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Jul 8, 2018
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AWADmail Issue 836

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

Sponsor’s Message: What Stephen King said about books applies equally to our wicked smart word game: “(One Up!) is uniquely portable magic.” It’s also way faster and funner than Scrabble and Bananagrams. No board. No complicated rules. 20 or so wicked fun cutthroat minutes. And stealing is the name of the game! Rinse (off your ego), and repeat. Congrats to Email of the Week winner, Deborah Wismar (see below), as well as all AWADers -- you’ll get “free sardines” with every order of $25 or more. Feed your head now >

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

How Do You Design a Language from Scratch? Ask a Klingon

Why No-One Speaks Indonesia’s Language

English in the Shadows

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

Pastor Niemoller may be spinning in his grave, not so much because of the distortion of his famous quotation in the introduction to this week’s theme, but because what he protested could so easily happen again. And that is why I offer this particular link as the source of the original statement.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Summerize your mind >

From: Deborah Wismar (wismarfam aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--circumvallate

Ah ha! Donald Trump wants to circumvallate the country. I’m sure that he wouldn’t know that word. Maybe someone could say to him “You don’t want to circumvallate the country, do you?” and he’d say “No! Of course not!” And we can put an end to this stupid wall talk.

Deborah Wismar, Poway, California

From: Chuck Dinsmore (salamanderdoc gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--circumvallate

Histologically, the circumvallate papillae, forming a V-shaped array on the back third of the tongue, are perhaps the best places for first-year medical students to visualize taste buds arrayed along their walls. The more effective defensive structures are the nearby tonsillar tissues! ;-)

Chuck Dinsmore, Damariscotta, Maine

From: Victor A. Poleshuck (vpoleshuck gmail.com)
Subject: Circumvallate

A placenta has two sides, maternal and fetal. In obstetrics, a circumvallate placenta is one in which the fetal side is abnormal with blood vessels, which usually extend all the way to the margin, ending short of the margin leaving a circular rim of membranes with no vessels. The condition is associated with a number of obstetric complications.

Victor A. Poleshuck, MD, Clinical Professor, Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York

From: Johnson Flucker (johnson.flucker yale.edu)
Subject: circumvallate

Early 1970s British pop music has much to answer for. Notwithstanding and per today’s word, consider the song “Building a Wall” from an animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant. A charming performance by the original King’s Singers lineup: Perrin/Hume/Thompson/Holt/Carrington/Kay is in the YouTube link below. Enjoy!

Building a wall to surround you,
Gathering all your treasures around you,
Living a life apart.
(video, 2 min.)

Johnson Flucker, Trumbull, Connecticut

From: John Herlhy (herla earthlink.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--circumvallate

I love words with “circum” in them. Circumnavigate, circumspect, circumscribe, circumvent, circumstance, and of course...circumcise!

I never knew this, but January 1st is a celebration of Jesus’s circumcision! They must have masked that information in my Catechism classes....for fear that we’d all pull our pants down and examine ourselves.

John Herlhy, Manchester, New Hampshire

From: Jane Mallison (jcmallison yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rowel

“Against the luminous sky the rays of her halo were spikes of darkness roweling the air.”
Henry Roth; Call It Sleep; 1934.

This passage from Henry Roth was on the German “Abitur” (a kind of final exam) this spring. Students complained about the extreme difficulty of the test and the “unknown vocabulary”. I had to agree: I had never heard the word “rowel”.

Jane Mallison, New York, New York

From: Denis Toll (denis.toll outlook.com)
Subject: rowel

Does anyone else find the photograph rather repulsive? These spiked wheels are designed to wound and inflict pain on a tired horse to make it go faster. If there was ever a justification for this brutality there certainly isn’t now. Nobody needs to even ride horses any more let alone abuse them in this way.

Denis Toll, Aberdeen, UK

From: Robert Bendavid (rbendavid sympatico.ca)
Subject: rowel

The original word in French has become, today, “rouelle”, which applies to anything that looks like a wheel such as meat cuts above the calf in beef! It is also applied to anything sliced such as rouelle de betterave (a slice of beet).

More significantly in history, a rouelle was a distinctive and infamous sign which was introduced in France in the 12th century and consisted of a yellow wheel (a yellow circle) which Jews had to wear on their clothes to distinguish them from the predominant Christianity of the time! This original concept was re-introduced in WWII by the Nazis for Jews in the form of a yellow star. Others: Roma, homosexuals, political dissidents wore triangles of different colours for which the word rouelle should apply though the shapes have changed! There has not been a newer term other than The Yellow Star for Jews who suffered during that monstrous period.

Robert Bendavid, Toronto, Canada

From: Annette Moeller Salsbery (annettesalsbery suddenlink.net)
Subject: subduct

Subduction leads to orogeny.

Annette Moeller Salsbery, Nacogdoches, Texas

From: Ana Ross (via website comments)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--contund

All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals. -Peter Singer, philosopher and professor (b. 6 Jul 1946)

The thought for today reminds me of a Dickens quotation from Martin Chuzzlewit about some horses pulling a casket.

“The four hearse-horses, especially, reared and pranced, and showed their highest action, as if they knew a man was dead, and triumphed in it. ‘They break us, drive us, ride us; ill-treat, abuse, and maim us for their pleasure -- But they die; Hurrah, they die!’”

