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AWADmail Issue 72

Mar 18, 2002

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

From: Denis Karenkin (dkvATonline.tm)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--troika

Troika is also used in Russian for naming a three-piece suit and a mark awarded for performance at school which corresponds to "satisfactory". It's followed by chetvyorka - "good" and pyatyorka' - "excellent".

Have a pyatyorka day, everybody!

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

From: Lisa Blackwell (lblackwellATgovserv.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--samizdat

The word samizdat first came to my attention in the early '90s as a Russian major at Stetson University. I was so charmed by it that I created the fictitious press "Samizdat, Inc" and always included the logo in my unpublished chapbooks and novels. I was also told that there was a parallel word "tamizdat" coined around the same time. It was based on the same root "-izdat" (publish) but with the preposition "tam" meaning "there"--to publish "over there." Tamizdat was used to refer to those literary works which were smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published abroad in the West, as I believe _Dr. Zhivago_ was originally. Also, magnitizdat was a term used for the dissemination of homemade, illegal tape recordings.

From: Lew Shipp (warner.shippATsaic.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--glasnost

Germans fire off rockets and firecrackers to bring in the New Year. In December 1989, my local supermarket in Bavaria carried a new brand of rocket. The nose cone was made of clear plastic. The brand was Glasnost, a play on "glass nose."

From: Andrea Balboa (anbalboaAThotmail.com)
Subject: A Comment on nyet

The most useful phrase one can learn in Russian (after "Ya loobloo peat vodku" - I love to drink vodka) has to be "Nyet, Ya koshka" or "No I'm a cat." It provides an excellent answer to almost any question asked of you....Do you know where the kiosk is? No, I'm a cat. Would you give me the pleasure of joining me for dinner tonight? No, I'm a cat. Did you remember to do the dishes? No, I'm a cat.

Try it out for a few days and I promise you'll get asked fewer questions!

From: Pedro.Diaz (pedro.diazATlecroy.com)
Subject: nyet

A Russian LAN gone awry is a nyetwork.

From: Victoria Mabry (infoATjameyragle.org)
Subject: Two roads diverged....

In reply to snydemjATshands.ufl.edu


The above link will show you your option of four choices. But, what if you are taking a road and it forks ahead of you. Wouldn't that be two roads diverging? Then you would have three choices: the right fork, the left fork, and turning around and going back.

There are two lines in the poem by Robert Frost. The first line is "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." The last stanza includes the line "Two roads diverged in wood."

From: Nick Osdale-Popa (nikko42AThotmail.com)
Subject: I discovered this cool anagram

Internal Revenue Service = An unset evil irreverence = A sincere evil rerun event

Try your hand at the Internet Anagram Server.

From: Lucy Wormser (ppsATaloha.net)
Subject: Presents

As long as I can remember, when asked what gifts I'd like to receive for my birthday, I would respond- "words", or later "words and seeds". My Pop would bring me a word, along with a handful of "Apache Tears" from his travels, or a pair of silver mobile earrings he'd made, or a new magic trick - pulling a foreign coin deftly from behind my ear. But it was the words, "empathy", "epiphany" which set me free. Thank you for the presents and to Ari who gifted you to me.

What a beautiful story! If you wish to spread the magic of words, visit gift subscription page. -Anu

From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
Subject: AWAD Premium service

To mark eight years of AWAD on this March 14, we've introduced premium membership. You're welcome to sign up for the ad-free AWAD Premium service.

If you wish to continue with the present free service, you don't need to do anything.

From: Jessica Hill (jessicaATmillhanson.com)
Subject: the dictionary project

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about The Dictionary Project -- one woman trying to give dictionaries to every third grader in South Carolina and eventually throughout the country.
I thought it might be a wonderful thing for AWAD subscribers to support for the sake of the future of word-loving.

Words strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, / Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, / Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, / Will not stay still. -T.S. Eliot, poet (1888-1965)

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