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AWADmail Issue 796

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

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

Those Who Ridiculed My Accent Highlighted Their Ignorance -- Not Mine
The Guardian

The Closing of a Great American Dialect Project
The New Yorker

From: Linda Owens (lindafowens netzero.net)
Subject: drama queen

I think I typecast my lovely and thoughtful granddaughter very early. She was six weeks old when I first met her at the train station, where she had come east with her mom and other grandmother -- her dad followed in a truck with furniture and the dog. Anyway, she was already beautiful, petite, and blonde, but her facial expressions kept changing every few seconds, so I assumed she was already very emotional. She has blossomed into a gorgeous and generous teen with carefully controlled emotions, but despite talent in dancing and singing, she has selected Drama as her arts elective in 9th grade. Will she still be classified as a drama queen?

Linda Owens, Exeter, Rhode Island

From: Kat Karnes (katlanta gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--illiterati

I am an English literature major married to a computer science major. My husband likes to joke with me that he doesn’t understand big words, but sometimes he undermines his shtick with some pretty good puns and insights.

I mentioned that I really liked today’s word, illiterati. He said, “Is that a bunch of people who don’t read but are secretly trying to take over the world?” (making a pun of “literati” and “Illuminati”) I responded, “I don’t think they’re being very secret about it.”

I’ve been a subscriber since 1998 or 1999. Thanks for nearly two decades of great words and commentary.

Kat Karnes, Atlanta, Georgia

From: Ben King (bfkiv mindspring.com)
Subject: Is this a word?

I often use a quip these days that I coined myself, although it’s likely that someone else thought of it first:

Obliverati - the oblivious

Ben King, Columbus, Ohio

From: Elena Martí Segarra (ems171273 hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--dastard

Thanks for your thought of today: “Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.”

We, Catalans seeking independence from authoritarian Spain, are in utter despair and perplexity to watch the silence of Europe and the world with respect to our situation.

Elena Martí Segarra, Barcelona, Spain

From: Martha Nielsen (malbn21 gmail.com)
Subject: mammothrept

As a grandmother, I take umbrage with the definition of today’s word, mammothrept. I fail to see how being brought-up/nourished by one’s grandmother (literally from the etymology) produces a spoilt child or an immature person! This seems a totally unfair and unfounded generalization, especially when one considers how many grandparents (often the grandmothers) HAVE to raise their grandchildren in today’s world.

Martha Nielsen, Providence, Rhode Island

You have a valid point. A language records the history of its people, including their biases and misconceptions. That’s how we have words such as sinister and gauche and hysterical (from Greek hystera: womb, from the belief that disturbances in the womb caused hysteria). And let’s not even talk about how we malign our brethren in the animal world. Also, see the next message.
-Anu Garg

Email of the Week (Taught to you by One Up! - Yes, you “can” buy smarts.)

From: Emma Dove (emma_dove hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--mammothrept

This made me think of the Spanish word mamotreto, which roughly translates as “hefty object”. According to the Royal Spanish Language Academy’s dictionary, the meaning of the Spanish term derives from the popular belief that grandmothers raise fat children!

Emma Dove, Madrid, Spain

From: Lois Mowat (LosCamil aol.com)
Subject: Mammothrept

I have two adult sons, nine years apart. One Christmas Eve at dinner, my oldest son, probably around 14 or 15 years old then, piped up and said, “I’m surprised we’re not celebrating Heath’s birthday today!” Yes, his baby brother, Heath, was quite spoiled. How clever a remark was that!

Lois Mowat, Orinda, California

From: Tom Furgas (tofu4879 gmail.com)
Subject: This week’s words

If the theme of this week’s words had to be guessed at by us readers, it would be very easy to guess; so far, all words describe the current occupant of the White House.

Tom Furgas, Youngstown, Ohio

From: Thomas Koehler (tvkoehler lakeconnections.net)
Subject: drama queen to mammothrept

Our dastard drama queen president of the illiterati is a mammothrept samfie.

Tom Koehler, Two Harbors, Minnesota

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Drama queen and samfie

Prompted by our “drama queen” usage example comparing the infantile/juvenile, hardly intentionally comic, antics of Trump (now roughly eight months into his first term), to the neurotic-imbued, yet hilarious, comedic schtick of Woody Allen, I conjured up this big-baby Trump scenario. Kind of in the spirit of Rabelais’s very young Gargantua. Hmm... me thinks the prez is about due for his nappy change. Drama queen
Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff didn’t play favorites in his fleecing of thousands of trusting investors... family, close friends, the entertainment biz elite... all manner of folks lost thousands, some millions, to this self-made samfie. All fell under the Madoff spell, and his purported “can’t-miss” spiel.
Even Hollywood A-listers, including renowned film director Steven Spielberg and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, were duped by Madoff; both bilked out of millions.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. drama queen
2. illiterati
3. dastard
4. samfie
5. mammothrept
= 1. a masquerade
2. dim, dim man
3. rat, maltreater
4. thief
5. spoilt
= 1. ham
2. dilettanti
3. mere rat
4. masquerader
5. if madam spoilt
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

