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Dec 8, 2019
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AWADmail Issue 910

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, Bob Richmond (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

A Language for All
The Washington Post

The Language You Speak Influences Where Your Attention Goes
Scientific American

Hollywood Doesn’t Own English

From: Elliot Gordon (soundscience comcast.net)
Subject: Words illustrated

Leah Palmer Preiss: Wow! Thank you.

Elliot Gordon, Princeton Junction, New Jersey

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

From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fulgor

The ancient Romans practiced divination by observing lightning strokes; the diviner who did this was called a fulguriātor or fulgurator. Everything the ancient Romans knew about divination they got from the Etruscans, and we actually have (from an inscription) the Etruscan word for a lightning-diviner, trutnut frontac.

In medicine fulguration is destruction of a superficial skin lesion by means of an electric spark drawn from an electrocautery instrument, often used for condylomas (genital warts). Often spelt fulguriation on hospital surgical schedules. I always imagine a very Disney Zeus (Iuppiter fulgerator) casting lightning bolts at somebody’s love bumps.

I have a couple of fulgurites in my rock collection, along with a piece of Libyan desert glass.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: Joel Pond (joelpond hotmail.com)
Subject: RE: A.Word.A.Day--fulgor

A fulgurite is formed when lightning strikes the earth. When lightning hits sand, the sand melts and fuses into interesting shapes underground with a bead of glass visible on the surface. I have two of these in my mineral collection. I never knew the etymology behind the name of these naturally made objects.

Joel Pond, Chicago, Illinois

From: Geo Prisacaru (via website comments)
Subject: fulgor

In Romanian fulger is lightning and fulg is snowflake (or down feather). I couldn’t guess the meaning before reading the definition, but after seeing “fulgere (to shine)”, it made sense. I actually thought it was going to be something very light and/or ephemeral -- like a snowflake.

Geo Prisacaru

From: Nigel Brown (nigel.brown57 ntlworld.com)
Subject: Thought for the day

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order. -Jean-Luc Godard, film director (b. 3 Dec 1930)

it reminds me (being terribly British) of the wonderful Eric Morecambe’s comedic encounter with Andrew Previn (Mr. Preview) and the Grieg piano concerto that he, Morecambe, attempted to play under his direction. When Previn protested that Morecambe was playing all the wrong notes, he got the reply, “I am playing all the right notes... not necessarily in the right order!” Previn, jet-lagged and almost unrehearsed for the sketch, was a brilliant straight man for Morecambe and this sketch has become legendary in the annals of British comedy.

Nigel Brown, Colchester, UK

From: Annie Gottlieb (a-twelve ix.netcom.com)
Subject: Inquiline

I recognized this word and laughed at the joke before looking at its etymology, because, living in New York City, one has seen many bilingual signs in which the Spanish for “tenant” is “inquilino”.

Annie Gottlieb, New York, New York

From: Brenda J. Gannam (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)
Subject: inquilinity

Are there degrees of inquilinity? Can it be short term or must the residency be of long duration or permanent? Marketing idea: A new Air BnB type service/app called Inquilinity!

And on another note, does a person who resides in a home where the spouse holds the deed qualify as an inquiline -- along with all the spiders, moths, and mice that might be found there?

Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York

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

I have never seen inquiline before, but I find it’s a perfectly fascinating word. Apparently it’s very rare outside of zoology, where however it has numerous uses.

The early Roman historian Sallust uses inquilīnus to mean a non-native citizen of Rome, and apparently it came to mean a tenant or renter. It may be a variant of incolinus, an inhabiter.

In zoology, it’s applied to a number of organisms that share a dwelling-place with a builder -- earlier gall-wasps, now more commonly termites. The related commensal shares a dinner table (mensa) with its host, but perhaps doesn’t live there.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: Janice Ife (ife magma.ca)
Subject: Inquiline

Today’s word reminded me of a funny sight that greeted volunteers at the Wild Bird Care Centre one morning many years ago. One cage held a bunch of baby swallows who seemed to realize they needed to fly in order to eat. They would cling to a bit of clothesline and flap their wings like mad with their beaks open, ready to eat. They were too young to fly yet, but that didn’t stop them.

