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Aug 25, 2019
This week’s theme
People who became verbs

This week’s words
pythagorize
malaprop
nestorize
dewitt
aladdinize

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Palindromes

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AWADmail Issue 895

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, Ibby Lang (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

The Em Dash Divides
The New York Times
Permalink

Google Sign Language AI Turns Hand Gestures into Speech
BBC
Permalink

Louisiana Says “Oui” to French, Amid Explosion in Dual-Language Schools
The New York Times
Permalink

The Ohio State University Wants to Trademark Its Favorite Word: “The”
The Washington Post
Permalink



From: Bob Stein (stein visibone.com)
Subject: noun2verb

It is of course up to future generations what “Anu Garging” will mean. I expect it will take in the ebullient exploration of the worlds in words.

Bob Stein, Emporia, Kansas



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

From: Elizabeth Lang (ibbyla yahoo.com)
Subject: to Ibby, verb tr.

Here’s hoping that you include “to Ibby” this week. Meaning: to confront an elected official aggressively. It’s the verb my Rise and Resist group adopted after I (known as Ibby) confronted NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (see here) about the infernal IDC. And we went on to DESTROY the IDC during election season 2018! Whoohoo!

Ibby Lang, Lake Luzerne, New York



From: Jess Green (jessjagreen yahoo.co.nz)
Subject: People2verb

My favourite people2verb is when people say that someone got Zucc’d on Facebook. This of course refers to someone being “Mark Zuckerberg’d” or banned or having their post, comment, group, page, or event deleted. It’s growing in popularity a lot and is frequently used.

Jess Green, Christchurch, New Zealand



From: Sharon Robertson (srobert2 rochester.rr.com)
Subject: My People2verb coinage

My dear Aunt Mary is 94, about 4’8” tall, tiny, and terrifying. She is the bossiest person I know. When we helped her close up her house and move to assisted living, she was right there, loudly giving directions on every bit of minutiae.

So now in our home when one of us gets too inquisitive or bossy the response is “Don’t marify it!”

Sharon Robertson, Rochester, New York



From: Elaine Petersen (elainepetersen hotmail.com)
Subject: dog2verbing

Seven years ago, my husband and I adopted a two-year old Neapolitan Mastiff and named him Boomer. He was a gentle giant and was a wonderful dog the time we had him. His only flaw was that he slobbered -- a lot! If you were too close to him when he shook his head then drool would fling on your outfit. If he rubbed up against you after taking a big drink of water, then slobber would end up on your clothes. When this happened, we declared that you’d been Boomered.

Elaine Petersen, Fair Oaks, California



From: Alison Dundy (alison.shore.dundy gmail.com)
Subject: People2verbing

Mommyfy: Inspired by mummify. To entomb a child with smotherly love.

Brockovitch: To entice bureaucrats to release information by showing cleavage and acting ditzy. After the Academy Award performance by Julia Roberts in the film Erin Brockovitch.

Alison Dundy, New York, New York



From: Nancy Eskridge (neskr yahoo.com)
Subject: People 2verbing

Our Texas governor, Greg Abbott, lost the use of his legs after a huge tree branch fell on him. When there are iffy-looking branches or a tree leaning way over, I say it worries me because I don’t want to get Abbotted.

Nancy Eskridge, Austin, Texas



From: Tom Hawley (t.hawley comcast.net)
Subject: people becoming verbs

In Paul Theroux’s Great Railway Bazaar, the narrator, a Mr Mosesworty, and a Mr Duffill step off the train at a station, and Mr Duffill does not move fast enough to get back on when the train moves out. Later, we read “He said, ‘I think of it now as getting Duffilled. I don’t want to get Duffilled.’ He hoisted himself into our car and called out, ‘Don’t you get Duffilled!’”

Tom Hawley, Lansing, Michigan



From: Anne Lauriat (lauriat aol.com)
Subject: People2verb

We had an older friend, Virginia, who rarely stayed through an entire production. Now, at a concert or theater’s intermission, we debate whether we going to do a Virginia. (Incidentally, she died suddenly, which was, sadly, her final premature exit.)

