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Mar 31, 2019
This week’s theme
People who became verbs

This week’s words

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Relative usage over time

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Words that turn into other words when beheaded

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AWADmail Issue 874

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

Sponsor’s Message: Wise Up! is an brand-new smart-aleck party card game that’s guaranteed to provoke and delight both outlaws and in-laws alike, or your money back. Seriously, we double-dare Email of the Week winner, Jenny Adamson (see below), as well as all AWADers -- to put on your party pants now and come play with us. Game on!

From: Jackie M Griffin (vladamia gmail.com)
Subject: lynch

It’s very topical you posted this word of the day. There has been a huge controversy over the use of the phrase “lynch mob” by the author who is supposed to receive the RITA (Romance Writers of America) Lifetime Achievement Award this year. Here’s a link (see the first comment) for more info on why, especially now, that phrase is just not appropriate.

Jackie M Griffin

From: Myrna Witt (keyofm aol.com)
Subject: Lynch

I’m sure that I’m not the first person this week to connect the word “lynch” with the song “Strange Fruit”. The poem was written by Lewis Allen (Abel Meeropol) in 1937 and the song was recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939.

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

This song conveys the sadness and bitterness of what this word meant. It stands on its own with no other explanation.

Myrna Witt, Phoenix, Arizona

From: Alex Forbes (alexforbesmusic gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--lynch

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. -Robert Frost, poet (26 Mar 1874-1963)

This bit of Robert Frost’s poetic wisdom is particularly relevant in my line of work. As a professional songwriter, I’ve learned the hard way that listeners instinctively respond in exact proportion to my (and my collaborator’s) willingness to “go there” emotionally during the writing process. If I’m crying when I write it, they cry when they hear it. If I’m dancing joyfully, so do they. And if I’m merely “dialing it in”, they tune out immediately.

My current challenge is to use whatever talents I have to help usher out the divisive haters currently in power and restore a communal sense of love and compassion, inspired by songs like “We Shall Overcome”, “Respect”, and “Imagine”. It’s a high bar!

Alex Forbes, New York, New York

From: David Sanders (davidysanders gmail.com)
Subject: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. -Robert Frost, poet (26 Mar 1874-1963)

These words by Robert Frost come from the essay, “The Figure a Poem Makes”, which Frost used to preface all editions of his Collected Poems beginning in 1939, and was adapted from Horace’s “Ars Poetica”. As many know, and many more do not, Frost was an avid and accomplished reader of Classical literature, especially in Latin. He also prided himself on creating excellent verse in “a language absolutely unliterary”. Accordingly, Horace’s advice to his fellow poets, something like “If you would have me weep, you must have shed tears yourself,” becomes in Frost’s hands the more direct, concise, and idiomatic “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

David Sanders, Pittsford, New York

From: Paul Blaney (pblaney ehc.edu)
Subject: Galvanize

What is now called the “skin conductance response” was, when I was a psychology undergraduate 50 years ago, called the GSR, Galvanic Skin Response.

Paul H. Blaney, Abingdon, Virginia

From: Dylan Thurgood (hello dylanthurgood.com)
Subject: Galvanize

When I sat down to draw this week’s illustrated definition, I couldn’t get Captain Marvel out of my head. I decided to draw the moment when Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) is finally, for the first time in the story, sure of what she should do next and in full control of her powers. The confluence of events that occurs prior galvanizes her to finally take action and she hovers radiantly before her enemies for a moment, glowing with power and serenity before erupting into the fully realized hero the audience has been waiting for her to become.

For more illustrations of words from A.Word.A.Day, visit an.illustrated.word.a.day on Instagram.

Dylan Thurgood, Seattle, Washington

From: Lori Kohler (kohlert2 gmail.com)
Subject: Crusoe

My favorite quotation for my office door in stressful times is: “Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.”

Sadly, there are those that don’t understand that.

Lori Kohler, Tallahassee, Florida

From: Stephen Smith (auster3 gmail.com)
Subject: Robinson Crusoe

In Australian colloquial language one often hears something like “...and I am not Robinson Crusoe.” It means I was not alone in my predicament. For example: “I arrived at the Opera House for a performance of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro but discovered that I had forgotten my ticket. I lined up at the box office to find out what could be done only to discover that I was not Robinson Crusoe.”