Ana Ross, Honolulu, Hawaii

From: Sara Hutchinson (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)
Subject: verbs and other parts of speech

The example given today, which began “First they came for the verbs”, made me realize how verbs (or gerunds) are necessary for language to flow and make sense, and also reminded me of one of my favorite poems from The Oxford Book of Comic Verse, where verbs and nouns are confused. This is it. Even my Brooklyn born-and-raised are not offended.

Spring is sprung
The grass is riz.
I wonder where
The boidies is.

Da boids on da wing.
How absoid.
I thought da wing
Was on da boid.

Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: rowel & contund

Rowel Contund
In this scenario, a justifiably miffed homeowner confronts a pair of neighborhood kids, owning up to the obvious window damage wrought by their baseball. Whether our word “rowel” is within the scope of these two young sandlot-ball offenders’ vocabulary might require a little suspension of disbelief to fathom. But what the hey... it’s just a cartoon. Ha!

Lame Pun Alert! Here, our big bruiser of a pugilist has been clearly beaten to the punch (or to a pulp), contunded and battered, as he butchers stevedore/pro boxing prospect, Marlon Brando lead character, Terry Malloy’s famous line from the 1954 noir crime drama, “On the Waterfront”; namely... “I could’ve been a contender.”

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. forswear
2. circumvallate
3. rowel
4. subduct
5. contund
= 1. disavow
2. fort or US wall
3. cam center
4. cut under
5. club
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)
1. forswear
2. circumvallate
3. rowel
4. subduct
5. contund
= 1. disavow
2. wall
3. fret
4. cut or cram under
5. club; contuse
-Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

Evil mojo is still in the air,
but for right now, I vow to forswear
writing limericks critical
on topics political.
They don’t read. They don’t hear. They don’t care.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail com)

I enjoy my meals -- four and square,
As a result I no longer fit in my chair.
To quell the overflow
A meal I must forego
And sweets and desserts forswear!
-Del de Souza, Mumbai, India (deldesouza hotmail.com)

I hereby forswear Trump and his gang
The essence of the phrase sturm and drang.
Is there nothing to do?
The Supremes love them too.
Could they all row or wade to Pyongyang?
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

“Other women for you I forswear,”
Lied the orange-haired, vain billionaire.
“Through thick and through thin,”
He avowed with a grin,
“I’ll deny every tawdry affair.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

My pension I must circumvallate
For fear of the king’s coming mandate.
“Reduce Medicare!
Old Folks? I don’t care!
Just bring me more gold for my breastplate.”
-Anna C. Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

I know my chess play isn’t great.
That’s why I end up in checkmate.
I hope my game improves,
Learning how a piece moves,
And not the rook, circumvallate.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The children, unprotected, were part of the plan,
Wrested from parents, plunked in a van;
Someone was mean,
Cared not a bean,
And the Secret Service circumvallated The Man.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

“On my word as a real estate magnate,
Our country we must circumvallate,”
Said Donald, “Tell Sarah
To put on mascara
And quote some glum biblical tractate.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Writing one limerick a day
could at times be a source of dismay.
When she ran out of stock
and developed mental block,
a little rowelling would show her the way.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Wakefield, Massachusetts (mukherjis hotmail.com)

It is my concept that to rowel
Appears to be a habit most foul!
To skirr a horse’s chest
With moving points harshly press’d
Makes me feel sick to the bowel!
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

Donald Trump, he should throw in the towel,
It’s enough of his sharp painful rowel.
He greets us each day
With another display,
Which is sure to evoke a large scowl.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

“This island,” complained Thurston Howell,
“Is a kick in the pants with a rowel.
I’ll be writing on Yelp
That I can’t find good help,
Or for Lovey, a nice fluffy towel.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Some splenetic chumps chose to subduct,
Better angels they verily chucked.
They drank the Orange Zeus,
Strung up the dread noose,
And our goose is now royally plucked.
-Charles Harp, Victoria, Canada (texzenpro yahoo.com)

The sweet southern belle wonders, “How’ll
I tell him his speech really rowels
me, clipped in the way
some northerners say
their carefully manicured vowels?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

If someone tries to subduct me,
They would find themselves unlucky.
Looks easily deceive
So one should not believe
My small stature would make it easy.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“God sees that His word you have ducked,
And to Hades your soul will subduct!
Mend your ways and repent,
Or face endless torment!”
Said my wife, for my shirt was untucked.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The boxer made a big blunder
And saw his career go under.
“Too bad I wiped out;
There isn’t a doubt
I could have been a contunder.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

We the people have been contunded
By powerful people who are funded
By those with money,
Who offer their honey
To have the rules changed; all good they’ve undid.
-Judy Distler, Teaneck, New Jersey (jam1026 aol.com)

Scott Pruitt seemed so firmly rooted
There was no way he could be booted.
Many wished to contund,
To force a refund
Of all the tax dollars he looted.
-Glenn Ickler, Hopedale, Massachusetts (glennwriter verizon.net)

The Russian involvement’s a ruse
Said the man with a very short fuse.
He means to subduct
And our truth reconstruct,
Upholding the stance of Fox News.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

Descending to depths yet unplumbed,
Said Scott Pruitt, “The Earth I’ll contund.
My crusade is to slaughter
The air and the water
While flying first class -- what? I’m stunned!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Like a shampoo these have verbal essence

Aren’t mandatory uniforms forswear?

Seeing the male receptionist down the hall I yelled, “Hey circumvallate my parking!”

The cowboy drawled, “These here are rowel good spurs.”

When the periscope showed a battleship approaching, the subduct deep under water.

Like all boxers, Brando WAS a contunder.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings. -Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, psychiatrist and author (8 Jul 1926-2004)

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