Anne Lauriat, Waltham, Massachusetts



From: Nicholas F. Potter (nfpotter debevoise.com)
Subject: How about

Could we coin a new meaning for the verb form of trumpet (maybe distinguished by a capital T).
Trumpet: To unabashedly and self-interestedly distort facts.

Nicholas F. Potter, New York



From: John Metcalfe (John metcalfe.id.au)
Subject: To Schapelle, to do a Bradbury

I doubt whether it’s internationally known. Here in Oz, we refer to the act of carrying something, for someone else, through another country’s customs as: to Schapelle. This is derived from an Australian (Schapelle Corby) drug smuggler who attempted to take 4 kg marijuana into Bali, Indonesia. When caught, she attempted to deflect blame by saying someone else must have put the drugs in her bag.

To do a Bradbury is to come from behind and unexpectedly win something. It is derived from Steven Bradbury who was lucky to even make the final of the 2002 Olympic 1000-metre speed skating. He ended up taking the gold medal after all the rest of the competitors crashed on the final corner of the gold medal event.

John Metcalfe, Floreat, Australia



From: Katie Geissinger (katie.geissinger gmail.com)
Subject: People2verb

I was on an NYC subway car last summer, and there was a man standing near the door having a conversation with himself. The train stopped abruptly, causing another man nearby to bump into him. The first man yelled, “Don’t you be Kavanaughing me!”

Katie Geissinger, New York, New York



From: Anderson Blenman (andybbajan gmail.com)
Subject: People2verb

In the game of cricket, there is the expression Mankading. This refers to the act of the bowler running out a non-striker for backing up out of his crease as the bowler is about to deliver. It was famously done by Vinoo Mankad of India. While it technically is a method to get the player out, it is regarded as unsportsmanlike (most bowlers give the non-striker a warning). There have been some recent cases of mankading, some quite controversial.

Anderson Blenman, Barbados



From: Jeff Williams (jfarwill comcast.net)
Subject: Thought of the Day (8/19/19)

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly. -Ogden Nash, poet (19 Aug 1902-1971)

This Thought of the Day is so very similar to an aphorism I read 40 years ago, in The Viking Book of Aphorisms, that one must have inspired the other.

It was attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes: The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye, the more light you shed upon it, the more it contracts.

Jeff Williams, Berkeley, California



From: Amy Bruno-Lindner (amy.bruno-lindner univie.ac.at)
Subject: malaprop

My first-born produced some nice ones: When he was very small he liked going out to eat and suggested we go to a “rest-around”. The place where the city trams were parked at night and then sent out in all directions the next morning was the “train turn-’em-all”. When an evil character in a children’s film met his demise, my son proclaimed: “Good rhythms!” Finally, when engaged in a heated discussion with his elder cousin, my son tried to gain the upper hand with language: “That’s it! That’s the way it is! There’s nothing else to say -- pyramid!”

Mag. Amy Bruno-Lindner, Vienna, Austria



From: Elizabeth Hannan (skywayliz gmail.com)
Subject: Malaprop

A case of speaking your “texts” -- I was selling a property and received a text from the buyer saying they had signed the documents and had them motorized and returned them.

Elizabeth Hannan, Tellico Plains, Tennessee



From: Leslie Picker (bindertwin gmail.com)
Subject: Malaprop

I once had a friend who told me that she was “between a rock and a hard plate!”

Leslie Picker, Havre de Grace, Maryland



From: Davide Migliaccio (dcmiglia gmail.com)
Subject: Malaprop

This word immediately brought to mind Norm Crosby, the Master of the Malapropism. My favorite of his: “I resemble that incineration!”

Davide C. Migliaccio, Colorado Springs, Colorado



From: Claude Galinsky (cmgalinsky gmail.com)
Subject: Malaprop

One of my favorite malapropisms comes from the episode of 30 Rock when Tracy Jordan, proud that Kenneth has absorbed Tracy’s tutelage, declares, “The manatee has become the Mento!”

Claude Galinsky, Boxborough, Massachusetts



From: Karrin Kain (karrink07 comcast.net)
Subject: Malaprop

Good friend had this to perfection. My favorite was using “vivid” when she meant livid. But I suppose it worked in a way. Livid people are sometimes a bright color!

