughter’s behalf. Even at the time, it occurred to me that in her own life, the baby had lots of experience -- being hungry, tired, uncomfortable, hot, or cold; needing to be changed; interacting with two parents, a big dog, and a lot of other people; hearing their music or conversation. Maybe my nephew was the one being a solipsist, since he couldn’t remember what it was like to be two weeks old!

Doris Waggoner, Seattle, Washington

From: Pierre-Alexandre Sicart (pa_sicart hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--solipsism

These are actually two very different concepts.

“The view or theory that the self is all that exists” is metaphysical solipsism.
“The view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist” is epistemological solipsism.

The latter finds its purest expression in Descartes’s cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am).

Our existence (not its nature) is the only absolute certainty, for each of us (or at least for me, since I can’t know for sure that you exist). Everything else requires some form of faith: I do believe that your existence is different in essence from the existence of the people I interact with in my dreams. But I cannot be sure.

Pierre-Alexandre Sicart, Midi-Pyrenees, France

From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 windstream.net)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

Anagram containing this week’s words:
1. sitzmark
2. outro
3. solipsism
4. intrapreneur
5. bathos
= 1. seat mark in snow
2. program’s last part
3. egoism, hubris
4. authorization in work
5. sin descent
Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico

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

Little kids make sitzmarks for a lark
on the lawn, the schoolyard, or park.
But when I made one
it wasn’t for fun:
Mustn’t go in the snow after dark!

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

The event is approaching its outro.
Cries elephant, “Where’d my mahout go?
This howdah is slipping,
my passengers flipping.
Oh why does that man gad about so!”

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

Arriving at final decision
re: patient’s extreme solipsism,
his doctor opines,
“Since we’re two of a kind,
I suggest we attempt no revision!”

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

As a free-wheeling intrapreneur
You must still corporate bosses endure
Many lilies they gild
With the profits you build
While they probably pay you manure.

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

Said the Muskateer named Athos,
“It’s surely a case of bathos,
To have dropped down so far,
Hero to candy bar,
That’s why I wallow in pathos.”

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

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: A WAD of puns

In the pantheon of Olympic swimmers, there sitzmark Spitz.

Your song is ‘ok’ but you outro rewrite the ending.

My friend’s solipsism mighty good thing to receive when I’m distraught.

When walking in a cow pasture, don’t step intrapreneur.

We’ve definitely gone downhill when someone has to bathos.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

All words are pegs to hang ideas on. -Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and writer (1813-1887)

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