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Aug 11, 2019
This week’s theme
Words borrowed (adopted) from other languages

This week’s words
cordillera
bondieuserie
pareidolia
akratic
satyagraha

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Relative usage over time

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AWADmail Issue 893

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

Sponsor’s Message: We’ve finally become our own worst nightmare: a sell out. Large anonymous corporation gets wind of One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game and wants to license it worldwide. We say sure, why not? Creativity, principles, artistic integrity, success on our own terms? Right out the window at the first sign of cash we’re happy to say. Seriously, we’re offering all AWADers, including Email of the Week winner, Elizabeth Block (see below), 50% OFF our Special Dark Edition, while supplies last. Once this limited and lovely version of our best-selling cutthroat IQ contest is gone, it’s gone forever. So, smarten up (on the cheap) RIGHT AWAY >



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

Parlez-Vous Anglais? Yes, of Course.
The New York Times
Permalink

As a Language Dies, Who Will Mourn? Should Anyone?
The Washington Post
Permalink

25 Years and Counting: Engineer-Turned-Wordsmith Anu Garg Continues to Spread the Magic of Words
India-West
Permalink



From: Rheea Hermoso-Prudente (rheea reewrites.biz.ph)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cordillera

Today’s word caught my attention because I live in what’s known as the Cordillera Administrative Region here in the Philippines -- named by the Spanish colonizers after the mountain range right smack in the middle of Luzon island. I just found it interesting and relevant. Also, the English word boondocks came from our Tagalog word bundok, which means mountain.

Rheea Hermoso-Prudente, Baguio, Philippines



From: Norman Holler (via website comments)
Subject: Do unto those downstream ...

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you. -Wendell Berry, farmer and author (b. 5 Aug 1934)

The Wendell Berry quotation immediately triggered my long-held appreciation of the Seventh Generation Principle. One of the descriptions reads, The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.

I believe that a deep seed of behavioural shifting lodged in my psyche when I first tripped across the concept twenty some years ago. It gave me cause to pause. My description reads, It is our obligation to work towards preparing the world for those who will be here in seven generations. While it is difficult for many of us to place some of our thoughts and strategies into the more distant future, it is, I believe, within our cognitive and moral capacity.

Upstream, downstream, we are all in the Humanity Stream.

Norman Holler, Whitehorse, Canada



From: Cindy Lamb (lambscribe aol.com)
Subject: bondieuserie

One of my favorite finds in my ongoing collection of southern culture bondieuserie was a shimmering portrait of The Last Supper with moving hands along the table.

Cindy Lamb, Louisville, Kentucky



From: Janet Nielsen (a1jnielsen comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bondieuserie

The best example of bondieuserie that I have encountered is the 20x32” elaborately gilt plastic-framed black velvet photo-realistically painted image of an oncoming semi truck on a stormy night, about to overturn on a curve. Terrifying. However, in the sky is the benevolent and reassuring face of a white Anglo-Saxon Jesus. Surely all will be well.

To enjoy the full effect of the piece, it is best to view it in a darkened room. Both the headlights of the semi and the eyes of Jesus light up.

Janet Nielsen, California



From: SarahRose Werner (swerner nbnet.nb.ca)
Subject: Bondieuserie

Surely any discussion of bondieuserie must include the mention of the song “Plastic Jesus” by Ed Rush and George Cromarty:

I don’t care if it
Rains or freezes
As long as I’ve got my
Plastic Jesus
Ridin’ on the dashboard
Of my car

SarahRose Werner, Saint John, Canada



Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Play mind games on the cheap NOW >

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: bondieuserie

What a delightful word! I shall make a point of using it at the first opportunity. And maybe it has wider applications. Seeing a display of busts of Elvis Presley in a store window I thought: In another age, he would have been worshiped as a saint, miracles would have been attributed to him, etc. Maybe those busts were bondieuserie as well.

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada



From: Diane Goss (dgoss post03.curry.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bondieuserie

Lately, I have noticed an increase in the number of statues of Mary in folks’ yards here in Braintree. One even has two statues and another is in front of a house near Stop and Shop that proudly displayed a huge Trump sign in 2016. Finally, I have a good word for these statues.

