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AWADmail Issue 719

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

‘Yeo-Person’? One Title Vexes Navy’s Push for Gender Neutrality
The New York Times

A Lexicographer Explains the Sneaky Agenda Behind Trump’s Dirty Mouth

From: Nicole Perry (veegin335 yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--clairaudience

I found the perfect way to impress (and freak out) my boyfriend using this word. We were having a conversation through text, and I noticed his responses were in complete sentences and had fewer mistakes than usual. I asked if he was using text-to-speech. He responded, “Yes. How did you know?” I typed back: “Because I am clairaudient.”

Nicole Perry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From: Malcolm Green (malcolmdgreen aol.com)
Subject: affluential

In French-speaking cities, “les heures d’affluence” are what we American commuters call “rush hours” when, paradoxically, with so many other cars on the road no one is really rushing very quickly anywhere.

Malcolm Green, Long Beach, California

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--affluential

In light of today’s word “affluential”, another flow-rooted word comes to mind, “effluent”, often associated with fluid waste, or sewage.

One could argue that certain high-profile, so-called affluential politicians might possess both great accumulated wealth and apparent major political clout, yet what flows from their mouth in the heat of campaign debate often borders on the ‘effluential’... expletive-laced verbiage that might well make even a no-account, foul-mouthed low-lifer blush in awe.

I’ll plead ‘The 5th’ on naming names.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Alan D. Abbey (alan.abbey gmail.com)
Subject: affluent banksters

Is it just a coincidence, or did you have inside info from the investigative journalists who broke the ‘Panama Papers’ stories about affluential banksters this week?

Alan D. Abbey, Jerusalem, Israel

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

Your words, “The derogatory suffix ster”, inspired a short voyage of discovery which led me to the interesting observation that -ster was originally based on the female agent (a person who) from Old English and other languages. Hmmm.

In the 14th century, in northern Middle English, the suffix ster came to refer to the professional, vs occasional, doer of something, presumably a complimentary vs derogatory action.

Apparently, the gender neutral derogatory meaning entered the language in the 16th century, requiring words such as seamster to be reformed as seamstress to maintain the feminine agent without a derogatory nuance.

Thank you, once again AWAD, for your morning inspiration.

Peter Jennings, Ben Lomond, California

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! - A way better buy than Bananagrams.)

From: Dan Charnas (decharnas gmail.com)
Subject: Sheeple

Lyricist Sheldon Harnick uses “sheeple” in the musical She Loves Me, which is currently in revival on Broadway. In a recurring motif, the chorus illustrates the passage of time by counting down the number of shopping days before Xmas (lyrics, video, 4 min.). In each iteration, the chorus describes itself as “we are the people who shop in time” and is paced at a faster tempo than the previous which eventually leads to trips of the tongue: “we are the popple who sheep in time” and “we are the sheeple who pop in time.” Sheeple.

Dan Charnas, New York, New York

From: Jorge Del Desierto (george_potvin yahoo.com)
Subject: Blend words

In French, the term for blend words is mot-valise or suitcase words.

Jorge Del Desierto, La Paz, Mexico

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Blend words

One portmanteau coinage I am still inordinately proud of after some fifty years past its creation is the name I gave to a late afternoon Christmas brunch I had in Montreal. Adding to the already existing blend of breakfast and lunch, I came up with brinner, i.e. brunch and dinner, thus partaking of a Yule Brinner. I hope fellow linguaphiles still remember the noted actor of such memorable films and musicals as Anastasia and The King and I (in whose name the -e is not only silent but invisible, too).

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Ian Pinnock (ianpinnock1 gmail.com)
Subject: Blend words

A blend word we often use to describe someone who is suffering from imbibing too freely is ‘he drank so much he got parazontal.’ The blend of ‘paralyzed’ and ‘horizontal’ often sums up the end state of a huge binge quite accurately.

Ian Pinnock, Johannesburg, South Africa

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

All five words below, plus this heading, are equal to the one anagram to the right:
1. lunkhead
2. clairaudience
3. affluential
4. bankster
5. sheeple
1. a dull, stupid man
2. hear (feel) the inaudible - alas, rare
3. have the power of great wealth
4. dishonest banker, illegal cheat
5. unquestioning flock
The text in the right box is an anagram of the text in the left.
Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico

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

A lunkhead from old Boston, Mass,
At the ladies he made quite a pass.
His IQ though dim,
Was loaded with vim,
But his manner was glaringly crass.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodth snet.net)

The Abbot experienced clairaudience.
He’d been sober two weeks, and he’d got a sense
That his path would be clear.
Said a Voice: “Have a beer!”
Well, he honoured his vow of obedience.
-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (obutterfield shaw.ca)

Everyone has the potential,
To live a life affluential.
It helps quite a bit,
To inherit it,
And acting more presidential.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Dear colleagues: depraved cyber-pranksters
Have exposed us as fraudulent banksters.
We’ve had some bad luck
With the USA buck.
I’m suggesting a move to Swiss francs, sirs.
-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (obutterfield shaw.ca)

There once was a Mafia gangster
Whose son was a cute little prankster.
Said the don, “Little devil,
Grow up on the level,
Become a respectable bankster!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Republicans speak to their sheeple
Like monkeys who fling matter fecal.
From skyscrapers Trump
Will his bucketsful dump
Where Ted Cruz does it under a steeple.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns of the weak

Tennessee has the most caves in the US if you want to spelunkhead there.

Clairaudience-iate better. She sometimes drops her ‘N’s.

“Affluential-adas from Texas to Maine in exchange for lobsters.”

The tsunami made the river bankster.

“Sue is such a goof-off. Why won’t sheeple her own weight?”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: Suzanne Heymann (s.heymann live.ca)
Subject: April 5: Happy Birthday, Anu!

Today, happy birthday to you!
To our favorite wordsmith, Anu.
Your site’s NEVER a bore,
You have opened the door
To a garden of words to browse through.

I anticipate new words each day
And the anagrams, puns, and wordplay.
And the poems are like shows,
The creative juice flows,
Even comments have neat things to say.

My vocabulary keeps growing,
Folks are starting to think I’m ‘all-knowing’.
If more people just knew
Of this site made by you
Then they too would feel language just flowing.

You’re helping us all rediscover
These hidden gems, but they now hover
In front of our eyes
Till we soon realize
Deep down EACH of us is a word lover.

The birthday gift I give to you
Isn’t much, or expensive, or new.
Just a great magnitude
Of my deep gratitude
For the gifts you give daily anew --
They’re like chocolate or candy
Or wine or good brandy
Or flowers of every hue.

Happy birthday, Anu! May all your birthday wishes come true! (Even if they defy gravity.)

Suzanne Heymann, Nanaimo, Canada

A word after a word after a word is power. -Margaret Atwood, poet and novelist (b. 1939)

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