Stephen Smith, Sydney, Australia

Email of the Week brought to you by Wise Up! -- The card game for not horrible people >

From: Jenny Adamson (jenny.adamson ccc.govt.nz)
Subject: Ardern up

Ardern up: to act with compassion, strength, decency, and true leadership, as demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in NZ that left 50 people dead and many more injured. She showed true compassion and respect for the victims at every step of the way, clearly identifying this as an act of terrorism against the Muslim community, and she ensured that the government banned the type of gun used within days.

Example: Other world leaders need to Ardern up and make real changes, rather than just “sending thoughts and prayers” but allowing the problems to continue.

I didn’t coin this phrase but I love it.

Jenny Adamson, Christchurch, New Zealand

From: Leona Will (andrewgpig aol.com)
Subject: To sagan

Many years ago I worked in a boot camp program in jail for young offenders. I managed a computer lab and taught writing skills. One day I stood over the shoulder of a student and read as he wrote. The topic was “Describe something that was fun and inexpensive that you did with your girlfriend.” He wrote that he used to like to take a blanket and he and his girlfriend would go up on the roof and sagan. I asked him with sagan meant. He replied, “You know, Miss Will, to look at the stars.” I thought for a moment then realized he was referring to Carl Sagan. That was my first experience with turning a proper noun into a verb.

Leona Will, Hialeah, Florida

From: Krishnamurthy Iyer (iyerkri gmail.com)
Subject: mankad

This week saw the word “mankading” in news once again in the cricketing world, when Kings XI Punjab bowler R Ashwin dismissed Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Butler in a T20 match of the Indian Premier League.

For those not familiar with the term, mankading involves a bowler dismissing a non-striker batsman who is backing out of his/her crease, before the bowler delivers the ball.

Named after the Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad who famously did it twice during India’s tour of Australia in 1947, the act, while legal, is widely considered against the spirit of the game and frowned upon.

Krishnamurthy Iyer, Ithaca, New York

From: Tim O’Hearn (tjohearn aol.com)
Subject: Verb: to biggio

To biggio: to appear to avoid something while intentionally taking advantage of it. From former Houston Astros baseball player, Craig Biggio, who was awarded first base by being hit by a pitch more often than anyone else, often because he apparently moved into the ball while making it look like he was trying to avoid the pitch. (Craig Biggio was a great ball player, but some wonder how he got hit on his armored arm more often than he should have.) Usage: He said he didn’t want the promotion, but he biggioed it.

Tim O’Hearn, Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Chip Taylor (via website comments)
Subject: To J-Edgar

Here is my attempt to coin the verb. I propose “J-Edgared” to mean to turn an agency that you head into your own private fiefdom where laws and rules are only what you make them (from J. Edgar Hoover). “Secretary DeVos has J-Edgared her department into a place where the education of children has become unimportant as long as religion and money are at stake”.

Chip Taylor

From: Andrew Causey (drewland512 gmail.com)
Subject: Verb coined after Martin Shkreli

To shkreli: to take pride in showing off smug joy caused by creating heartless or inhuman situations.

Example: She has shkrelied the electorate once again!

Beware! There are more shkrelies out there right now than we can count!

Andrew Causey, Evanston, Illinois

From: Susan Bondesen (spitnpolish me.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--grandisonize

I think Trumponizing would be the perfect solution for those of us who are imperfect.

To Trumponize: the act of creating one’s truth by the judicious repetition of any given made-up fact.

Usage: I would be Trumponizing if I told you again and again and again and again that I am young, beautiful, talented, rich, famous, and noble, and have never told a lie.

Susan Bondesen, Williams, Oregon

From: Lucy Jane Nathanson (lulujn gmail.com)
Subject: My offering for people as verbs: trumple

Trumple: to take the absolute, verifiable truth and trample it to a bloody pulp under heavy industrial-grade boots.

Lucy Jane Nathanson, Hudson, New York

From: Rob Ferguson (prenteg iinet.net.au)
Subject: people become verbs

On March 19, 1932, just as the Premier of New South Wales was about to cut the ribbon to open the new Sydney Harbour Bridge, Captain Francis de Groot, a former officer in the 15th King’s Hussars and a member of the conservative New Guard rode up and slashed the ribbon.

So the verb “to de Groot” someone would be immediately familiar to any Sydneysider. It means that the subject steals the limelight at the last minute from a figure of importance.

e.g. The farmer de Grooted the politician.