I really wonder what they all mean
When they call me a drama queen.
So I’m emotional,
And I easily bawl,
Usually causing a scene.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (loscamil aol.com)

He can be incredibly mean.
His tweeting is never serene.
With our POTUS, good grief,
Don’t play “Hail to the Chief”,
Rather “Hail to the Drama Queen”.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The gymnast, a young drama queen,
Cried all night for a new trampoline.
Then happily bouncing,
She said, “I’m announcing
I’m pregnant, though just seventeen!”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpower wowway.com)

Kneeling doesn’t show disrespect;
It’s not conventional, shows a different aspect.
But drama queen Trump
Can’t help but dump
Without pausing to think and reflect.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

The official response is a mix
of lies, white lies, and statistics.
All issues at stake,
are dismissed as fake.
Few that persist, a drama queen’s theatrics!
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“On fires I like to pour gasoline,”
Says Donald, the world’s leading drama queen.
“It gets such good ratings,
Enhancing my matings,”
He tweets, as we reach for the Dramamine.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Fate’s cruel to illiterati
Who idolize brash glitterati.
Talk radio’s their muse,
They trust in faux news,
Then distrust the illuminati.
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

D. Trump and his illiterati
Are fond of the brand Maserati.
They can’t write and read,
But in fairness, what need?
They’re in the Republican party!
-Tom Slakey, Santa Clara, California (tomslimericks gmail.com)

Trump is haughty and dotty and naughty
But smart or considerate? Not he.
When he looks in those mirrors
What suddenly appears?
It’s the King of Illiterati.
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

To Trump and his illiterati
A tortilla’s the same as chapati.
They judge you on color,
Disdain Robert Mueller,
And other strange values embody.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

FDR made “dastard” adjectival
In declaring Japan our archrival.
For with infamous ardor
They bombed our harbor.
We fought then for freedom’s survival.
-Judith S. Fox, Teaneck, New Jersey (Jsfoxrk aol.com)

He criticizes others’ faults
And all the while himself exalts.
When Twitter he’d mastered,
It gave to this dastard
A platform for all his assaults.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Black despair has at last overmastered
my disgust at the words of that dastard.
I’m eschewing the crime
of the obvious rhyme.
Guess instead I’ll go out and get plastered.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The night we elected this dastard
I went to a bar and got plastered.
But lo, it’s a miracle,
Verses satirical
Flow like my prayers have been answered.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Donald got himself cozy and comfy,
Easing in to his new role with oomph-y.
“Who knows better than I
‘Make America’ (sly)?
But so what if I’m just a shrewd samfie?”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He was a consummate samfie,
Who fooled those who did not the sham see.
He conned his victims and ran.
Why? ‘Cause the samfie man can.
And he got away with his scam free.
-Vara Devaney, Damascus, Maryland (varadevaney att.net)

A samfie is running the nation
In a privileged and potent location.
His tiny fist rules,
He holds all the jewels.
Many hope for a quick abdication.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

When it comes to your company pension plan,
Your CEO’s likely a samfie man.
With tears in his eyes
Your old age he’ll downsize,
While his money won’t fit in a moving van.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“We’d never have found her, except,
full of porridge, the girl overslept,”
says Papa Bear. “Oh,
we let the kid go.
She was just an inept mammothrept.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Among the world’s leaders inept
is one narcissist and mammothrept.
His pronouncements are galling.
After pride goes the falling!
The runt of men, Donald yclept.
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

His mama kept Don in a tux.
His papa made Donnie’s life lux.
And so, thus beguiled,
This mammothrept child
Can’t relate to the folks without bucks.
-Phyllis Morrow, Fairbanks, Alaska (pmorrow alaska.edu)

I knew an obnoxious young mammothrept,
who was since his birth by his granma kept.
Quite thoroughly spoiled,
he never quite toiled,
and I wish that he’d walked where his mamma stept.
-Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee (rsrichmond gmail.com)

With his jets Mr. Price overstepped,
Showing taxpayers little respect.
Now even his boss
Says “We’ll see, for I’m cross,
I’m the only allowed mammothrept.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A dotard dastard is King Don.
Illiterati have aced his con.
Their vain drama queen
Has trumped the scene.
Damn samfie mammothrept begone!
-Charles Harp, Victoria, Canada (texzenpro yahoo.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Words to proscribe people

King to court painter: “Drama Queen without the warts, please.”

Give Trump the chance and illiterati Cornish with trash (talk).

A couple eloped. He dastard dad but had received “No” for an answer.

When I met Clemens I asked samfie would sign my copy of “Tom Sawyer”.

The caveman wanted steaks for dinner but the woolly mammothrept him apart.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in this world. -Charlotte Bronte, novelist and poet 1816-1855)

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