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AWADmail Issue 767

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

Sponsor’s Message: Hey, Cheapskates - you certainly showed us you’re literate, intelligent, discerning, and wicked frugal too. Ha. So, we’re re-offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Curt Abbott (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 excellent, original, and cool loot. Simplee use coupon code “WICKEDBARGAIN”. Shop Now!

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

Your Personality Can Change Depending on the Language You Speak

Let’s Stop Demonizing “Filler Words”

Email of the Week: Brought to you by OLD’S COOL - Frugal looks good on you!

From: Curt Abbott (cabbott183 gmail.com)
Subject: Back-formations

At my synagogue, one of the duties of the members of the Ritual Committee is to act as ushers at Friday night services, Saturday morning services (if there is a bar or bat mitzvah) and the High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). We have all, over time, started using “ush” as a verb to mean “act as usher”.

Curt Abbott, Warwick, Rhode Island

From: Jamie Diamandopoulos (jdiamandopoulos yahoo.com)
Subject: back formations

And then there are those who make incorrect singular back formations because of irregular plurals. I worked with someone who formed indice (pronounced in-di-cee) from indices and formed appendice (pronounced ap-pen-di-cee) from appendices. We finally convinced our publications group to use the modern plurals: indexes and appendixes. The American Heritage Dictionary approves of our choices.

Jamie Diamandopoulos, Houston, Texas

From: Kate Karp (doowopqueen yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bludge

This last weekend I gave bludge in our adult spelling bee. The speller (who later placed third and who won last year) did not bludge from his duties and spelled it correctly and did not fudge, according to me and the judge. The other spellers held no grudge.

Kate Karp, Long Beach, California

From: Guy Weller (guy weller-lakes.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bludge

In the Northeast of the UK (Tyneside) where I come from to bludge someone means to land a heavy punch. Which fits well with bludgeon as in “The murder victim had been bludgeoned to death.”

Conversely the word meaning to obtain something for free, or to scrounge is to blag (or blagg).

Guy Weller, Natland, UK

From: Glenn Glazer (gglazer ucla.edu)
Subject: A Thought for Today

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak for me. -Martin Niemoller, pastor, initial supporter of Hitler, concentration camp survivor (1892 - 6 Mar 1984)

Regarding the thought for the day, there is a current meme about Muslims that refers to this famous quotation. Warning: vulgar language.

Glenn Glazer, Felton, California

From: Bev Lichterman (meadowlark kc.rr.com)
Subject: adolesce

One of my favorite all-time musicals, A Chorus Line, has a great song, “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen”, where the dancers are lamenting about growing up. They sing,

“Time to doubt,
to break out,
it’s a mess.
Time to grow,
time to go

lyrics, video (5 min.)

Oh, now I want to see it again!

Bev Lichterman, Kansas City, Missouri

From: Susan Saunders (susansaunders2008 btinternet.com)
Subject: foray

“Foray” is the usual term mycologists use for an outing to look for specimens of fungi so that they can be identified and included in local records (not picking them for the pot). I don’t think birders go on forays, but possibly wildflower forays also take place.

Susan Saunders, Teddington, UK

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: politick & foray

politick foray
Illustrations: Alex McCrae
It could be argued that the word “realpolitik”, essentially defined as political pragmatism, could reflect some coercive or cajoling political behavior. Yet far more troubling, and sinister, is the apparent reckless, shoot-from-the-lip politicking style exhibited by Trump, thus far, in his brief presidential tenure. Far from uniting the greater American populace, Trump’s off-the-wall, bullying, non-inclusive, repressive, un-empathic, blustery brand of political practice... namely his “surreal politick”, has sharply divided this nation, perhaps doing unrepairable damage to the very fabric of this once-glorious bastion of freedom, tolerance, and democracy.

For me, the Vikings ranked as the quintessential masters of the foraying enterprise. Their adventurous nautical treks over the roiling briny and freshwater river courses took them as far west of their distant Nordic homeland as the bleak shores of what today we know as Labrador/Newfoundland, and as far to the east as Central Asia, with significant and lucrative pillaging forays into present day Britain, Continental Europe, and Russia, in between those aforementioned geographic extremes.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. bludge
2. politick
3. allocute
4. adolesce
5. foray
= 1. idle task
2. bold goal
3. lecture
4. oily face
5. coup
= 1. easy fill
2. cuckoo debate
3. court
4. old
5. pillage
    -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

Which lady could make the best fudge?
The winner, in thanking the judge,
said “I can’t take much credit,
for as I have said, it
is really and truly a bludge.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Though I won the first prize for my fudge,
There are those who my talent begrudge.
If you’re going to whine
About losing, that’s fine
But a piece of mine don’t try and bludge.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpower wowway.com)

“I feel like a slave while you bludge,”
I say to the kids “I’m your drudge.”
But when I get a hug
And they cuddle up snug,
I realise there’s nought I begrudge.
-Kathy Deutsch, Melbourne, Australia (kathy deutsch.net.au)

While housework I do like a drudge
From the sofa my husband won’t budge.
The exception is dinner
(He’s not getting thinner)
And sometimes a shagging he’ll bludge.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Trump, bemoaning his White House shtick,
Claimed it’s anticlimactic.
“I took it on as a lark,”
He confessed in the dark.
Said Melania, “I don’t speak politick.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

In the old days the men who would politick
Knew reading and writing and ‘rithmetic.
“Potatoe” began
The decline to a man
For whom “tapp” is the way to Obama kick.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

His sentence was really a beaut.
Before judge he did allocute.
With his final resort,
Upon mercy of court,
And promised to give back the loot.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Would you jump from a plane with no parachute?
For a swim at the “Y”, would you lack a suit?
So tonight plug your ears
Or you’ll wind up in tears
For the President’s going to allocute.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Thank God I’m done adolescing!
Those days were so distressing.
Hormones that rage
Held sway that stage.
Old age is really a blessing.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A president created both doubt and stress,
Discounting the truth while berating the press,
Staying up all night tweeting
Mad thoughts that were fleeting,
A man pampered, too busy to adolesce.
-Larry Ray, Gulfport, Mississippi (callball bellsouth.net)

As my daughter begins adolescing
There’s a feeling on which I’m obsessing.
A deep sense of doom
That she’s up in her room
With a boy and the two are undressing.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Don Juan so the stories do say,
When out for a nightly foray,
And his lustful feats,
Beneath the bedsheets,
Was great at providing foreplay.
-Chris Papa, Colts Neck, New Jersey (doxite verizon.net)

Wish he’d found someplace else for his foray.
So what if he leads us to war: Hey,
the goal is to win
and it isn’t his skin
it’s our guts, but his is the glory.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

On the church basement stage, if you foray
And the acting bug hits, that’s amore.
Go on out, take your bow,
There’s no stopping you now
For your destiny calls, and it’s Broadway.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: These back-formation puns may affront

The brewery manager told the new hire, “This bludge for you.”

Parroting Trump’s tweets gave politick in the tail feathers.

Only the Capones found allocute child.

I wish I could adolesce surly teenager to my home.

Putin sent troops to Ukraine foray while.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker. -Plutarch, biographer (c. 46-120)

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