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AWADmail Issue 756

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

Sponsor’s Message: All of us here at The Old's Cool Company just wanted to wish Email of the Week winner Erin Guinup, and all AWADers near and far a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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

Lost and Found in Translation
Casper Journal

Language and Linguistics on Trial

The First Cousin of the English Language is Alive and Well in the Netherlands
Public Radio International

From: José Luis Palacios (jopalal gmail.com)
Subject: Burnt-out letters

I think the most obvious example of the season is Trump ⇨ Rump. Is it not?

J. L. Palacios, Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Carel de Haseth (cpdehaseth gmail.com)
Subject: One letter burned out...

Reminds me of the Latin saying: “Amicus cognitur amore, more, ore, re.” You know a friend by his friendship, his behavior, what he says, and his deeds.

Carel de Haseth, Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles

From: Jean-David Roulet (jdroulet gmail.com)
Subject: Shell is hell

From 1984 to 1988, I worked in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for a while in an office in the Shell building. One day, the “S” light burned out and it remained so for a few weeks!! Sorry I did not make a picture!

Jean-David Roulet, Vienna, Austria

From: Rick Marriner (richard.marriner maine.gov)
Subject: Hell is here

In Ian Fleming’s Moonraker, James Bond saw “Hell is here” in flashing lights. Then he noticed a building had obscured the full sign -- “Summer Shell is here”. Foreshadowing.

Rick Marriner, Augusta, Maine

From: Keith Prochnow (keith prochnownatural.com)
Subject: hotel sign

Here in Milwaukee, we have a fine hotel called Iron Horse Hotel. That name is lit up in huge, red letters on the top of two sides of the building. The smarties were thinking ahead, such that, at the holidays, they are able to turn off letters so as to read Iron Ho Ho.

Keith Prochnow, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

From: Carolyn C Martin (carokei msn.com)
Subject: Hot grama

For many years, the most prominent sight in the picturesque New York City suburban village of Bronxville was the venerable Hotel Gramatan (named for a long-expired Indian chief). Disembarking from the New York train, the first thing a visitor saw was the California Mission Style (don’t ask) edifice that stood atop a cliff, crowned with an oversized neon sign that proclaimed its name.

Sometime in the 1930s, several young local wags darkened five letters, resulting in the sign’s reading HOT GRAMA. As I recall, this was about the same time that local resident, Joe Kennedy, patriarch of the Kennedy clan, was housing his movie star mistress, Gloria Swanson, there.

One oughtn’t repeat gossip, but this story is so well-documented locally, I think it long ago passed beyond mere tale-telling.

Carolyn C Martin, Litchfield, Connecticut

From: Peretz Rodman (peretzrodman gmail.com)
Subject: Essex Street Retail Market

One day, back in the 1970s, I exited from the legendary (and now lamented) kosher Chinese restaurant, Shmulke Bernstein’s, only the Lower East Side of Manhattan, also known by its address: Bernstein’s on Essex Street. I turned left, walked a block or so, and looked back. On the left side of the street I saw a sign in large letters, roughly opposite the restaurant, and its message shocked me:


Only upon closer inspection did I figure out that a piece of the building, jutting out closer to the street, obscured part of the sign for the Essex Street Retail Market.

Peretz Rodman, Jerusalem, Israel

From: Steve Warshaw (siw well.com)
Subject: this week’s theme

Mutilated traffic signs can provoke interesting images. Speed Limit signs ... with the S and D fallen off or obliterated by hunting rifles.

Steve Warshaw, New York, New York

From: Padraig McCarthy (ollum1 gmail.com)
Subject: Free Speech

About 15 years ago, strolling through the campus of UC Berkeley, we passed the “Free Speech Café”. The sign outside had been edited by deleting the first letter of the word “Speech”; and also the last two letters of the same word

Padraig McCarthy, Carlow, Ireland

From: Michael Jordan (mykolai msn.com)
Subject: Word Burnout

A local supermarket chain, Price Chopper, had this problem with lights also. On one occasion, it became “Price ho” and on another, “Pric Chopper”.

Michael Jordan, New York Mills, New York

From: Sandra Orlando (eyehula gmail.com)
Subject: signs

There is a grocery store chain in Florida, named Publix, whose slogan is, “Where shopping is a pleasure.” Driving by one of their stores one evening, I noticed the illuminated sign read, “Pub ix, where hopping is a pleasure”!

Sandra Orlando, Sun City Center, Florida

Email of the Week - Brought to you by Old’s Cool - Harken back to a happier time.

From: Erin Guinup (eringuinup gmail.com)
Subject: burned out letters

A Tacoma holiday tradition was born when the S burned out at the Tacoma Self Storage making it Tacoma Elf Storage.

Erin Guinup, Tacoma, Washington

From: Sandra Albers (albers hawaii.edu)
Subject: Long rugs

At our drugstore, Long’s, the other night, the sign said “Long rugs”.

Sandra Albers, Kaneohe, Hawaii

From: Art Roche (Rocheart3 msn.com)
Subject: The F_____ Hospital

In Dubuque, Iowa, there are two hospitals, very competitive: Mercy Medical Center and The Finley Hospital. I cherish the photo that I took one night of Finley’s big sign on the upper level of the tower: The F_____ Hospital. (I worked at Mercy.)

Art Roche, Dubuque, Iowa

From: Serge Marelli (serge_marelli yahoo.fr)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--parable

Jesus said : “In Truth, y = x2!” The disciples were a little confused, and Mark said, “Listen Jesus, usually we can understand what you mean, but this time you’ve lost us.” To this Jesus answered, “This is expected, it is a parable!”

Serge Marelli, Luxembourg

From: Sherill Anderson (clintonsherill hotmail.com)
Subject: Arable

For many years I have read and reread “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. Recently I realized that the name of the farm family in the story is “Arable”.