Rob Ferguson, Sydney, Australia

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: mesmerize and crusoe

In this roadside scenario, a deer on a nocturnal amble is suddenly stopped hard in its tracks, mesmerized by dual flashlight beams directed by none other than my trusty frog character-turned-cop. The illo caption “DEER IN THE FLASHLIGHTS” is clearly a play on the more familiar metaphor for paralyzed in fear, or just plain dazed and confused, i.e., “like a deer in the headlights.”
mesmerize Crusoe
Bridging the late-16th and early-17th centuries, John Donne gave us this seeming immortal line of poesy, “No man is an island” from his pithy “Meditations XVII”. Here, the leading “metaphysical” poet of his day offers us the Olde English version of this profound nugget of wisdom... at least the opening salvo. His shortish, free-verse poem closes with the line... “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Sounds familiar, Papa Hemingway fans out there?

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words
People who became verbs:
1. grandisonize
2. lynch
3. galvanize
4. mesmerize
5. crusoe
= 1. serve in club
2. hang by noose
3. zinc glaze
4. amaze
5. persevere while compromised
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

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

She dated the nicest of guys,
The chaps who would grandisonize.
Once back at her flat,
They’d tip their hat;
Politely they’d say their good-byes.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“First offense,” says the judge. “Neophyte.
So your sentence is gonna be light.
But I hereby advise
you: Don’t Grandisonize
shady ladies who beckon at night!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When librarians alphabetize,
Their desires they actualize.
So each book you return
-- For disorder they spurn --
To its shelf they soon grandisonize.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Whatever you may think of him,
You cannot lynch him on a whim.
While it takes awhile
There must be a trial,
Guaranteed to be very grim.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Now Donald wants all Dems to lynch,
Since Barr helped him out in a pinch.
No, don’t let them go,
On any news show.
A victory lap takes this grinch.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

At Christmas one year said the Grinch,
“Every toy that’s in Whoville I’ll pinch.”
But they’d heeded the call
by Who One for a wall,
And a mob said, “Newcomers we lynch.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

You may think he is losing his marbles
As so often his comments are garbled,
But inside of his brain
A few marbles remain
Galvanizing his scheming so artful.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

My garden in spring is a sight
That each year gives me joy and delight.
But all it will take
Is a small harmless snake
To galvanize me into flight.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

The Professor, a man oh-so-wise,
Likes to cut down his students to size.
He works each to the bone,
While they grumble and moan,
But his motive is to galvanize.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Said Donald, “Our minions I’ll galvanize,
And with porn stars and thugs again fraternize.
Vlad, I’m walking on air,
But though Mueller was fair,
For my insults I’ll never apologize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Rasputin, mad monk so renowned,
was first poisoned, then shot, stabbed, and drowned.
The Tsar he mesmerized --
the whole court was surprised.
(The Tsarina he also got round.)
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Support for politicos goes bump, bump, bump,
Except for a few who still support Trump;
Their faith is mind-bending,
Our shock, never-ending;
He’s mesmerized them -- it makes me a grump!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

“Ze American public ve’ll mesmerize,”
Said Vlad, “Vith our Donald Trump enterprise.
“But ve vill not collude,
For he’s such a dumb dude,
Zat his people ze project vould jeopardize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Anita was a bit of a Crusoe.
She said she would create her own trousseau.
She crafted her own linen,
Bought gadgets for her kitchen,
When completed, said, “See I told you so!”
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

The poor girl could not afford a trousseau
So became a sort of crusoe.
This sad old maid
Never got laid
And eventually forgot how to do so.
-Norm Brust, New York, New York (normbrust yahoo.com)

He Crusoed through life from the start.
His shyness would keep him apart
From others until
His world would soon fill
The moment she entered his heart.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

To an island I’ll go like a crusoe,
If our country keeps hitting a new low.
There I’ll ban CO2,
Walls and firearms, too;
To keep racists away, I’ll learn judo.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Epunymous verbs

I told my daughter’s boy, “You’re the grandisonize always dreamed of.”

When do you intend to pay back the money I lynch you?

I let an ophthalmologist examine my galvanize are bothering her.

Believers in Atlantis think the whole mesmerize some day.

He’s the coxswain of our boat because he crusoe well.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: James Ertner (jde31459 gmail.com)
Subject: verbal people

The movie critic must have really hated the new release, since his review Grandisonized it.

The key knight that held King Arthur’s Round Table together in a cohesive fashion was Sir Lynchpin.

The headlights on a guy’s truck, often referred to as “guy truck eyes” pale in comparison to a galvanize.

The famous actress was furious after the beautician botched the make-up on her face, so she exclaimed, “You really mesmerize!”

“I love yacht racing,” said the sailboat enthusiast, “which is why I Crusoe much.”

Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them. -Leo Buscaglia, author (31 Mar 1924-1998)

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