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AWADmail Issue 879

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

May 5, 2019
This week’s theme
People who became verbs

This week’s words

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives

Next week’s theme
Words from singer-songwriter Roy Zimmerman’s songs

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From: Mary Jean Mailloux (marie-jeanne alliance-francaise.ca)
Subject: haussmannize

Now every large city in France has a Boulevard Haussman. When I lived in Nice I learned quite a bit about the French aristocrats whose names appeared on at least half of the streets and avenues.

Mary Jean Mailloux, Oakville, Canada

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

Probably the most famous inhabitant of Boulevard Haussmann was the writer Marcel Proust, author of the novel In Search of Lost Time (better known in English as Remembrance of Things Past).

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Haussmann

Haussmann sounds like a latter-day Nero, whose reputation has been brought low for thousands of years by fake news perpetrated by his political enemies. Not only did he not fiddle while Rome burned, he wasn’t even in town when the blaze broke out. He rushed back to lead rescue and relief efforts, and then rebuilt the city with new construction codes that would prevent such a thing from ever happening again. Can one Haussmannize pre-Haussmann?

Steve Benko, New York, New York

From: Alison Landes (alisonlandes gmail.com)
Subject: David Landes

This world is divided roughly into three kinds of nations: those that spend lots of money to keep their weight down; those whose people eat to live; and those whose people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. -David S. Landes, author, professor of economics and history (29 Apr 1924-2013)

Thank you for quoting my father on what would have been his 95th birthday! I was thrilled to see him as your quotation.

Alison Landes, San Francisco, California

From: Daniel O’Donovan (daniel.yeshe gmail.com)
Subject: MacGyver

My favourite example of this is used in the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1, which also stars Richard Dean Anderson, when Carter sees the DHD for the first time and she says: “It took us 15 years and three supercomputers to MacGyver a system for the gate on Earth.”

Daniel O’Donovan, Cardiff, Wales

From: Janet Rizvi (janetrizvi gmail.com)
Subject: MacGyver

There’s a word for it in Hindi: jugaad. A lot of Indians are proud of the national capacity for jugaad, but after living in India for half a century I wonder if it may not often be at the expense of more permanent and durable solutions.

Dr Janet Rizvi, Gurgaon, India

From: John Slobodniuk (john.slobodniuk det.nsw.edu.au)
Subject: MacGyver’d It

We had an air conditioner removed and it left a hole for two years. I finally decided to try to fix it. I did it by using several beer coasters, a rusty screw, and some putty while my wife was at work. Painted it over it and BOOM... new wall! When my wife got home, she asked what I did. I replied “MacGyver’d it.” That’s all that needed to be said.

John Slobodniuk, Newcastle, Australia

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

There is a memorable take on the importance of pasteurization in a Seinfeld episode (video, 1 min.), featuring George (Costanza) and his fiancée Susan. It works if you want to make it work (between yourselves as well as between them and the cockroaches).

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Don Fearn (pooder charter.net)
Subject: pasteurize

“I need enough milk for a milk bath.”
“Do you want it pasteurized?”
“No, up to my knees will do.”

Don Fearn, Rochester, Minnesota

From: Martin Frampton (collepardo btinternet.com)
Subject: Pasteurise

As a young boy at school when I heard talk of milk and it being Pasteurised, my imagery suggested that the cow had spent its life happily wandering around a pasture, another name for field. Sort of a “free range” cow. It was some years before I learned about M Pasteur and cowpox and smallpox.

M Don Frampton, Newton Abbot, UK

From: Diego Martinez (diegomarti gmail.com)
Subject: Pasteurized

In local Spanish we sometimes use pasteurizado for anything that has been modified from its original funky essence to fit in a more socially acceptable version of itself.

Diego Martinez, Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

From: Frank H Little (via website comments)
Subject: Disneyfy

There is the old Glasgow joke about two lads comparing Christmas presents.
“Me da’ gied me a Mickey Mouse watch.”
“A Mickey Mouse watch?”
“Aye, it disnae work.”

Frank H Little, Neath, UK

From: Bill Younglove (wyoungl aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--disneyfy

I find this particular word very interesting, in light of the following (little known/little referenced) Disney quotation:

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 the child a favor by trying to shield him from reality.

Bill Younglove, Lakewood, California

Email of the Week brought to you by The Official Old’s Cool Education -- Wit. Grit. Grad. Dad. Gift. >

From: Henry Willis (hmw ssdslaw.com)
Subject: Disneyfication

Some years ago, when Disney was taking over Times Square, the neighborhood, and Broadway, the cultural center, not everyone in Disney’s path was happy with being Disneyfied. The folks behind “Forbidden Broadway” made a song out of their feelings: “Be Depressed” (to the tune of “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast”). You can hear a recording of it on YouTube (video, 3 min.).

We all know who won that battle. Which did not surprise anyone who has dealt with The Walt Disney Co.; as the old joke (which I first heard from a member of The Animation Guild’s bargaining team) goes, “What’s the difference between Disney and terrorists? You can negotiate with terrorists.”

Henry Willis, Los Angeles, California

From: Jorge del Desierto (george_potvin yahoo.com)
Subject: macadamize

In the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada, many old words remain due to its centuries-long isolation from France after the British conquest. The word char (chariot) is still used to describe an automobile. Macadam is a wonderful word for poet and musicians. Jean-Luc Ferland, a ‘60s icon in the province’s music scene, wrote Les Fleurs de macadam (video, 3 min.).