Sherill Anderson, Seattle, Washington

From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--parable

A parable is like a parabolic curve -- a long way around to make a point, like a shaggy dog story. Likewise, hyperbole is like a hyperbolic curve.

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Kathy Borst (kborst mcn.org)
Subject: Beheading words

In light of the word game you introduced, I tried to come up with a few words that can withstand multiple beheadings, not that successfully. Best efforts produced this:



I finally gave up and looked online and found this site. They seem to suggest ASPIRATE is the “famous” word in this game:

Kathy Borst, Yorkville, California

From: Martin Cross (martincross edmbooks.com.my)
Subject: dropping letters

I remember this one from school:

Martin Cross, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: burnt-out lighting and orotund

Oys R Us
Anu Garg’s little burnt-out “Seatt ghting” (sans the “le” in Seattle and the “Li” in Lighting) link inspired my coming up with this admittedly slightly silly cartoony take. The normally lit-up “T” in the TOYS “R” US marquee has burned out leaving us with OYS “R” US. The Yiddish word “oy” roughly equates in English to say “geez”, “darn it”, or “yikes”. The two mildly perplexed Orthodox Jewish gents suspect they may have come upon a shop of the “Jewish wares”.

Orotund O Mio!
Luciano Pavarotti, opera mega-star extraordinaire, for decades dazzled audiences the world over w/ his signature orotund tenor voice. Yet his legions of fans also much appreciated his unrelenting zest for life, love, dedication to craft and family, plus the gastronomical delights in which he so loved to indulge. Ergo, Luciano’s hefty... dare I say, rotund physique.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

1. platitudinarian
2. orotund
3. suberous
4. parable
5. dubiety
= 1. a drab bore
2. loud
3. built as a stopper
4. aid in unity
5. untrue
= 1. a bore
2. round
3. in part an airy tissue build-up
4. tale
5. doubt
= 1. idiot babble
2. proud
3. natural!
4. idea put in a story
5. unsure
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)   -Josiah Winslow, West Allis, Wisconsin (josiah12301 yahoo.com)

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

A platitudinarian less than urbane
Wants to make America great again.
Over here in Australia
We’re stunned by the failure
Of slogan to lose out against brain.
-Kathy Deutsch, Melbourne, Australia (kathy deutsch.net.au)

Platitudinarians don’t shine or make hay,
Platitudinarians find it hard to have a say.
There’s a marked lack of gratitude
Once embarked on a platitude.
Platitudinarian rainbows are different shades of gray.
-Mike Parsley, Malaga, Spain (slussen2 gmail.com)

Once Robin Hood wedded Maid Marian
She found him a platitud’narian.
“It’s time that you ditch
All that ‘Rob from the rich,’”
Said his wife, a stern disciplinarian.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“You lie here, becoming less rubicund,”
cries the prince in a voice deep and orotund.
“Please awaken, my dear.
All these kisses, I fear,
only make you increasingly moribund.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Compassion and reason he shunned
On the stump to be more orotund.
As Mencken might say
Of Trump winning the day
It appears that good taste is outgunned.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Trump is most days so orotund,
His pomposity leaves folks stunned.
He squawks “Pay for Play,”
On Clinton, he’d say,
Forgetting about his Trump Fund.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The artist’s technique was quite suberous,
While sporting an attitude, hubris.
She would paint in the nude
Though decidedly crude,
Her reputation was widely uberous.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

“You safety inspectors are silly!”
The Titanic’s designers cried shrilly.
They claimed with much hubris,
“She’ll float like she’s sub’rous,”
Not thinking she’d hit something chilly.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Her date had skin quite suberous,
And talked in tones lugubrious.
Yes, she could sure tell,
He was “Date from Hell!”
She sighed, “I have too much hubris.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

A red-headed mermaid named Ariel
Traded singing for legs (it’s a parable).
“With love my heart’s brimming,”
Said she, “Who needs swimming?
On land they have chocolate and caramel.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

There is nothing that is quite comparable
To a lesson told via a parable.
It is here one discerns
As (s)he reads and learns
That the truth holds many a variable.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Disgusted, she cried, “I’ve dubiety
concerning your current sobriety!”
“Don’ worry,” he slurred.
“You sure must’ve heard
that life is the spice of variety!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I believe we might meet with dubiety
those who lay public claim to great piety.
Not by word but by deed,
they should help those in need
and show care for the rest of society.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

I’m of two minds re dubiety:
What is my state of sobriety?
I’m neither here
Nor am I there:
I’d best behave with propriety!
-Barry Thomas, Athens, Ohio (thomasb ohio.edu)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Words that keep DOH!-ing esp. with my burnt-out intellect

(It’s a stretch but suppose a plot of land were called a “tude”.) The developer wanted to platitudinarian opponent was found.

Ghastly and gaudy Christmas gifts may be exchanged orotund.

Vintners who have switched to screw-top caps are saving money, making them ex-suberous.

The Genesis apple story is ‘peeling because it’s parable.

For my head cold, I went to the pharmacy dubiety nasal spray they had.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: Joyce Bodig (jbodig ix.netcom.com)
Subject: Wordsmith

You have given me a lot of pleasure for quite a few years. And I’ve spread that pleasure to many. The latest is a couple from Australia who used platitudinarian and orotund in their Christmas greeting to me. Thank you for brightening the world.

Joyce Bodig, New York, New York

Quite frankly I talk about the fact that I’m a feminist as often as I can, and every time I do it gets a huge reaction and the media reacts and the Twitterverse explodes and things like that, because here I am saying I’m a feminist. I will keep saying that until there is no more reaction to that when I say it, because that’s where we want to get to. -Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (b. 25 Dec 1971)

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