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Dec 10, 2017
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AWADmail Issue 806

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

Sponsor’s Message: Hey, Wisenheimers! When was the last time you gave a gift to the cleverheads in your life that you were actually proud of? Email of the Week winner, Linda Owens (see below), as well as all AWADers, can impress/suppress their brainy friends and school family know-it-alls for the rest of the year with our wicked smart word game: One Up! -The Gift That Keeps on Giving. SPLURGE NOW.

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

Turkey’s Whistled “Bird Language” Under Threat from Mobiles

Surgeon Takes Language Test on Cellphone During Operation
The New York Times
[Learning another language is good, but readers, please finish your surgery before you take that language test.]

From: Judy Manuel (judymanuel58 verizon.net)
Subject: This week’s words

Soooo excited for this week’s words, I love Leah Palmer Preiss’s illustrations! This is like a whole week of Christmas presents form Wordsmith!

Judy Manuel, Danvers, Massachusetts

Email of the Week brought to you BUY One Up !-Every Smart Aleck’s Delight/Doom.

From: Linda Owens (lindafowens netzero.net)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--bibliomania

Oh, dear, this describes me all too well. I have to call some of my books rescues, which started about 20-30 years ago when libraries started taking all their extra copies out of circulation, assuming nothing would happen to the one or two of each in our state’s inter-library loan system. Shelves emptied rapidly. I was dismayed to discover that some of my obscure favorites had disappeared altogether. Now we have to fear the disappearance of print books that compete with ebooks. Print books at least have authors and publishers to stand behind them, while ebooks could be from anywhere and changed at will. Come to my house when the cell towers fail and electricity is gone, as in Puerto Rico.

Linda Owens, Exeter, Rhode Island

From: Frank Brown (frank.brown travelport.com)
Subject: bibliomania

Today’s word reminds me of the book “Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction” by Tom Raabe. The back cover of the book included a list of the symptoms of the disease, such as having bought more than one copy of the same book without knowing it or having been chastised for reading at work. If you exhibited several of the symptoms, then you were probably a biblioholic. Since I exhibited more than a few of the symptoms, I knew I was hooked, but to prove I wasn’t, I did NOT buy the book. At least not that day.

Frank Brown, Atlanta, Georgia

From: Franklin Noel (flnoel mnd.uscourts.gov)
Subject: Bibliomania

Love today’s word. Many of us suffer from an even more specific form of the malady. We belong to an organization called, Numismatic Bibliomania Society, ...an educational organization...to support and promote the use and collecting of numismatic literature.”

Franklin Noel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

From: Diane-Marie Campbell (via website comments)
Subject: bibliomania

How lovely to see this word instead of the more common bibliophile. Was it William Osler who lamented that a neighbour who had borrowed and not returned a book had taken to avoiding him? Rather than resenting the loss, he delighted in the discovery of a fellow bibliomaniac.

Diane-Marie Campbell, Adelaide, Australia

From: Claire Thomas (ladymanyhats live.com)
Subject: Chatoyant moon

Seldom do I instantly link meaning of a new word with the world. I wake up lazily and read my email while still abed looking out my window on Lake Washington. This morning the super moon floating over the lake is chatoyant with just a very fine veil of mist floating over it now and then. Chatoyant is the perfect word for today. Thanks!

Claire Thomas, Bellevue, Washington

From: Diane Taylor (dtaylor eagle.ca)
Subject: chatoyant

I love words that have migrated from another language and find their way across oceans into English. And I find it intriguing that in English we say “I’ve a frog in my throat,” but in French we say “J’ai un chat a la gorge.” Now, I call that chatoyant.

Diane Taylor, Port Hope, Canada

From: Madeline Johnston (johnston andrews.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--chatoyant

I don’t believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn’t treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. -Walt Disney, entrepreneur and animator (5 Dec 1901-1966)

Thanks for the interesting quotation from Walt Disney. It brings back memories. His younger daughter Sharon and I were classmates in seventh and eighth grades in Los Angeles. My mother often dropped her off at her home as she drove me home from school.

Madeline Johnston, Berrien Center, Michigan

From: Ed Waldes (edwaldes cogeco.ca)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gastronome

Yes, and I’ve had my own verbal concoction for many years: to capture the feeling after enjoying an exceptionally delicious meal, you could be described as having a “gastronomic orgasm”.

Ed Waldes, Burlington, Canada

From: Dave Campbell (museumofdave gmail.com)
Subject: Today’s quotation from Kilmer

I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree. -(Alfred) Joyce Kilmer, journalist and poet (6 Dec 1886-1918)

Trees is a poem that haunted the lower grades when I was a kid; every teacher suggested we memorize it and after a while the mere mention of the poem gave us the fantods. Thus it was, when growing older, I was delighted to discover the Ogden Nash parody, first published in The New Yorker:

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Perhaps unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all.

The parody appeared in 1932, and it’s nice to note that the poets were environmentally aware even then.

Dave Campbell, Red Bluff, California

From: Gretchen Patti (gltpatti gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gastronome

With reference to the lovely Kilmer poem -- this kept me giggling for days.

Gretchen Patti, Naperville, Illinois

From: Bryan Davis (brydav2002 yahoo.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--quaggy

I lived near the River Quaggy in Lewisham, southeast London, when I was a boy and wondered what the word meant.

Bryan Davis, Reading, UK

From: Russell Marsh (rhmarsh ucdavis.edu)
Subject: quaggy

I always say I never had kids because I would want to name them Swampy and Boggy. Now I have a third option.