Diane Goss, Braintree, Massachusetts



From: Dominique Mellinger (dominiquemellinger yahoo.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bondieuserie

Bondieuseries are related to the Roman Catholic Church where “God” was (still is?) called “le Bon Dieu” (the Good God). Nowadays it would probably be just “God” but way back then it was “le Bon Dieu” that people would pray: “Priez le Bon Dieu que tout se passe bien!” The phrase remains in the language nowadays.

Dominique Mellinger, Gorze, France



From: Barbara Segalla (barbara barseg.co.za)
Subject: pareidolia

I grew up on a farm in Namibia where rain was scarce so the appearance of thunderclouds was a great source of “animals in the sky” for us as children .. pleased that our imagined friends now have an official name!

Barbara Segalla, Somerset West, South Africa



From: Glen Toogood (gardenislandcanoe ontera.net)
Subject: pareidolia

I knew some people who saw Jesus in the bottom of their skillet. They were pantheists.

Glen Toogood, Temagami, Canada



From: Gloria Dumas (dumaswitsend aol.com)
Subject: pareidolia

I have found, when I am bored, I notice patterns more often than I should. I volunteer for the local blood donor organization and have noticed how many people come in sharing a birthday or similar phone numbers. I noted one time that five people had come in to donate blood with different surnames but each one ended in “man”. I mentioned it to someone. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Perhaps I had, as those same people continue to visit the same blood drive. I have not mentioned the “men” to anyone again...except of course to you.

Gloria Dumas, Port Orchard, Washington



From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: akratic

Yes, I just saw this word in a The New York Review of Books article about Boris Johnson. He uses it to describe the hero (main character, anyway) of his only novel Seventy-Two Virgins, and the author of the article says it applies to him as well. The last line of the article: “Send in the clown.”

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada



From: James Hutchinson (james hutch.org.uk)
Subject: Akratic

It’s interesting that you’ve quoted Boris Johnson in today’s usage example, considering that he has vowed to pull Britain out of the EU “whatever the circumstances”. That’s a perfect example of akratic behaviour!

James Hutchinson, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK



From: David Citron (dac384 gmail.com)
Subject: Akratic

Doesn’t this describe midwest soybean farmers who, unable to sell their crop, still support Donald Trump?

David Citron, Martinsburg, Pennsylvania



From: Janet Stecher (rebelvoz aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--satyagraha

Check out the workshops called Fierce Vulnerability put on by the East Point Peace Academy (named to be contrary to its linguistic, geographic, and idealistic opposite).

Janet Stecher, Seattle, Washington



From: Christine Whittlesey (christine.whittlesey aon.at)
Subject: Satyagraha

Satyagraha is the title of an opera https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha_(opera) by Philip Glass, in which I performed here in Austria some years ago. Of course, Mahatma Gandhi is the leading figure. We were supposed to take this production to Teheran, but there was a political crisis at the moment and it was cancelled.

Christine Whittlesey, Gleisdorf, Austria



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Pareidolia and satyagraha

Pareidolia
In reflecting on our word pareidolia, the notion of seeing images in cloud formations came to mind, soon followed by my recollection of a memorable song from my youth... “Both Sides, Now”, penned in 1967, and later recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell, on her 1969 second album release, “CLOUDS”. A year prior, folksinger Judy Collins debuted Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now” on her “Wildflowers” album. It became an instant hit, vaulting Collins into stardom. The opening stanza really resonates with me... “Bows and flows of angel hair/ And ice-cream castles in the air/ And feather canyons everywhere/ I’ve looked at clouds that way...”. In my cartoon scenario, as dusk settles upon the golden sprawl of wheat fields of a bright, young Joni Mitchell’s native Saskatchewan, the budding tunesmith and her pet pooch are caught up in the wonder of cloud gazing, conjuring up a gigantic ice-cream cone, and a puffy doggie bone, respectively. My Froggy character is just mesmerized by the sheer splendor of the marmalade sky.

