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AWADmail Issue 730A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor’s Message: Hey, Traditionistas -- does “Old’s Cool” sum up your philosophy of life: old school with a little wry, served neat? Where courage, integrity, authenticity and excellence matter? Same here. So, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Scott Kuhle (see below), as well as all everyone who thinks that the way things were is sometimes better than the way things are 10% off our retro-wicked ludic loot. Jezz use coupon code “SHOPYESTERDAY”.
From: Frank Muller (frank integrow.co.za)
Eeek! Wordsmith.org was hacked by Synonymous!
Frank Muller, George, South Africa
From: Sherry Miller (sherry sherryart.com)
I am a functioning nephalist because I have gout and can’t drink.
Sherry Miller, Tiburon, California
From: Steeve McCauley (steeve.mccauley+wordsmith gmail.com)
I’ve been a nephalist since last night’s cocktail hour.
Steeve McCauley, Montreal, Canada
From: Sarah S. Sole (via website comments)
I have been a nephalist since my teens as alcohol makes me physically ill. My husband loved to brag that he married me because I was a cheap date!
Sarah S. Sole
From: Chris Carter (ccarter iinet.net.au)
Strictly, in pharmacology tachyphylaxis means “a rapidly diminishing response to successive doses of a drug” (Shorter OED). The usual example is glyceryl trinitrate, which can become ineffective after several doses in one day. “Tachyphylaxis” has been wrongly used to describe the loss of efficacy of SSRI antidepressants after prolonged use, typically five or ten years. You could describe this as “Bradyphylaxis” (slow resistance), but is there really any need to make up yet another medical term?
Chris Carter, Perth, Australia
From: Bill Sweeney (wsweeney8 comcast.net)
Your readers might appreciate A.E. Housman’s untitled poem beginning “Terence, this is stupid stuff”. His fanciful, 4th stanza account of Mithridates’s achievement is unforgettable.
Bill Sweeney, North Bennington, Vermont
From: Dee Hunt (dondeehunt gmail.com)
My mother and her identical twin sister were lovingly referred to as “the sin twisters”.
Dee Hunt, Fort Myers, Florida
From: Hope Bucher (hopebucher gmail.com)
My first experience with marrowsky/spoonerism was when my college literature professor spoke of “Sheets and Kelley”. The entire lecture hall erupted in laughter.
As a mother who enjoyed reading to her son, I encountered it again in Shel Silverstein’s last book “Runny Babbit”:
“Runny Babbit lent to wunch and heard the saitress way, “We have some lovely stabbit rew, our Special for today.”
It was a delightful way to introduce wordplay!
Hope Bucher, Naperville, Illinois
From: Scott Kuhle (scottkuhle roadrunner.com)
Probably my most embarrassing marrowsky was with a group of colleagues, who were reminiscing about a friend who had recently died, and I transposed the s and f when responding to a comment about his sense of humor and meant to say, “Yes, he was a funny sucker.” Or was it a Freudian slip?
PS: Many years ago I sent Cullan, a college friend, a gift subscription to A.Word.A.Day, and this morning I received this message from him:
I don't know if you still get and read Wordsmith every day, Scottie, but I am now happy to know the name of your famous (in the best and fondest of memories) description: sunny f**ker. Those ladies in the office at OLA (if they are still alive) may realize what you said was a marrowsky.
To add to the humor of my marrowsky, Cullan and I were Franciscan friars at the time, and the OLA to which he is referring is Our Lady of Angels Friary in Cleveland. The incident happened about 55 years ago.
Scott Kuhle, Pullman, Washington
From: Roberta M. Eisenberg (bobbi alumni.nd.edu)
The masters of these are the Capitol Steps, a DC comedy troupe. More than 30 years ago, they started out as office interns to legislators.
Part of every show they do is called Lirty Dies, which is delivered at a rapid pace thereby making the audience think and concentrate very hard.
Samples of their very funny routines are here.
Roberta M. Eisenberg, New York
From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
And now Wordmith brings forth poecilonym.
The answer to “’Synonym’ synonym”
They side-step a serious schism:
While a girl without clothing attracts us,
His eyes are a sparkling viridian,
Though raised as a strict nullifidian,
He was sitting and having a brewsky,
Spoonerisms, I love to hear.
From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
She thought she’d cleaned her toddler after lunch but there was a black-eyed poecilonym.
Speaking of fluid buildup, a nephalism anything you’d want.
When its medians go unmown, Philadelphia’s Broad Street is a tachyphylaxis.
Pakistanis feel laws are nullifidian legislators propose them.
The Pole seemed sulky and marrowsky, or is that mulky and sarrowsky?
Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:A word has its use, / Or, like a man, it will soon have a grave. -Edwin Arlington Robinson, poet (1869-1935)
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