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AWADmail Issue 787

A 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)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Trump Savagely Mauls the Language
The New York Times

The Confusing Way Mexicans Tell Time

The Case for Cursing
The New York Times

From: Robert D Kelly (py1s-3rh8 spamex.com)
Subject: Unitasking

Multiple university studies all came to the same conclusion -- if quality is maintained, a multitasking person takes the same time to complete the jobs as if they were each done sequentially. Said another way: the only time a multitasking person saves time is when the quality of the work is degraded. Every study got the same answer.

Robert D Kelly, San Lorenzo, California

From: Don Stucky (don-stucky cherokee.org)
Subject: unitasking

And here all this time I thought unitasking was the practice of praying for one thing at a time. ;-)

Don Stucky, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

From: Nasir Ehsan (nasirehsan12 gmail.com)
Subject: Multitasking is for gods only!

The picture you included to represent multitasking is goddess Saraswati and the one for unitasking is a human, so can we derive a message from here that multitasking creates severe brain fatigue in the long run so it shall be left for gods only and we simple humans just stick to unitasking?

Nasir Ehsan, New Delhi, India

From: William Chapco (william.chapco uregina.ca)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--unitasking

Some years ago, a New Yorker cartoon showed a picture of an ordinary fellow sitting in a chair doing nothing. Caption: Zero-tasking. Liked that!

William Chapco, Regina, Canada

From: Paul Wexelblat (via website comments)
Subject: allision

Of course, in Einsteinian physics there is no such thing as a collision. Cf. the Einstein joke -- Einstein on a train asks the conductor “What time does Boston get to this train?”

Paul Wexelblat

From: Christopher Alden (calmichigan gmail.com)
Subject: Allision

I investigated many allisions while in the Coast Guard working as a maritime accident investigator. Determinate cause almost always boiled down to human factors. Curiously, spell check and the various reporting programs I used to document the incidents never accepted the word allision. Even now as I type this, I get the red underlined accusatory finger of bad spelling blame.

Christopher Alden, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From: Colleen Manning (via website comments)
Subject: allision

I ran into an old friend named Allison the other day. But that’s different.

Colleen Manning

From: Michael Feinberg (mfeinberg dca.net)
Subject: Allision

Your allusion to an allision was an illusion. (She cleared the buoy by a meter or more.)

Michael Feinberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From: Mike James (mikijames gmail.com)
Subject: Middlescence

I suppose, then, that obsolescence is the word for us older folks.

Mike James, Reston, Virginia

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by One Up! -- A can of perfect summer funshine.

From: Dan Miller (dandrsm gmail.com)
Subject: middlescence

muddlescence: the next phase characterized by lapses but not yet demented
middlescience: more than introductory but not an advanced degree
mindlescence: what Jedi have to study

Dan Miller, Worcester, Massachusetts

From: Wade Wilkerson (wwaaddee aol.com)
Subject: yeasayer

I just may be a yeaman in the sense “1. A person with a confident and positive outlook.” In the 1980s, I was motivated by a sign:

What part of NO don’t you understand?

So I made a sign and displayed it in my workplace:

What part of YES can I help you with?

Wade Wilkerson, Bradenton, Florida

From: Mike Wagner (mike wildcardvideo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--yeasayer

Or, a Jewish yes-man: an oyster!

Mike Wagner, Miami, Florida

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

Re Thought For Today:
Euphemism is a euphemism for lying. -Bobbie Gentry, singer and songwriter (b. 27 Jul 1944)

Gentry is a euphemism for gentry.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Ray Martin (rpmartin.family verizon.net)
Subject: There’s a word for that

I would like to contribute what I think is my own neologism: precrastinate, which I define as getting something done early, especially with the intent of avoiding the unpleasantness that invariably comes from failing to do so.

Ray Martin, Glendora, California

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: middlescence & yeasayer

If 60 is the new 40, as some searchers of today’s elusive fountain of youth may contend, my cartoon scenario could well be deemed a tad hackneyed, or dated, i.e., the stereotypical middle-aged gent trying to desperately recapture his faded youth by cruising in a sexy, shiny-red sports car with an equally sexy young blonde at his side. A willing sugar-baby, likely half his age?

In assessing the first six-months of the Trump Administration, of the litany of The Donald’s many acolytes, IMHO, the one who has done his singular best to remain the most loyal, through thick-and-thin, has been his VP, Mike Pence.