Satyagraha
In light of the definition of our word satyagraha, it could be argued that it was upon the frail shoulders of Mahatma Gandhi -- paying the ultimate sacrifice with his martyrdom in the name of nonviolent protestations for human rights and world peace -- that those prominent peace-makers who followed in his footsteps were markedly emboldened and uplifted on their humanitarian missions. Both civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and peace advocate/famed musician John Lennon revered Gandhi as the quintessential exemplar of nonviolent protest. Most tragically, Gandhi, MLK, and Lennon were all victims of assassins’ bullets. Yet their legacy of self-sacrifice, dogged determination, and courage lives on... an inspiration to all future advocates of nonviolent civil disobedience, amity among nations, and the fight for basic human rights and human dignity.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



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

Words borrowed from other languages:
1. cordillera
2. bondieuserie
3. pareidolia
4. akratic
5. satyagraha
=
1. a broad ridge
2. bad religious art
3. see order in a cloud (aha!)
4. lack heart or power
5. moral way of resisting
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)



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

In the great dot com bubble, whiz Devin
With funds pouring in, was in heaven.
But his debt cordillera
Brought Devin to terra,
And soon he was in chapter seven.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“To hike in that steep cordillera,”
Said the girl, “would destroy my mascara.
If it’s hills you admire,
There’s topless attire
I’d wear on the French Riviera.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Laughs the vampire, “You thought I’d be fazed
by the counterfeit cross you have raised?
It’s naught but bondieuserie,
cheap costume jewelry.
Sad you’ve not had it appraised!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

If you visit St. Peter’s in Rome,
And you want, in your heart, to take home
Something neat from the store --
Bondieuseries galore? --
You’ll find the gift shop by the dome.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

Trump told Pence, “Those Dems give me such misery,
Get your God on my side, he’ll look out for me.”
Mikey said, “Let us pray,
Where there’s will, there’s a way,
I will pull out my trusty bondieuserie.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Bondieuserie’s not all that fine;
It’s junk you will find by a shrine.
But you needn’t be rich
When it comes to this kitsch --
So buy a memento divine!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

What a wonderful word is bondieuserie,
Though its meaning is really no use to me.
It’s a meal on your tongue,
It’s a lilting song sung;
But define it? Who cares? We’re just schmoozing, see?
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Our prosperity’s largely illusory,
The Dow just a bit of bondieuserie.
We owe Nature a debt
And she’ll soon make us sweat,
For the rate that she’ll charge will be usury.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Pareidolia affected his plate,
Invoking a memory great.
Completely beguiled,
He gushed and he smiled;
Said Hef, “It’s a former Playmate!”
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

If I look in the sky I will see
Cloud formations appear before me.
What I see is wholly a
Case of pareidolia,
And I think that I see a chimpanzee.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

With a gift that some call pareidolia,
I see Donald throughout our dystopia.
When I look at tea leaves
I get ghastly dry heaves,
And from cantaloupe seeds, melancholia.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Says she, “Though some call me akratic,
my shoe hoarding’s not problematic.
Each time that I shop,
I know I should stop,
but there’s still lots of room in the attic!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Though it’s led to behavior erratic,
we can’t call the man’s actions akratic.
“Better judgment” is not
anything that he’s got.
Vote him out. Let’s get someone pragmatic.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

I adore electricity static;
It tempts me to do things akratic.
From morning till noon,
I may rub a balloon
On my head till my hair’s problematic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Satyagraha Gandhi devised
To reach all the goals that he prized.
If changes you seek,
This peaceful technique
Can work just as Gandhi surmised.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I may cover my ears and shout, “La la la!”
Or else go for a ride on my Yamaha.
For avoidance of strife
With a critical wife,
These are ways that I practice satyagraha.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: How’s this foreign awful group?

“I rick’n we burn about a cordillera fire wood.”

Charging more than 10% is bail bondieuserie.

“Get back to work pereidolia cloud-gazing was a waste of time!”

When Dr. Leary decided to “tune in, turn on, and drop out” he took a hip akratic oath.

If there’s a phrase that sounds like “satyagraha”, I can’t “hear” it. Instead, here’s a limerick:
An explorer and sometime geographa
Was ready to kill the cartographa
Whose poorly-drawn map
Had caused quite a mishap
But he calmed down, employing satyagraha.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself. -Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and orator (11 Aug 1833-1899)

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