Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



AWADmail Issue 702

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

Sponsor’s Message: Congratulations to this week’s Email of the Week Winner, Larry Dittberner. Merry Oneupmanship Christmas to all AWADers, near and far.

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

Correction of the Year
Language Log

Teach Yourself Italian -- for a Writer, a Foreign Language is a New Kind of Adventure
The New Yorker

Elegy for Lost Verbiage
The Economist

Study Confirms That Ending Your Texts With a Period is Terrible
The Washington Post

Is There Still Any Point Collecting Books? (see bibliotaph)

Email of the Week - Brought to you by Oneupmanship

From: Larry Dittberner (larryd1945 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--jaculate

When I was a kid, growing up in my Catholic world -- the 1950s -- an “ejaculation” was a kind of prayer, an outburst of piety, like “Jesus, Mary & Joseph, pray for me.” Where has that gone to? Not a mantra. And just try saying that in any polite society, heck, any group. It was a different time, eh? It’s a fun word to say, all those sounds bursting out of the mouth.

Larry Dittberner, St. Paul, Minnesota

From: Barbara Merrifield (bmerr icloud.com)
Subject: Quotation

I like today’s quotation. I made a needlepoint of it in 1976. It has been hanging in my home ever since. Your email is always the best of the day.

Barbara Merrifield, Brookline, Massachusetts

From: Jeremy Robinson (hmgbird cfw.com)
Subject: suage

A homonym for suage is swage. This is a metal-forming technique used to make one end of a tube large enough in diameter to accept another tube end so the two can be brazed or soldered into one longer pipe. (video, 2 min.)

It is a very useful technique in metalworking, particularly plumbing. I once used it to connect a new copper pipe to an old lead pipe in a Victorian house I owned. It was a delicate operation, as the temperature at which the solder melted was just a few degrees below that at which the lead would have melted. But it was successful, and so far as I know, the joint thus formed is still in use.

Jeremy Robinson, Lexington, Virginia

From: Julie Johnson (via website comments)
Subject: Where’s the rest of my word?

I like this week’s theme. I heard a report that we have been shortening a lot of our words when we speak. We say “legit” instead of “legitimate”, “cred” instead of “credibility”, etc. Some people think it’s a problem, but I say, “Whatev.”

Julie Johnson, Marietta, Georgia

From: James Hutchinson (james hutch.org.uk)
Subject: Where’s the rest of my word?

The ‘missing’ letters from this week’s words (e-, re-, com-, as-, con-) can be combined to make the words censor cameo, which happens to be the name of a font in which letters are struck through:

James Hutchinson, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

From: Robert Carleton (enchanted128 outlook.com)
Subject: Shortened words

Shortened words? How about shortened letters? Back in my working days one of my duties was to track the response of operating managers to client issues. One manager in particular resisted updating corporate on his response. Once, in frustration, I wrote a formal letter, with all the headings/bells and whistles and the only content was ‘?’. Self-satisfied with my brief inquiry, I was bested by his immediate supervisor who endorsed my letter with a single ‘!’.

Robert Carleton, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

All five words, and this
title, equal the one anagram:
1. jaculate
2. cognize
3. plaint
4. suage
5. gratulate
1. oral hurl
2. perceive, glean a fact
3. a lament
4. quiet, anaesthetize, adjust
5. glowing salutation, glad
The complete text in the right box is an anagram of the complete text in the left (each individual line is not an anagram of the corresponding line in the other box).
Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico

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

Mr. Trump, I daresay, doesn’t vacillate
From his mouth he will frequently jaculate
A thought for the day
That we word lovers pray
Isn’t chosen by Anu to propagate.

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

Although she was dressed in disguise,
His own wife he sure did cognize.
When she teased and flirted,
“I’m married!” He blurted.
That husband, he was very wise.

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

When expressing your grief as a plaint
you might think yourself clever and quaint,
but some could be confused
and some might be amused,
ah, but modern locution it ain’t.

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

He’d had no success with barrage
of attempts his alone-ness to suage.
But when he caught sight
of two ladies one night,
there arose quite a cozy ménage.

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

At death and destruction we gratulate
In ISIS the new global caliphate
Come join, it’s amazing!
And after your hazing
With virgins in heaven you’ll copulate.

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

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

When little JFK burst into class at 8:17 the teacher said, “Jaculate!”

As they ascended Mt. Washington by train she said, “Isn’t this cognize?” (hint)

“Honey, do ya promise not ta holler if’n I plaint one on ya?”

“You were going to say something hurtful. What suage your thinking?” (Swayge, not ‘swaz.’)

Hearing him effervesce about his diploma, his mom said, “I thought you’d never gratulate!”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The music that can deepest reach, / And cure all ill, is cordial speech. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith