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Feb 17, 2019
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they appear to be

This week’s words

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Relative usage over time

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Words with presidential connections

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AWADmail Issue 868

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

Sponsor’s Message: You think you’re pretty intelligent, right? Probably got a college degree, or two. A goodish job. Fairly well-read. Large vocabulary. We could throw “recalcitrance” out there and you might not even flinch. Same here. But we can honestly and definitively say you may be smart but you aren’t wicked smart. Don’t believe us? Then please join this week’s Email of the Week winner, Dave Hatfield (see below), as well as all the other know-it-alls out there for an old’s cool lesson in enlightenment and delightenment. Take our One Up! IQ test Today >

From: Jim Roberts (dzitek hotmail.com)
subject: bloodnoun

Re first documented use: easily findable online is “the deep-mouthed bawl of the blood-noun” from “Lord Stirling’s Stand, and Other Poems”, by William Henry Babcock (1880).

Jim Roberts, Victoria, Canada

From: Lawrence N Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bloodnoun

I was sixteen years old when the first World War broke out, and I lived at that time in Hungary. From reading the newspapers in Hungary, it would have appeared that, whatever Austria and Germany did was right and whatever England, France, Russia, or America did was wrong. A good case could be made out for this general thesis, in almost every single instance. It would have been difficult for me to prove, in any single instance, that the newspapers were wrong, but somehow, it seemed to me unlikely that the two nations located in the center of Europe should be invariably right, and that all the other nations should be invariably wrong. History, I reasoned, would hardly operate in such a peculiar fashion, and it didn’t take long until I began to hold views which were diametrically opposed to those held by the majority of my schoolmates. ... Even in times of war, you can see current events in their historical perspective, provided that your passion for the truth prevails over your bias in favor of your own nation. -Leo Szilard, physicist (11 Feb 1898-1964)

This quotation from Szilard reminds me of Pascal’s thought, “Vérité en deçà des Pyrénées, erreur au-delà” (The truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other).

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Timothy O’Dell (todell6 juno.com)
Subject: sodalist

You wrote, “A sodalist is not a list of Coke, Pepsi, and other carbonated beverages.” Of course not; as everyone knows, that’s a pop chart.

Timothy O’Dell, Corinth, Vermont

From: Nicholas Danforth (nicholasdanforth gmail.com)
Subject: sodalist

Good to know that we (unwitting) sodalists, as members of the AWAD sodaliity, are probably not keeping lists of our carbonated beverages. That’s because, although tempting, those ubiquitous drinks are fattening -- and, along with fast foods, are causing the deadly obesity pandemic across the USA. Thanks, AWAD, for helping us sodalists stay healthy.

Nicholas Danforth, Boston, Massachusett

From: Bob Richmond (via website comments)
Subject: Sodalist

I’ve encountered the word sodality twice in my life. A religious organization within the Roman Catholic high school I went to in the early 1950s (Central Catholic High School in San Antonio -- Society of Mary) was called the Sodality -- members were called sodalists.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra was called the Pierian Sodality of 1808, and they were called that when I was an undergrad at Harvard College in the late 1950s. Web resources aren’t clear as to whether this term is still in use.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: John Mack (via website comments)
Subject: sodalist

Perhaps the most famous derivative from the Latin is “soldato” which literally means soldier and often refers to a gang member.

John Mack

From: Steve Warshaw (siw well.com)
Subject: reprobate

Euclid seemed to have a bit of a tendency to re-prove theorems from different assumptions. That would make him a reprover but not a reprobate.

Do reprobates drink high-proof liquids?

Steve Warshaw, New York, New York

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

The Latin verb probare (to approve or test) is the root of many English words but not of the name of 1960s Elvis-style singer PJ Proby. He twice tested to destruction the seams of his oh-so-tight onstage trousers thus incurring the disapproval of the ABC theatre chain and of the BBC who both banned him. It seems that his unseemly spectacle led to a career nosedive and some rather seamy behaviour.

Denis Toll, Aberdeen, Scotland

From: Rob Hardy (robhardy3 gmail.com)
Subject: appurtenance

I always think of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver’s foray into fashion when I see this word.

Rob Hardy, Dayton, Ohio

Email of the Week Old’s Cool = Old School + Wit -- Playing mind games just got serious >

From: Dave Hatfield (via website comments)
Subject: appurtenance

Seeing the word appurtenance today brought back many “not-so-old” memories for me.

After spending 22 years in the US Army. and retiring as a Command Sergeant Major, one document I became intimately familiar with was Army Regulation (AR) 670-1, Chapter 29, “Wear of Decorations, Service Medals, Badges, Unit Awards, and Appurtenances”, and particularly “Wear of appurtenances”, which is now found on page 278.

In terms of Army uniforms, “(a)purtenances are devices affixed to service or suspension ribbons, or worn in lieu of medals or ribbons. They are worn to denote an additional award, participation in a specific event, or some other distinguishing characteristic of an award.” They are things such as oak leaf clusters, stars, numerals, ‘V’ devices, knots, or similar such items. The regulation spells out exactly what appurtenances are authorized and when and how they may be worn, for what reasons, and how they are to appear on the uniform.

Along with other elements of a soldier’s uniform, the rank insignia and accoutrements, shoulder sleeve insignia, former wartime service shoulder sleeve insignia, branch of assignment insignia, award ribbons and decorations, length of service stripes, regimental assignment, combat service stripes, any special branch assignment insignia or tabs (e.g., Ranger, Airborne, Special Forces), qualification badges, and the appurtenances on the ribbons, the wearer’s story of service and qualifications is told, at least to a great degree.

Dave Hatfield, Goldsby, Oklahoma

From: Betty Ziesmer (bettylarryz gmail.com)
Subject: Re thought for the day.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. -George Jean Nathan, author and editor (14 Feb 1882-1958)

Bad officials are elected by an obsolete electoral college!

Betty Ziesmer, Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: bloodnoun & reprobate

There won’t be blood!* In this comic scenario, bloodnoun (bullfrog) Elvis Presley impersonator accosts a rather bemused bloodhound. Frog meets pooch. Their dialogue references two classic early Elvis rock&roll hits... “Hound Dog”, and “All Shook Up”.
*The intro is a twist on the title of the 2007 dramatic film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano... There Will Be Blood.
bloodnoun reprobate
Arch reprobate, The Malevolent Maxwell, distracts his unwitting victim, Charlie Chump, secreting a poisonous elixir into Chump’s ironically happy-faced coffee mug. Froggy’s quip is a play on the signature Maxwell House Coffee brand slogan... “Good to the last drop!” Note: Characters Malevolent Maxwell and Charlie Chump are purely figments of my mildly wicked imagination.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. bloodnoun
2. sodalist
3. reprobate
4. appurtenance
5. appose
= 1. Peeper (not a toad)
2. Apostle
3. Uncool, bad person
4. Nub
5. Pairs
     1. bloodnoun
2. sodalist
3. reprobate
4. appurtenance
5. appose
= 1. anuran
2. bro
3. base; loose
4. option/part appended
5. put close
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

Said Don Trump to Mike Pence, “I’m so down
Since my peeps and I came to this town.
This prez job, I confess,
Got me into a mess,”
He gushed on like a bulbous bloodnoun.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He’s round and he’s heavy -- a clown,
Who thinks he deserves a stud crown.
He’s surely pretorian,
Though not near stentorian.
Perhaps he’s a Roman bloodnoun.
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

Our POTUS? Perhaps he’s a bloodnoun.
He’s fat and not able to calm down
A deep resonant croak.
He’s a joke of a bloke.
The worst president ever? Hands down!
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

When Valentine’s Day drew near,
The bloodnoun was full of good cheer.
Trying hard for romantic,
His actions were frantic.
Why he dressed up like Cupid’s unclear.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

A surgeon I know has, to date,
been called umpteen times to operate.
To blood and guts she’s inured --
of diseased parts, you’ll be cured!
But bloodnounophobia’s her fate!
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

“You’ll never make records for Motown,
For your voice sounds too much like a bloodnoun,”
The producer told Louie,
But Ella said “Phooey!
Instead, we’ll take home every jazz crown!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

As a Mensa sodalist, I feel
Membership has a certain appeal.
Some, finding you smart,
Will set you apart,
While others will scoff saying, “Big deal!”
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“In that club there is many a sodalist,”
Michael Cohen volunteered, “I’ll uncloak a list.”
Answered Mueller, “Each stripper
Who opened his zipper
Will help you, so sing like a vocalist.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Who was it came newly to politics of late?
Who misuses his Twitter account to prate?
Who “knew” Ms. Daniels?
Who never reads manuals?
Who obsesses about walls? Our own reprobate!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

The Big Bro assured: this fencing strong
is to shield you from doers wrong.
If you still reprobate,
I’ll, feeling desperate,
confine you to your house all day long.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

John Dillinger, world-famous reprobate,
Had a fondness for films that would not abate.
But one day he felt woozy
When after a movie
Some bullet holes altered his mental state.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (janicepower25 gmail.com)

Phil practiced his pun-making craft
In hopes that his readers all laughed.
That word-loving reprobate
Each AWAD did depredate
So most people found him quite daft.
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)

“When this land bridge turns into the Bering Strait,
It’ll keep out all manner of reprobate,”
Said the chief, “So let’s cross,
And we’ll be our own boss,”
But he didn’t know white guys could navigate.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When I go food shopping, it’s clear,
I take along my special gear.
I’ll only advance
With my appurtenance,
Coupons, water, and a bathroom near.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Displaying each appurtenance,
and touting its luxuriance,
mortician exhorts,
“Choose that which supports
your status and its furtherance!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Teresa had a perfect romance.
Her lover was bright, could converse and could dance.
They were as close in love
As a hand in a glove,
The diamond ring was the supreme appurtenance.
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

“We’ve got it all wrong,” said Copernicus,
“The Earth to the Sun’s an appurtenance.
My theory has found
We’re the ones who go ‘round,
And the proof Galileo will furnish us.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When both of her boyfriends proposed,
Their pros and cons she then apposed.
Loaded with money
Or smart and funny?
The rich guy she’d pick, she supposed.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

If we Lincoln and Trump should appose,
what a difference that would disclose:
One a torn nation healed,
one dissension would wield
sowing hatred to double our woes.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

A rose is a rose is a rose,
And nine more avoid Valentine woes.
And they’d better be red
To make sure that in bed
It’s with you that your wife is apposed.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Vlad to be of service on the first one

Fasting makes ‘im paler so Dracula needs new bloodnoun then.

Our society is secret sodalist of sodalists is unpublished.

Fishing lure companies go to bass tournaments and reprobate.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is appurtenance sophisticated legislator.

Appose that you and I were seated side-by-side...

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: James Ertner (jde31459 gmail.com)
Subject: Words with no offspring (since they aren’t “a parent”!)

As Dracula exclaimed, “I want my bloodnoun, not later!”

“Sodalist has my name on it! So what?!”

Q: Where can one buy professional poisonous material to lure pests?
A: At the reprobate shop.

As the old saying goes, “Appurtenance is worth two purts in a bush.”

The photographer asked the model to sit in appose.

Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. -Henry Adams, historian and teacher (16 Feb 1838-1918)

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