Karrin Kain, San Francisco, California



From: Johnnie Godwin (johnniegodwin aol.com)
Subject: malaprops

My dad was the master of malaprop, and I guess I inherited that from him. His wisdom exceeded his vocabulary’s usage and pronunciation. He loved to tell me I was a “provavicator.” Upon my first visit back home from college, Dad called me that, and I told him there was no such word. He replied, “Whatever it is, you are one. I’ve met a lot of educated ignoramuses in my life.” That probably led this son of a truck-driver to enjoy making up his own malaprops and saying, “You’re Velcro” for “You’re welcome.” I’m fairly well-educated with degrees, but I really enjoy knowing and using my malaprops :).

Johnnie Godwin, Gallatin, Tennessee



From: Ellen Gabriel (ellen.r.gabriel gmail.com)
Subject: Malaprop

My great-aunt Dora, whom we used to describe way back in the 1960s as pixilated, used to refer to herself as Mrs. Mollipoop.

Ellen Gabriel



From: Leo Lazalde (via website comments)
Subject: nestorize

People around Trump have been nestorizing him for so long, he truly believes he’s a stable genius.

Leo Lazalde



From: David Policansky (davidpolicansky gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--nestorize

About 20 years ago, a man named John Nestor decided that he would stop people in the Washington, DC, area from speeding, so he would drive at exactly the speed limit in the left lane of DC-area freeways, most notably the Capital Beltway. He went public with the reason for his actions and infuriated other drivers, who coined the term Nestoring to describe driving slowly in the left (high-speed) lane of freeways. The word had local currency for quite a few years, but I think it has faded from most people’s memories now.

David Policansky, Nantucket, Massachusetts



From: Monica Jones (monijones gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--dewitt

My late partner’s middle name was deWitt and could trace his ancestry to Johan De Witt. When we were in the Netherlands, we visited his statue in The Hague for the obligatory photo op. I never knew, however, that the name was used as a verb. He would have loved to have known that.

Monica Jones, Tryon, North Carolina



From: Joan Perrin (perrinjoan aol.com)
Subject: Friday’s A THOUGHT FOR TODAY

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It matters not how strait the gate, / How charged with punishments the scroll, / I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul. -William Ernest Henley, poet, critic, and editor (23 Aug 1849-1903)

I was so happy to see these lines. “Invictus” is one of my favorite poems. It was written by Henley as part of his “In Hospital” anthology. Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone and had his left leg amputated below the knee at the age of twelve. He was hospitalized again as doctors tried to save his other leg from amputation. He knew about overcoming adversity, and his most famous poem, “Invictus”, was a source of strength and inspiration for me in my overcoming ovarian and breast cancer.

Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York



From: Wes Reynolds (cwr rinsey.com)
Subject: Invictus

Rather ruined for me when Timothy McVeigh recited Invictus before his execution for mass murder.

Wes Reynolds, Croton, New York



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Pythagorize and Malaprop

Aladdinize
In this hypothetical meeting of two giants of classical Greek mathematical inquiry, and discovery, namely, Pythagoras (c. 570-495 BCE) and Archimedes (c. 287-212 BCE), I’ve Aladdinized Pythagoras some 200 years into the future, a simple geometric rendering of his famed theorem in-hand, at the very instant that an ecstatic Archimedes of Syracuse has his eureka moment. Archimedes’s now universally accepted principle of fluid dynamics basically states that an object, totally or partially immersed in a liquid (in my scenario, Archimedes being the “object” and the “liquid” being his bathwater), is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the liquid that’s displaced by said object. Who knew? Clearly Archimedes did.

Malaprop
In my re-imagined interpretation of the circa 1775 Richard Sheridan theatrical period piece, The Rivals, I’ve attempted to illustrate this week’s word “malaprop”, with leading lady, Mrs. Malaprop, living up to her quirky appellation. I’ve taken the liberty of replacing one of the key original Rivals characters, Captain Jack Absolute, my debonair Monsieur Mondegreen, hopefully, reinforcing the tenor of this primo-and-improper scenario of misinterpreted words (and phrases)... les discombobulations dangereuses? Ha!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words
People who have become verbs:
1. pythagorize
2. malaprop
3. nestorize
4. dewitt
5. aladdinize
=
1. philosophize
2. pervert a word
3. wisdom zeal
4. death by mob
5. elevate to prince, a genie zap
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)