Russell Marsh, Sacramento, California

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: gastronome and quaggy

Gastronome Quaggy
Portly 16th-century, six-time-wed Tudor monarch Henry VIII was reputed as a man of outsized appetites... a gastronome of the first order, having the gravitas and means to avail himself and his court of the rarest, choicest edibles of his day. In his latter years, allegedly tipping the scales at over 400 pounds, we’ve seen the almost cliched image of Henry chomping down on what was purported to be a roast turkey leg, but in truth, was more likely the cooked leg of an unfortunate royal Mute swan. Henry was also partial to grilled beaver tail, whale meat (boiled or roasted), roasted peacock, black/blood pudding, spit-fired suckling pig, and wild boar. Lamb and deer (venison) might have rounded out his meaty menu. Favored libations, wine or ale. Desserts... spiced fruit cake or custard pudding.

Just a hunch that somehow the word “quagmire” is derived from our word “quaggy”: the notion of being in a predicament, figuratively or literally, where one is bogged down or stuck in the mire or muck. As my two distressed duck hunters literally are... bogged down.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. bibliomania
2. chatoyant
3. gastronome
4. quaggy
5. robustious
= 1. by any author
2. about a gem
3. a Sicilian
4. mosquito bog
5. strong
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

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

How I’d love to fill the world’s crania
with more than sports, sex, and extranea.
To sharpen their wits,
in their veins I would spritz
megadoses of bibliomania!
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

My dream girl had bibliomania
And smokin’ red hot nymphomania.
She still loves her books,
But those “Come hither” looks
Marriage sank like the doomed Lusitania.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (janicepower25 gmail.com)

Whatever neurosis he’s got
(And some diagnose him a lot),
Our latest leader
Is not a reader --
Bibliomania it’s not.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Books are piled high, more or less,
Rooms after rooms are a mess;
I buy more and more
When I’m in a bookstore.
Bibliomania? I confess! I confess!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

“I’d really prefer Scandinavia,”
Sighed the Count as he roamed Transylvania.
“At midnight I’m fond
Of a tasty dumb blonde.
These brunettes all have bibliomania.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A bibliomaniac was my daughter.
She craved books like fish need water.
Her demeanour was chatoyant
Because her topics were variant.
Literature, it seemed, over wrought her.
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

There once was a gypsy clairvoyant
Who wore lots of jewelry chatoyant.
Indulging a whim,
She went for a swim
And discovered those pearls were not buoyant.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

The crystal ball of this clairvoyant
Cannot be described as chatoyant.
It’s crusty with dust
And too musty to trust.
I predict soon to have no employment.
-Phyllis Morrow, Fairbanks, Alaska (phyllismorrow1 gmail.com)

Melania’s eyes were chatoyant
As she spoke of her current employment:
“Eet’s all I desired
And only required
Seducing a moron flamboyant.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said the critic, a great gastronome,
“This pasta tastes like styrofoam,
without flavor, and dry.
Send it back, and goodbye!
I prepare it much better at home.”
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Says the arrogant old gastronome,
“I might have called Xanadu home,
but Kubla, alas,
served plebeian repasts
in his newly-decreed pleasure dome.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Aren’t we lucky being branded gastronomes,
keep getting invites to the neighborhood homes?
Fellow guests infer the fare must be grand,
if it’s being relished by a famous gourmand,
while we praise our hostess’s mediocre scones!
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Le chef Jacques, a renowned gastronome,
Cooked his legendary dinners at home.
His meals were all timed
By clocks that were chimed
To the beat of an old metronome.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

They accept that a good gastronome
Doesn’t eat every dinner at home.
So then why can’t our wives
When we stray give high fives?
It’s just part of our “y” chromosome.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Elmer Fudd said, “Those peaks are quaggy.”
Because of a rhotic snag, he
Says an R like a W.
But that shouldn’t trouble you,
Though it might make a speech therapist naggy.
-Vara Devaney, Damascus, Maryland (varadevaney att.net)

A quaggy mess now in DC
Is really perplexing to me.
For it’s only a Trump,
The sex crazy chump,
Who gets off, yet gets off scot-free.
-Judy Distler, Teaneck, New Jersey (jam1026 aol.com)

Donald strikes me as being quite dotty.
He’s flabby which well defines quaggy.
He thinks glitterati,
But he’s boggy and soggy.
(I’ll stop now and drink some hot toddy.)
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

A stout gastronome, old and craggy,
Took a walk where the land was quaggy.
He sank down with a thud,
Waist deep in the mud,
Till stopped by his belly so saggy.
-Glenn Ickler, Hopedale, Massachusetts (glennwriter verizon.net)

“Vietnam is all jungly and quaggy,”
Sighed Lyndon one day to young Maggie.
“Someday you’ll be sittin’
The hot seat in Britain;
You’re lucky them Falklands are craggy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

There’s no doubt Trump is robustious.
His manner some say is unctuous.
“How much longer?” I beseech,
Dare whisper impeach.
That prospect I find is quite luscious.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

A robustious and bellicose child
With a ripe budding ego gone wild,
He learned to disparage
While still in his carriage.
With himself he’s completely beguiled.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

He tended to be robustious
And he liked to both drink and cuss.
No gentleman he,
He appealed to me,
So I never would I make a big fuss.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“These idiots all oughta trust us!”
Wailed Donald, in tones most robustious.
“We don’t need a Senate.
A law? I will pen it.
I’ll call myself Caesar Augustus.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Non-illustrious puns for illustrated words

Mom to toddler, Leo: “Your bibliomania good scrubbing.”

Picking him up from day care, she said, “Get chatoyant let’s go home.”

Is an elf-sized Doctor of Internal Medicine a gastronome?

In an abattoir the blood quaggy lates.

The king said, “I like my dresser, but telling him ‘robus’tious seems so bossy and excessive.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

There is no frigate like a book / To take us lands away, / Nor any coursers like a page / Of prancing poetry. -Emily Dickinson, poet (10 Dec 1830-1886)

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