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AWADmail Issue 724A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Artist Manchan Magan is Preserving the Irish Language, One Word at a Time
The Donald’s Cleverest Trick is Sounding Stupid
From: Michael Jordan (mykolai msn.com)
This word reminds me of a visit to Bryn Athyn Cathedral in Pennsylvania. Over a beautiful entranceway were the words “Nunc licet” -- “now it is permitted” -- from the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. I grasped the handle: the door was locked.
Michael Jordan, New York Mills, New York
From: Mervyn Bennun (mebennun icon.co.za)
I recall, many years ago when I was still young and beautiful, reading about an incident involving New York’s mayor “Fiorella” La Guardia. Apparently (I’m not an American lawyer), as mayor he had some ex-officio criminal jurisdiction. The story goes that he was on the bench when a destitute elderly woman was brought before the court charged with stealing bread from a shopkeeper. Her defence was that she was desperate as her daughter’s husband had abandoned his family, her daughter was too ill to work, and she and her grandchildren were starving. Having determined that these matters were true and that the shopkeeper from whom she stole the loaf would not drop the charge, La Guardia convicted her, fined her $10, announced that he would pay the fine himself, fined everyone in the room for living in a city where one had to steal to eat, and then remitted the fines to the defendant.
The tale may be apocryphal, but in later years while I was an academic in the Law Faculty at Exeter University I used to use it in my seminars with my students in exploring the limits and purposes of the criminal sanction and the defence of necessity.
Mervyn E. Bennun, Cape Town, South Africa
From: Michael Klossner (klossner9 aol.com)
There have been 14 popes (and three anti-popes) named Clement, according to Wikipedia.
Michael Klossner, Little Rock, Arkansas
From: Nancy Charlton (charltonwordorder1 gmail.com)
Of course, one thinks of T.S. Eliot, “The Naming of Cats”. Every cat has three names: the one the family uses daily, the more formal one, and the one known only to himself. So he sits, looking to be asleep, but he is actually contemplating his “ineffable effable effanineffable deep and inscrutable singular NAME.”
And a friend’s son, when he was little, thought “effable” meant “capable of being effed”.
Nancy Charlton, Portland, Oregon
From: Susan Dunn (dunn4 me.com)
These sticky notes are made by Knock Knock and make me laugh every time I use them. Of course, I thought of them today.
Susan Dunn, Montclair, New Jersey
From: Pauline Walker (ianpauline usa.net)
Your list of words brought a smile to my face this week. Whenever my father was ready to go out after performing his ablutions in the morning he used to say: “I’m couth, ept, and shevelled.”
Pauline Walker, Johannesburg, South Africa
From: Robert Martin (rfkmartin gmail.com)
A passage from Jasper Fforde’s One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing:
“I moved quietly to the French windows and stepped out into the garden to release the Lost Positives that the Lady of Shalott had given me. She had a soft spot for the orphaned prefixless words and thought they had more chance to thrive in Fiction than in Poetry. I let the defatigable scamps out of their box. They were kempt and sheveled but their behavior was peccable if not mildly gruntled. They started acting petuously and ran around in circles in a very toward manner.”
This comes from a great series of books with lots of creative wordplay and puns.
Robert Martin, Orono, Minnesota
From: Penny Dixon (pdixon voanews.com)
There was a wonderful piece by Jack Winter in The New Yorker of July 25, 1994, “How I Met My Wife” which used “positives” -- some of which likely have never appeared on their own before. The first sentence: “It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consulate.”
There is also a poem by J.H. Parker “A Very Descript Man”.
Penny Dixon, Washington, DC
From: Ken Doran (kendoran execpc.com)
This week’s theme reminds of this poem, Gloss, remembered from a high school English class.
Ken Doran, Madison, Wisconsin
From: James Hutchinson (james hutch.org.uk)
This week’s words were all ‘forgotten’ positives, shorn of their negative prefixes. Here is a list of (generally) positive words which include negative prefixes:
James Hutchinson, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Say Amsterdam girls when you visit,
If we’re peccable beings indeed,
Said the judge to the murder defendant,
Miss Daisy, the flirt, was quite effable,
If you wish to be thought of as scrutable,
The scarab, clement, viewed the jay, scrutable --
From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
I won’t commit perjury ‘licit helps me get exonerated.
When she pursed her lips, the girl seemed peccable.
I enjoy clement moore and more each Christmas. He tried and tried but his date wasn’t effable.
In other words, she wasn’t scrutable.
Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:He that uses many words for explaining any subject, doth, like the cuttlefish, hide himself for the most part in his own ink. -John Ray, naturalist (1627-1705)