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AWADmail Issue 766

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

Sponsor’s Message: Hey, Traditionistas -- does authentic, intelligent, and discerning “cheapskate” paint a pretty accurate picture of who you are? Same here. So, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Larry Ray (see below), as well as everyone who thinks that the way things were is sometimes better than the way things are up to 50% off our wicked original and cool loot. Jezz use coupon code “WICKEDBARGAIN”. Hurry, sale ends at dawn.

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

Language Study as a National Imperative
Inside Higher Ed

Why the English Word “Black” Became the New “Noir” in France
Public Radio International

From: Thomas H. Handel (thandel verizon.net)
Subject: Shipping

I’m a daily reader and a huge fan, and usually I’m just grateful for your contribution to my morning routine, but I was hauled up short (note nautical terminology :-) by a statement in today’s offering, specifically “...you’re evoking a time gone by, when ships were essential.” “Gone by?” According to the International Chamber of Shipping, “around 90% of (today’s) world trade is carried by the international shipping industry.” Sounds pretty darn “essential” to me!

Thomas H. Handel, Wilmington, North Carolina

Email of the Week: Brought to you by OLD’S COOL -- Frugal is beautiful and fun!

From: Larry Ray (callball bellsouth.net)
Subject: offing

Also, neither nautical nor nice, “offing” conjures prohibition days and mobsters like Al Capone eliminating rival gangs, or “offing” them. The Valentines Day Massacre was, well, offul.

Larry Ray, Gulfport, Mississippi

From: John D. Laskowski (john.laskowski mothman.org)
Subject: Offing

I’ve always asked “Why is the shore so near the ocean?” That is enough to make some mariners keel over!

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania

From: Kapil Advani (kapiladvani yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--jury-rig

The Hindi slang “jugaad” also means something similar. A word that has become very popular in the last 20 years.

Kapil Advani, New Delhi, India

From: Gail Walters (GailW hollard.co.za)
Subject: jury-rig

... from Old French ajurie (help).

Juries are not always helpful, as they are not legally trained. We abolished the jury system in South Africa in 1969.

Gail Walters, Johannesburg, South Africa

From: Julie Hockett (julieahock gmail.com)
Subject: jury-rig vs jerry-rig

I always pronounced it “jury-rig” but my husband says “jerry-rig”. I am vindicated!

Julie Hockett, Bellevue, Washington

You both may be right, depending on the context. These are two different terms. Something jury-rigged is improvised, while something jerry-built is made cheap and flimsy. Under influence from the term jury-rig, jerry-build has developed another form: jerry-rig. Hence the confusion.
-Anu Garg

From: John Bothwell (john.bothwell gov.ky)
Subject: Slush fund, 2nd definition

Respectfully, I suggest that the term slush fund deserves a 2nd definition closer to its original etymology.

noun: A fund, often ad hoc, for un-tracked out-of-budget expenses, whether in personal, corporate, or political life.

While the connotations of the use of the phrase slush fund are often “less than pure” I think that “off book” is a more accurate reflection of a slush fund’s definition than “illegal”.

John Bothwell, Cayman Islands

From: Ken Benjamin (kenbenja aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--slush fund

With all due respect, we commonly kept money for non-specified and/or emergency purposes that was otherwise unbudgeted. We would call it a slush fund, but use was not for illegal purposes, just previously unbudgeted purposes. Cities do the same, such as when snow removal exceeds original budgeted projections.

Ken Benjamin

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: offing and jury-rig

offing jury-rig
Illustrations: Alex McCrae
Although interestingly the word “jury-rig” doesn’t share the same etymological root with the word “jury”, as in a jury of one’s peers, I nevertheless couldn’t resist carrying the notion of a “kangaroo court” to its silliest extreme. Call it illustrator’s license. Admittedly, a bit of a groaner.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. offing
2. jury-rig
3. slush fund
4. pinchgut
5. jettison
= 1. future
2. pin
3. John’s golf jug
4. stingy
5. ditch in surf
= 1. future
2. hung in jiffy
3. Gosh, isn’t just!
4. cling
5. drop
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Josiah Winslow, West Allis, Wisconsin (josiah12301 yahoo.com)

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

When people around me are coughing,
I know my next cold’s in the offing.
I try Vitamin C,
I almost O.D. --
Leaving learned MDs all scoffing.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

As a doc I must use every trick.
There are many precautions I pick.
For I know in the offing
With my patients coughing
There’s a chance that I too could get sick.
-Joel Holtz, Rancho Palos Verdes, California (planetholtz cox.net)

With climate change now in the offing
At science the President’s scoffing.
With him in denial
We’ll go out in style.
My cap to the Donald I’m doffing.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said the wolf to the three little pigs,
“Your houses are all jury-rigged.
The slightest of huffs
should be more than enough
to flatten each one, small or big.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

“For the ball I must put on a wig,”
Thought the girl, “and a gown jury-rig.
I’m feeling alarmed
That the prince won’t be charmed
And my stepsisters don’t give a fig.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpower wowway.com)

Said Wilbur to Orville, “Let’s jury-rig
A kite with a motorized whirligig.
So big will it be
It could hold you or me,
But I think you should be the first guinea pig.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Though in Paris your offer I shunned,
I’ll leave Victor for you,” gushed Miss Lund.
“The world’s gone insane,”
Answered Rick, “board that plane.
Take this purse, it’s a little slush fund.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

In the summer after I sunned,
I dipped into a little slush fund
In order to buy
A slushie, oh my!
Please forgive me for I have punned.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

He knew how to dissect peanut,
Yes, cook was a thorough pinchgut,
And the crew that he served,
Was somewhat unnerved,
They thought him a pain in the butt.
-Chris Papa, Colts Neck, New Jersey (doxite verizon.net)

At the “19th Hole” bar I’m a pinchgut
When at 18 I manage to three-putt
A nice hole-in-one
And we’ll all have some fun
But most days I won’t buy you a peanut.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The miser, somewhat of a nut,
Is considered a stingy pinchgut.
Banks he always eschews,
Keeps his loot in his shoes,
And walks with a most pronounced strut.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

For my spirit the best kind of medicine
Is the sea and some poems by Tennyson.
The waves and the breeze
Put my soul at its ease
A a beach where your swimsuit you jettison.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Compassion and sense we would jettison
if we turn away those who plead, “Let us in.”
Your ancestors and mine
Came, contributed, did fine.
Don’t pretend it’s not so. That’d be a sin.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Let’s jettison all we don’t need,
Just laws and an ethical creed,
A world of compassion,
Environment passion,
Dump Healthcare, human rights -- let’s proceed.
-Kathy Deutsch, Melbourne, Australia (kathy deutsch.net.au)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns neither nautical nor naughty

Hired killers plan for victims in the offing.

Despite the chef’s having no broth on hand, I loved the soup de jury-rigged up.

With the snow rapidly melting, skiers slush funned down the mountain.

Riding the bus, just one little pinchgut me a big slap!

There’s no question that a jettison improvement over a prop plane.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: Pat Layton (rodlay comcast.net)
Subject: Thoughts

Each day I forward your posting to my 16-year-old granddaughter. We have great exchanges about both the word of the day and your wonderful selections of thoughts. Thank you for helping me stay connected to my teenager.

Pat Layton, Salisbury, Maryland

Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens. -William Beveridge, economist and social reformer (5 Mar 1879-1963)

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