Jorge Del Desierto, La Paz, Mexico

From: Noel Walker (via website comments)
Subject: macadamize

Portland, Oregon: where you can rent a bicycle from Biketown, and then ride down Macdam Ave.

Noel Walker, Tualatin, Oregon

From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: macadamize

Someone once noted that the word “remacadamized” is the ultimate mixture of languages in one English word. “Re-” is Latin. “Mac” is Scots Gaelic. “Adam” is Hebrew. “-ize” is Greek. Only the final “-d” originates in English.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: Brenda Sens (sens metrocast.net)
Subject: Names that become verbs

The moment I read this week’s theme I thought of the George H.W. Bush/Michael Dukakis campaign. For some years after whenever a contest became ugly it was said that it was Atwaterized after Bush’s campaign manager. As disgusting as his tactics seemed at the time, by today’s standards they were almost benign.

Brenda Sens, Gilmanton, New Hampshire

From: Joel Mabus (joel.mabus pobox.com)
Subject: People who became verbs

In 2016, a verb became a president.
But the verb will never be the same again.

Joel Mabus, Portage, Michigan

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

People who became verbs:
1. haussmannize
2. macgyver
3. pasteurize
4. disneyfy
5. macadamize
1. revamp embassy zone
2. crazy new scheme
3. purify, bleach
4. sanitize, add mouse image
5. pave
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Limericks

“With the wall that my fans glamorize,
The border I’ll soon haussmannize,”
Says Donald. “My goal,
Besides burning more coal,
Is no brown folks to naturalize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

With beautiful Paris the prize,
he decided they must haussmannize.
So Napoleon Three
goes down in history
with the city he’d revitalize.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“I’m leaving this bee enterprise!”
says the apiarist. “I despise
the profusion of stings
that pursuing it brings --
and my hives I will not Haussmannize!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

There once was a girl named Marie
Who had a great time in Paree.
It was Haussmannized so
It was worthwhile to go.
And would she return? Ooh, mais oui!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)
[Ed. note: Kudos to Ms. Wolf. Hers was the only poem chosen which properly stressed HAUSS-man-ized. Though she didn’t rhyme it, there’s no deduction for placing an AWAD mid-line.]

Clever hero is Angus MacGyver
who for justice is always a striver.
He’ll face danger and strife
with his Swiss Army knife
and sometimes, too, a tiny screwdriver.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

MacGyver is his middle name,
To jury rig things is his game.
He’ll fix this, then that
Wherever he’s at.
His talent has earned him some fame.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

She died, and that would have been that,
but the doc ordered, “Transplant ‘er, stat!
She’ll be a survivor
if I can MacGyver
this. Hand me that multi-lived cat!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

My husband’s a diligent striver
To save bucks and pull a MacGyver,
My man gets his kicks
From the jury-rigged fix.
Just give him duct tape and screwdriver.
-Willo Oswald, Portland OR willooswald gmail.com

“I’ve invented zees thing, ‘Pasteurize,’”
Said Louis, “And cows rhapsodize!
For I zap all ze bugs
Like eenveesible thugs
When ze bastards weeth milk fraternize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I’m glad that Pasteur helped us out;
We’re safer for this, there’s no doubt.
A pasteurized drink
Is better, I think --
No microbes are lurking about.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Do ya wanna drink milk from a cow?”
The old farmer did cock his eyebrow.
Said a lad, who was wise,
“With no pasteurize?”
He was squirted by the udder now.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Polite discourse now must comply
With the rules “pasteurize”, “disneyfy”.
Politically right
And legally tight,
No one knows what you’re saying, or why.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

Said The Donald to Pence, “I’m so sly,
Let Bill Barr be my perfect fall guy.
Though I tend to be crude,
Mike, I did not collude,
My grand plan is to just Disneyfy.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Says inventor of weird-looking stuff,
“To market it’s gonna be tough.
So to get men to buy it,
we’ll just Disneyfy it
by claiming it makes them look buff!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The Disneyfied words from Bill Barr
Were slipp’ry and downright bizarre.
He didn’t back down
When he polished Trump’s crown,
Which is kept in a see-through bell jar.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

“To Mueller’s report Disneyfy,
I’ll come up with some nice flimsy lie,”
Said Bill Barr, “And a series
Of congressmen’s queries
With answers I won’t dignify.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

How seedy it was in Times Square --
The hookers and pimps gathered there!
It’s Disneyfied now
And critics somehow
A love of the wholesome don’t share.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The streets are much better by far
Macadamized now as they are.
This modern advance
Reduces the chance
That potholes will swallow my car.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“The Congress’s role in our nation
Is due for macadamization,”
Says Trump. “Those hyenas
May issue subpoenas,
But lying will be my salvation.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Mispunnounced names

“That’s a question for the haussmannize just the gardener.”

A bride’s vows indicate, “This is McGyver ever and ever!”

If you drown in milk it will be pasteurize. (That’s at least a 60-year-old joke.)

I enjoy an animated feature by Disneyfy am feeling low.

The cockney wife said of her good-for-nothing husband, “Macadamizes me.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. -Christopher Morley, writer (5 May 1890-1957)

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