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Oct 7, 2018
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AWADmail Issue 849

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

Sponsor’s Message: One Up! is wicked smarter than Scrabble. Way brainier than Bananagrams. No board. No complicated rules. 20 or so sweaty fun cutthroat minutes. Rinse (off your IQ), and repeat. Congrats to Email of the Week winner, Thomas McNamara (see below), as well as all AWADers -- you can put 1,000,000 words and worlds in your pocket for less than the cost of a couple of coffees. Caffeine your cranium up now >

From: Scott Swanson (harview montana.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--plunderbund

Ahh, that brings back memories of 1972, when I lived in a cave and studied German in high school. Our teacher once gave us a list (on the chalkboard, of course) of German words which had been adopted into English. Plunderbund I definitely remember, and Zeitgeist, Doppelgänger, quite a few. Of course, the piece of paper I hurriedly scribbled them on is long gone!

Scott Swanson, Pendroy, Montana

From: Douglas Heidenreich (douglas.heidenreich mitchellhamline.edu)
Subject: Bund

In the years just prior to WWII, Americans who opposed the war and who seemed to be pro-German were said to belong to an organization called the German-American Bund. The radio commentators referred darkly to this organization and to Fifth Columnists who lurked everywhere. And then there were people like Charles Lindbergh and the “America First”ers. What a bunch!

Douglas Heidenreich, St. Paul, Minnesota

From: Simon Wright (orangesimo yahoo.co.uk)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--palilogy

“Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” -- an oft-quoted palilogy uttered by Kenneth Williams in the bawdy 1964 British comedy Carry On Cleo. This was voted as the best comedy film one-liner back in 2007 (but all of the Carry On films are littered with memorable one-liners). Unfortunately, some snooty Brits now turn their nose up at these fun and entertaining films as being outdated and not PC, but the comedic acting and timing combined with scripts dripping with clever word play are a joy to watch.

Simon Wright, Newton Abbot, UK

From: Bob Carter (rfgcarter ntlworld.com)
Subject: Quincentenary

I enjoy your daily contribution to my literacy and always find the words interesting. Today’s word, quincentenary, may well be rare in the USA, but the other side of the Atlantic we are well used to celebrating 500th anniversaries.

Bob Carter, Fareham, UK

From: Peter Wigley (wigleyparents hotmail.com)
Subject: Quincentenary

This word reminded me of the search I undertook to find a word with three Qs. Apart from a rather made up word “equiquaquiversal” hanging out equally in all directions, the editor of the Chambers dictionary said his favourite was sesquiquinquennial, occurring once every seven and a half years.

Peter Wigley, Chester, UK

From: Benjamin Avant (benjamin benjaminavant.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--quincentenary

As a child, I was excited to celebrate America’s bicentennial in 1976. Ten years later, we Texans celebrated the Texas sesquicentennial, furthering my interest in the naming of centennials/centenaries. There was much discussion about the meaning of sesquicentennial (ses: half, qui: and), and at least one amusing quip of a co-worker who claimed he was sesquilingual.

Benjamin Avant, Dallas, Texas

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

A fairly rugged pal of mine was re-roofing my shed when he stopped suddenly saying “Oh, there’s a spider.” I was puzzled by his remarking on the unremarkable until I realised he was from Australia, home of some of the most poisonous spiders in the world.

Denis Toll, Aberdeen, Scotland

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Playing mind games just got serious >

From: Thomas McNamara (ambmcn gmail.com)
Subject: arachnophobia

A young mother once told me that she cured her young child’s arachnophobia and turned it into “charlottophilia” by reading E.B. White’s short story to her child.

Thomas McNamara, Washington, DC

From: Jonathan Spector (sasgon gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--arachnophobia

I reached the point where I couldn’t open Charlotte’s Web for a Children’s Lit. class. A little therapy went a long way, but I’m still afraid of spiders.

Jonathan Spector

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

Irrational fear? I don’t think so. Everyone should be afraid of the tarantula. The fourth movement of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony gives us ample testimony. The tarantella on which it is based is a dance named after this creepy-crawler. It was believed that the tarantula’s bite could only be cured if the victim engages in perpetual motion, aided by the music. At harvest time fiddlers would wander through fields hoping for “therapeutic engagements”.

Though according to medical science, the bite, while unpleasant, is harmless, who on earth would want to take a chance? I for one even avoided visiting Italy, lest I encounter a tarantula that laid its eggs in the Italian boot. (Pardon the pun.)