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

How intriguing, the thought we pythagorize,
That in life after life we materialize.
If the theory is true,
Then a prayer I issue:
Next time, may my body more tantalize.
-Bill Pfeil, Bang Saphan Noi, Thailand (billpfeil yahoo.com)

Philosophy majors are hot!
For thinkers I’ve got a soft spot.
I love all the guys
Who pythagorize --
But Kant stand the ones who cannot!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He’ll pythagorize without hesitation
With ideas of short-lived gestation,
But his halo is dented
And his thoughts are demented
As he hopes for divine elevation.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

Though children in cages may agonize,
It isn’t our wont to pythagorize.
“They’re crying in Spanish,”
Says Trump, “which we’ll banish;
We don’t understand, so why dramatize?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Kid sees other kids stealing pops,
tells owner of shop, who calls cops.
Cops find re: the theft,
nine of ten pops still left.
“Snitch in time!” grinning kid malaprops.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

She had said, “I can hear a pen drop”,
And was known to be prone to malaprop.
To her husband she’d say,
“Want a droll in the hay?”
Or, some other new, and funny malacrop.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Trump malaprops all night and day;
Who knows what he’s trying to say?
The words he’s invented
Are “unpresidented” --
His tongue seems to lead him astray.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A sweet-toothed and kindly old traffic cop
Was frequently given to malaprop.
With heart like Kris Kringle,
“Wait here for my single,”
He’d say, and give drivers a lollipop.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Hmmmm, what can I do?” Susie sighs,
“The boss doesn’t want me to rise!
I’ve got it!” she chuckled,
“I won’t go bare-knuckled;
My tactic? I’ll just nestorize!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“Re: investing, this guy’s very wise,
so I don’t try to self-nestorize,”
says the king. “Comprehend
ev’ry stock market trend?
Nah, just buy what my court jester buys!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The Professor, a man oh-so-wise,
Liked to cut down his students to size.
He was quite the math whiz,
Who would throw a pop quiz,
His main purpose was to nestorize.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

While he keeps piling lies upon lies,
his enablers need not nestorize.
He’s convinced he’s “the greatest!”
(Have you heard the latest?)
I’m numb -- beyond shock or surprise.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“The key to success is to nestorize,”
Said Pence, “It’s how Donald I mesmerize.
For he finds it uncouth
To see things like the truth;
In the Oval, I use my court jester eyes.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“I fear,” said the pest-control man,
“that these bugs are devising a plan
to try to outwit me.
I’m sure they’ll dewitt me,
if ever they can!” Then he ran.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I mourn for the innocents slain
And pity their families’ pain
When men are dewitted --
A crime that’s committed
By rampaging mobs most insane.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“This intruder my gang will dewitt,”
Said the girl, “Every trace they’ll omit.”
So she formed into teams
All her lotions and creams,
For the mirror had shown her a zit.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


We were all taken by surprise
When he chose to aladdinize
The sweet young lady,
As we knew she’d be
Flying off soon to unknown skies.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

If only someone could aladdinize
Trump to Lincoln, he’d merit the Nobel Prize.
We could live without fear
And a leader revere,
fit to meet any problem that might arise.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Each morning my mirror mortifies,
As I gaze at wrinkles and puffy eyes.
So I apply make up
The moment I wake up,
And pray it helps me to aladdinize.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Vlad, “Ven zis Trump ve aladdinize,
Through the vorld vill our power metastasize.
Zat bankrupt buffoon
Vill soon dance to our tune,
And ze dummies about him vill rhapsodize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Here’s verbification that some words are unpunnable

“Pig butcher, shalt thou always chop pythagorize above thy lowly position?” (choppeth hog, or..)

“As for our selfless, valentiney workers, let’s give ‘em malaprop!”

The mama bird said, “Fledge this nestorize pushing you out!” (More parents should do that.)

What a relief! Dewitt was scarcely needed for this one.

I can make no good pun on “Aladdinize”
(Hey! Does one who makes badinage badinize?)
When paronomasia
From Phil will not craze ya
He writes lims in hopes they might gladden eyes.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind. -John Neal, author and critic (25 Aug 1793-1876)

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