I daresay that Pence, with almost robotic predictability, has parroted back the Trump spiel, which can dramatically shift from day to day, or minute by minute, putting the dutiful VP in some embarrassing spots, where his statements often seem way off-message. On those awkward occasions, it appears that Pence invariably failed to get the latest Trump policy memo tweak or is merely covering for the president’s frequent deviations from the truth. Yet he still remains Trump’s numero uno sycophantic yeasayer... to a fault.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

The text in each box is an anagram of the text in other boxes.
1. unitasking
2. allision
3. middlescence
4. yeasayer
5. longlist
= 1. doing one skill
2. end
3. crisis age
4. yes-man
5. analyse it, cull it
= 1. singly inclined
2. strike
3. old issue
4. a yes-man
5. catalog, line
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

Does your President know what he’s asking?
Does he want all his staff to be basking
In only his favour?
Is that all he can savour?
Adoring him only? Such unitasking!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

While in factory work unitasking,
In her thoughts on the beach she was basking,
Consorting with kings,
Having two or three flings,
And the bandit named Zorro unmasking.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpower wowway.com)

While in the moonlight they were basking
all pleasures were there for the asking --
mouths and fingers soon gliding
then pudenda eliding --
you’d hardly call that unitasking!
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

Take the proper approach: unitasking,
When contacts with Russians unmasking.
Stay focused and strong
And before very long
In the President’s tweets you’ll be basking.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Another destructive allision!
She reprimands him, “Your decision
to watch the late news
while indulging in booze
has ruined our new television!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The Pentagon had an allision
’Twixt the law and a buying decision.
Paying 28 mill,
With no bids? It’s vaudeville!
Those generals need supervision.
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

When Junior puts out his hand for the keys,
my insurance fine print has me in a squeeze.
Whether allision or collision
at whosoever’s volition,
there’ll be a thirty percent deduction on reimbursement of fees.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Wakefield, Massachusetts (mukherjis hotmail.com)

There’s one special type of allision
Which is done with the utmost precision.
A baby boy squeals,
But done right, quickly heals
When the rabbi performs circumcision.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

If we’re lucky we reach middlescence
and adapt with grace and acquiescence.
But some just go drastic
with surgery plastic
or silly teen-age recrudescence.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

She muddled through middlescence
Obsessed with her obsolescence.
“I hate this stage;
I only age
with reluctant acquiescence!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The Donald’s the very quintessence
Of a man stuck in his adolescence.
His regressions are scary,
We need to be wary
Of a leader in his middlescence.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He was losing his past effervescence
As he slid into late middlescence.
But a little blue pill
Helped old Jack take his Jill
Up the hill to relive adolescence.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

We know The Mooch must be a yeasayer
Since Donald has made him a big player.
But pity the guys
That he seems to despise.
He’s profane, and a public betrayer.
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

Trump likes team to be a yeasayer.
All others he views as betrayer.
For his presidency
Is based on loyalty,
And who gets the shaft, the taxpayer.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Jeff and Sean, can’t say I’m gonna miss you.
Trump-brand loyalty’s always the issue.
Friday’s slavish yeasayers
are Monday’s “betrayers”,
discarded like yesterday’s tissue.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

He tried to be Donald’s yeasayer
By swallowing truckloads of Bayer.
“Be tougher, be nicer,
Be both,” complained Spicer.
“Six months of that farce turned me grayer.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When putting together a song list
I am stymied because of the longlist
From Gershwin to Porter
I can’t make the list shorter
Or else I’ll end up with the wrong list.
-Adam Perl, Ithaca, New York (adam pastimes.com)

“Of all my loves,” she reminisced,
“There were some I couldn’t resist.
But I won’t kiss and tell
Of the men I knew well.
You see, it was quite a longlist.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

I have a personal longlist
Of all the men I could have kissed,
Since one day I know
I will want to show
A few of them just what they missed!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (loscamil aol.com)

Said McCain to McConnell and Ryan,
“Your ‘skinny repeal’ I’m not buyin’.
Of ideas there’s a longlist,
But that was the wrong twist,
So grow up and stop all your cryin’.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: There’s a blurred word for it

Why is the local FOP unitasking for donations again?

Car races often take place in allision fields.

When cramming for a test, I read the first and the last but skip the middlescence.

Cheerleaders are “Yeaaa!” sayers.

Democratic candidates are the longlist persons in Oklahoma.

Speaking of lonely, Oklahoma last had a Democratic US Senator in 1994 and its last two Dem. representatives lost their reelection bids that same year. But if you REALLY want our red-state credentials... the last time ANY of our 77 counties voted for a Democrat for president was 2000!

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results. -Emily Bronte, novelist (30 Jul 1818-1848)

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