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AWADmail Issue 745A 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)
You Say “Anguria”, I Say “Cocomero”: Italy’s Many Dialects
From: David Wootten (yard-dawg farmerstel.com)
I certainly hope, in the spirit of equal time and fairness, next week you will feature words applicable to the other candidate... like pathological liar, murderer, traitor, sociopath...
David Wootten, Acworth, Georgia
As expected, this week of words brought a flood of comments, both in email and on the website. Also, as expected, subscription cancellations.
Among other things, some took the opportunity to call Obama a narcissist. Some even called me a narcissist. They offered no evidence in support of either claim. Still, good to know that I have at least one thing in common with the President of the United States.
A recurring strain in these comments was that Trump may be bad, but Hillary is equally bad, or worse.
Over the years I have seen corrupt lawmakers and officials charged, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Both Republicans and Democrats.
Over the course of her four decades in public life, Republicans have had her and her husband investigated numerous times. None of these amounted to much.
There are two possibilities here: either she is extraordinarily sharp and Republicans extraordinarily inept, or the accusations had little merit and were witchhunts (example).
Here’s a tip: When even former prosecutors (see here and here) of the Clintons now praise or endorse them, perhaps it’s time to rethink your assumptions (and start watching something a little more trustworthy than Fox News).
You have made some serious allegations. It’s possible you have uncovered some new evidence to back them up. So instead of emailing a relatively inconsequential organization such as Wordsmith.org, I encourage you to turn it over to the FBI. You may also want to write to a news outlet of your choice. Imagine what Fox News could do with the evidence you have of a murder!
At any rate, thanks for writing. I appreciated hearing from you (I guess sometimes I lie too).
PS: This is the latest story that shows what Trump is: a racist who lives in an alternate reality.
PPS: If you read only one thing between now and Nov 8, read this from a man who wrote an anti-Hillary book and started an anti-Hillary PAC.
From: Dave Campbell (museumofdave gmail.com)
You will doubtless have rafts of folks decry your week’s focus, and most of them will probably tell you to stick to defining words and stay out of politics or attempt to focus their anger on the other candidate in order to justify their choice of a clearly indefensible choice.
Bravo to you! History is full of examples where people with influence and intelligence did not speak out against a clear social menace, did not speak up when the bedrock of a culture was being clearly undermined, failed to speak when the powers of dark persuasion lined up against civil discourse. As a long-time subscriber to AWAD, I congratulate you and encourage your site to speak out against what is clearly destructive.
Dave Campbell, Chico, California
From: Jan Schwartz (jschwartz comverge.com)
As a writer/editor, I’ve been nourished by A.Word.A.Day for years and have enjoyed your books. As a thinking and feeling member of the human race, I’ve felt supported by your world views -- expressed so well in A Thought For Today -- ranging the gamut from human rights to animal rights.
So, as we continue to see more and more public figures risk wrath and backlash coloring their personal brand by taking public stands, I applaud your boldness this week in calling out the populist abomination now one step away from controlling this nation. You are certain to lose subscribers because of this, and I’m sure you knew that. But you also certainly understand righteous behavior doesn’t come without cost. So Anu Garg: I applaud you. And I thank you for this and all the educating you continue to do to lift the consciousness of people throughout this country.
Jan Schwartz, East Hanover, New Jersey
From: Tanya Flemons (TLFlemons verizon.net)
This week’s selection references are reeeeally scary this week. Maybe you should’ve saved them for Halloween. Hah!
Tanya Flemons, Washington, DC
From: William Abbott (wbabbott3 comcast.net)
I have always believed that Narcissus did not “fall in love” with himself but rather he fell in love with his image. That’s very different.
Bill Abbott, Saratoga, California
From: Cynthia Dzendzel (cyndzen earthlink.net)
Understanding that Narcissus was in love with his own reflection makes the stories about Trump’s using his foundation money to buy his portrait and hang it at his golf club so he could look at it make the use of the word narcissism to describe Trump much more meaningful. I have forwarded this to all my friends.
Cynthia Dzendzel, Felton, California
From: Mark Parry (parryma umkc.edu)
Some related, but lesser-known, words:
Seminarcissism: an excessive love of tedious reading lists
Mark Parry, Kansas City, Missouri
From: Murray Bourne (mbourne intmath.com)
Each time I come across mention of the the philanthropic Lien Foundation (which concentrates on early childhood education, eldercare and water sustainability, named after its founder Dr Lien Ying Chow) here in Singapore, I think of the word lien, a very different kind of bond.
Murray Bourne, Singapore
From: Eric Plumlee (eplumlee ra.rockwell.com)
While borrowed both into English and German from French, German speakers make greater use of the word Vitrine, a glass display cabinet. It wasn’t a word I used regularly until my wife bought one for our living room, and she knew no other name for it.
Eric Plumlee, Niederlenz, Switzerland
From: Alan Etherington (alan-e ntlworld.com)
It seems that there are all sorts of different coloured vitriols -- red, green, blue, white, black -- and all are hydrated salts of sulphuric acid and various metals (sorry, I’m British and refuse to be dragged into using the “f” instead of the “ph” -- it could be said that “there is no f in sulphuric acid”, a cry occasionally heard in our lab).
There is a differentiation between oil of vitriol and sweet oil of vitriol, the former being sulphuric acid and the latter diethyl ether. Both are things not to be played with.
Alan Etherington, Billingham, UK
From: Matthew Lanna (LannaMatt aol.com)
That was my personal experience with priests in the Catholic church during my youth. They preferred that I not question and investigate what was being taught -- on faith alone -- because rational common sense would have undermined their teachings. To think on your own was a serious sin; to question God was the pathway to Hell.
Every organized religion does the same thing, even today in an Age of Enlightenment.
Dr. Matt Lanna, Prof, CUNY, retired, Ossining, New York
From: Alex McCrae (mccrae7474 roadrunner.com)
Ancient Greek mythological figure, Narcissus, fell in love with his own reflection in the mirrored surface of a pond. Sigmund Freud, as was his inclination, in deriving much of his novel psychoanalytic-speak from ancient myth and legend, coined his clinical term narcissism. Donald Trump clearly exhibits most of the telltale traits of the classic narcissist. Hmm... even the good Dr. Freud would have been impressed... or might that be... depressed?
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California
From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina
From: Robert Jordan (alfiesdad ymail.com)
Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
This epitome of narcissism
The Donald’s not only a narcissist,
A loss by his businesses huge
Says the Donald to girls of eighteen,
Shouted Trump, overflowing with vitriol,
Some say that Trump is precarious,
Each week a new dialogue
From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
The split in the GOP is wide, narcissism going to heal easily.
Miss a payment and the mob sends Vito to lien on you.
Instead of using blanks, the angry official starts races vitriol bullets.
Precarious, he was known as Archibald Leach.
Trump’s words leave each demagogue (and many republicans, too.)
Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade in public. Never clothe them in vulgar and shoddy attire. -George W. Crane