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Sep 11, 2016
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AWADmail Issue 741

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

Sponsor’s Message: What’s ‘old school’ mean to you? A straight-razor shave? Cream whipped up with a whisk? You gotta be impressed by a man who stands up and looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand. A sincere ‘sorry’. White gloves in church. So, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Andrew Pressburger (see below), as well as all you traditionistas out there an absolute last chance to tell us what you value and love about the world we are losing or have already lost, and win some of our authentic ludic loot, to boot. ENTER The Old’s Cool Contest NOW.

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

Alien Interpreters: How Linguists Would Talk to Extraterrestrials
Scientific American

Waking Our Sleeping Indigenous Languages
The Guardian

Learning Foreign Languages Can Sharpen Our Minds

The Daunting Task Of Designing Language For Video Games
Game Informer

From: Dominique Mellinger (dominiquemellinger yahoo.co.uk)
Subject: flagrant

In French, flagrant is used as some kind of superlative of obvious. Something flagrant is something so obvious that, for example, the eye cannot not see it. ‘There is a difference in colour... C’est flagrant.’ It works also for invisible things. ‘Ils nous mentent, c’est flagrant!’ (They’re lying to us, that’s obvious!)

Dominique Mellinger, Gorze, France

From: Leonore Helder (toddyfox aol.com)
Subject: Mendacity

Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Mendacity. “It smells like death.”

Leonore Helder, Lansing, Michigan

Illustration: Alex McCrae
From: Alex McCrae (mccrae7474 roadrunner.com)
Subject: mendacious cartoon drawing

This young troublemaker has been stalking birds and frogs with his homemade slingshot. Yet in this pictured scenario, with fingers crossed and sporting a Pinocchio-esque liar’s schnoz, he’s clearly betraying his mendacious, mischievous ways.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Oliver Haffenden (oliver.haffenden bbc.co.uk)
Subject: Feckless

The word feck is used in Irish English as a euphemistic version of the similar word with a u. Although much less strong, it’s incredibly useful: it can be employed in all the same constructions and inflections (feck off, fecking, feck all, etc.) as its more offensive cousin, whilst barely causing a raised eyebrow. It was brought to the attention of the wider English-speaking world by the brilliant comedy series Father Ted. Consequently, today’s word featured in the “Uxbridge English Dictionary” round on BBC Radio 4’s famous panel show “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue”. The new definition of feckless was given as “Irish virgin”.

(Strictly the definition is the wrong part-of-speech, but let’s not nitpick.)

Oliver Haffenden, London, UK

Email of the Week: Milk a dollar out of every dime, before it’s too late -- SHOP OLD’S COOL NOW.

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Feckless

Other similar formations are luckless (instead of unlucky) and the peculiar cyber expression lossless, meaning without losing data when compressing it. King John, brother of Richard the Lionheart and victim of the baronial revolt that resulted in his signing of Magna Carta, foundation of British liberties, was variously known as John the Landless or John Lackland. Unsurprisingly, no other British monarch has worn the name since.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Vinay Kashyap (kashyap.vinay gmail.com)
Subject: This week’s theme

Ha. Flagrant, Mendacious, Venal, and Feckless. Potpourri my foot. Admit it -- this week’s theme is ‘words to describe Donald Trump’, ain’t it?

Vinay Kashyap, Arlington, Massachusetts

From: Joan Perrin (perrinjoan aol.com)
Subject: Misc. words

I love that each adjective is also included in the usage example of the next word in this week’s theme of miscellaneous words. It is a veritable example of the world’s most disreputable attorneys, the law firm of Flagrant, Mendacious, Venal, and Feckless!

Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York

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

The anagram to the right is composed of all of the letters in these five words below, plus this heading:
1. flagrant
2. mendacious
3. venal
4. feckless
5. veritable
1. offensive, blatant, shameless
2. deceptive, dishonest, from slight hogwash to bold lies
3. corrupt, amoral
4. weak, ineffective
5. true thing, ‘the real deal’ (slang)
The text in the right box is an anagram of the text in the left.

Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina

From: Robert Jordan (alfiesdad@ymail.com)
Subject: This week's words anagrammed

1. flagrant
2. mendacious
3. venal
4. feckless
5. veritable
= 1. rank
2. all's deceiving
3. bent
4. re: false moves
5. factual

Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand

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

Says banker to debtor, “Your flagrant
ignoring of regular payment
is what we’re addressing.
We’ll be repossessing.
So sorry to make you a vagrant.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The stuff that he says is so flagrant
That Trump should be kept in the basement.
Of truth this gorilla
Speaks not a scintilla.
He thinks that his poop isn’t fragrant.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Shouting, “Hillary fibs to our faces!”
Trump’s supporters have grown quite loquacious.
If they’d open their eyes
to their candidate’s lies,
they would see who is truly mendacious.
-Demi Brown, Sarasota, Florida (editorial pineapplepress.com)

A camel told stories mendacious
To his girl at the desert oasis.
The drinks that he bought her
Were so full of water
That soon she was feeling flirtatious.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I’m sure that this judge here is venal,”
says D, “so a bit of my green’ll
persuade him to do
what I order him to,
and rule that my project’s not penal.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

In matters decidedly venal,
The results can often be penal.
If one doth imbibe
In the occasional bribe,
The outcome will not be congenial.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodth snet.net)

I could never call anyone feckless
who is masculine, macho, and neckless.
There is pow’r in a tussle
that won’t require muscle,
brains, grit, and a touch of the reckless.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The press has been calling him reckless,
But I know for a fact -- hardly feckless.
Pugnacious, audacious,
And surely mendacious...
Oh! Look at my new diamond necklace!
-Steve Cabito, Santa Rosa, California (cabito sonic.net)

Dear God, what a tragical season:
citizens robbed of all reason
by one feckless chump
who spouts from his stump
notions that sound much like treason.
-Laurence McGilvery, La Jolla, California (laurence mcgilvery.com)

Some think of Donald as feckless.
They consider Trump quite reckless.
His great love for Putin,
There is no disputin’.
I think that he should defect, yes.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The best kind of fortune’s inheritable.
Then having a job’s not inevitable.
“The poor,” shouts my father,
“With work will not bother!”
If so, that’s the Holy Grail veritable.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The political campaigns are mendacious,
The candidates fiercely tenacious.
Perhaps both should aspire
To ideas much higher,
And to each other be presidentially gracious.
-Barry Thomas, Athens, Ohio (thomasb ohio.edu)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: A miasma of miscellaneous mots

Lincoln liked Ulysses, generally, but a few times he wanted to flagrant.

Most mendacious, but a few do their skiing at night.

People who accept bribes belong in a venal colony.

Is it true that women are feckless drivers? That lying weatherman said we’d have veritable winds, but there was no breeze at all.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Every eighteen months, the minimum IQ necessary to destroy the world drops by one point. -Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, researcher (b. 11 Sep 1979)

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