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: palilogy & arachnophobia

American poet and novelist Gertrude Stein magically appears with the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, who offers up a singular blushing-red rose. Each recites snippets of their poesy... Stein’s repetitive line being illustrative of the definition of our word palilogy. On the surface, she’s seemingly emphasizing the obvious, yet perhaps prompting us to ruminate about the possible rationale behind her use of this palilogical literary device?
palilogy arachnophobia
Who knew? Venerable Marvel comic book character Spider-Man... a closet arachnophobe? Can’t escape the irony here. Spidy, the brainchild of the comic book scribe Stan Lee and writer/artist Steve Ditko, dating back to his early-1960’s debut in print, has inexplicably kept hidden his fear of creepy-crawly creatures, especially arachnids, for all these many years. Go figure! Snakes, on the other hand... no problem.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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


1. plunderbund
2. orexigenic
3. palilogy
4. quincentenary
5. arachnophobia
1. purloin
2. piquing
3. announce again
4. birthday cycle
5. need help, or borax!
     There’s a word for it
1. plunderbund
2. orexigenic
3. palilogy
4. quincentenary
5. arachnophobia
1. European Union (dab lax by profligacy)
2. whetting
3. echo
4. > quadricentennial
5. spider horror
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

A most spritely young man, so jocund,
Had inherited a family fund.
This turned him toward greed
As a way to succeed,
Thus engaging in gross plunderbund.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

I’ve always been meaning to mention
His mighty big lies and deception.
Amidst grandiose haggle
The plunderbund gaggle
Runs defense and sly interception.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

DeVos now has charmed the school plunderbunds,
Cuts rights of assaultees, the guiltless ones.
Her new plan’s no fuss.
“Victims under the bus!
And school districts, here are your refunds.”
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

At the gala, in black tie and cummerbund,
Said Donald, “We’ll end things like Superfund.
EPA regulation
Now faces castration,
For ‘freedom’ means rule by this plunderbund.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Orexigenic 45’s mind is moribund.
He can’t tell “plunder” from “plunderbund”.
Though his words are unreliable,
(alas!) he might still be viable,
as his wealth grows more and more rotund.
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

Says wolf, “Orexigenic,
but not too hygienic
are pigs. And so,
I’ll let them go,
for reasons pathogenic.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

While vacationing in Greece,
My appetite did increase,
For all things Hellenic
I’m orexigenic.
Baklava, one piece? I can’t cease.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Donald, “It’s all copacetic,
For their bodies are orexigenic.”
Answered Brett, “Thank you, sir,
I like beer, and for sure
Towards self-pardon am most sympathetic.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Bret Kavanaugh said, “I like beer.”
Repeatedly he made this clear.
This palilogy
May very well be
The end of his legal career.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Water water everywhere, he cries,
yet not any drop to drink (he sighs).
Palilogy Coleridge chose
to highlight mariners’ woes,
as their fates are resolved by throw of dice.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Inane palilogy’s
unleashed whenever he
creates a tweet.
The same conceit
repeated: ME, ME, ME!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Donald’s the King of Palilogy,
Repeats like an ongoing trilogy.
Repeats and repeats
Like dumb parakeets.
Is he also guilty of bigamy?
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

Said Frodo, “As star of this trilogy,
I’m forbidding the use of palilogy.
Without repetition,
The tale of my mission
Scares tyrants from Mordor to Tripoli.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Some long livers become centenarians
though there never were quincentenarians.
Not Methuselah, we’re told,
though he was older than mold.
Might life be longer for twin vegetarians?
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

A voter may think himself a fool
If results of elections seem too cruel;
And we must hiss
At the thought of this:
A quincentenary of Trump-style rule!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

At the Henry the Eighth Quincentenary,
Attendance required a pedigree.
Diana and Charles
At the door traded snarls,
And a guard asked them, “Please check your weaponry.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Arachnophobia caused Miss Muffet
Precipitously to rise from her tuffet.
She dealt with the spider
That sat down beside her
With the back of her spoon and a buffet.
-Del de Souza, Mumbai, India (deldesouza hotmail.com)

Poor Miss Muffet tried so hard to hide her
fear of spiders lest people deride her.
It was really a blow
when her arachnopho-
-bia lost her her health care provider.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Arachnophobia won’t fit me
Since I carry spiders to safety.
For some strange reason
Each time I see one,
My impulse is to help it live free.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

If you dream about spiders all over ya,
You need help with your arachnophobia.
Calm down, have a drink,
And Judge Kavanaugh, think
Of what women must feel who say “no” to ya.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: There’s a word for it (if not always a good pun)

While cleaning the attic I found a rotten apPLUNDERBUNDles of newspapers.

Unable to keep things bottled up, the oracle told Oedipus, “Orexigenic came to me and said ...”

I owe, really owe you a palilogy for what I said.

When I asked for photos, Anthony Quincentenary might have even sent eleven.

Put a religious heretic on arachnophobia lot more likely to recant.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. -Desmond Tutu, clergyman (b. 7 Oct 1931)

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