At right angles right next to their cage was one with a crow. Morning staff had a small panic when they realized the crow had chewed his way through his cage and that of the swallows. They were, of course, afraid that the crow may have killed the swallows. Much to their relief, they found the crow had simply joined the line up on the clothesline and was sitting, with his mouth open, waiting to be fed. Needless to say, he had been fed already, but he was bored. Both crows and robins were a pain when they were bored: pull every Kleenex out of the box, steal pens, etc. They livened up the day!

Janice Ife, Ottawa, Canada

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

There is also rejouissance (rejoicing), made famous by Handel’s musical interpretation in the Royal Fireworks. (video, 2 min.)

The joy was so great, however, that the pavilion where the performance was supposed to take place, caught fire and more than one of the musicians were injured. Later on this, too, caused rejoicing among the listeners who couldn’t abide either by George II or by his court composer Georg Friedrich Handel.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Marion Wolf (marionewolf yahoo.com)
Subject: Jouissance

It seems that Frederick the Great wrote an erotic poem called La Jouissance. He shared it in his correspondence with Voltaire. It was unearthed in 2011.

Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey

From: Ramaswami S. (ramaswami.s gmail.com)
Subject: Re: hyaloid

The hyaloid artery breaks up after a person is born, but the pieces remain sealed inside the eye. That’s why one may see squiggles floating in front of one’s eyes when looking towards the sun when it’s high in the sky.

Ramaswami S, Thanjavur, India

From: John D. Laskowski (john.laskowski mothman.org)
Subject: Hyaloid hyoid?

If one has a hyaloid hyoid bone does one speak more clearly? Uniquely, the hyoid bone is the only human bone not directly attached to another bone, which puts credence to the phrase “loose speech” but not so much to “tongue tied”!

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania

From: Duncan Howarth (duncanhowarth aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hyaloid

I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree. -(Alfred) Joyce Kilmer, journalist and poet (6 Dec 1886-1918)

Impossible to read the Kilmer quotation without remembering Ogden Nash’s rejoinder:

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Indeed, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.

Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK

From: Jason Brody (jasonbrody hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hyaloid

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Yet oddly I have heard it hinted
That trees are pulped and poems printed.

Jason Brody, Escondido, California

From: Jan Smith (forjhsmith excite.com)
Subject: Illustrated words

This is a week I’m sorry to see end with magnificently illustrated words by Leah Palmer Preiss. I’m hoping for the treat of more in the not too distant future. Many, many thanks for this week’s entries.

Jan Smith, Paris, France

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: inquiline and jouissance

In reading the definition of our word “inquiline”, I conjured up this tableau of seeming domestic tranquility, while taking the familiar notion... “ignoring the elephant in the room” to its absurdist, literal, extreme. Usually, “the elephant in the room” is code for some delicate or contentious issue or hard-to-face slice of reality that all parties engrossed in a particular conversation go out of their way to avoid addressing. The phrase “beating around the bush” also comes to mind. My cartoon pachyderm is so humongous that he can no longer be completely ignored. However, finding an appropriate litter box for my uninvited guest could be a bit of a challenge. Ha!

Prompted by reading the usage quotation for our word “jouissance”, that artists seemingly have license or a mindset of entitlement in combining the pursuit of their creative work with the pursuit of carnal pleasure, I arrived at this admittedly slightly bizarro painter/model in-studio scenario. My caption “ARTISTIC LICENTIOUSNESS” is a clear punning of the pertinent word “license” (they share the same root). It’s been no secret since the inception of the artist/life-model relationship that what may have started out as an innocent posing-for-a-fee... period, transaction, ofttimes ends up in a long-term sexual or, I daresay, romantic entanglement, with mutual artist/model jouissance ensuing. American artist Andrew Wyeth gained considerable attention when his now famous (some may argue, “infamous”) “Helga Pictures” came to light. This huge body of stellar work (mostly sensuous nudes and tender portraits), spanning the period from 1971-1985, received wide critical acclaim and museum exposure, along with a tittering wave of speculation, namely, that Wyeth and his German-American neighbor and model, Helga Testorf, had been longtime clandestine lovers during Wyeth’s “Helga period”. Both were married at the time. To this day, a definitive, or satisfying answer to the question whether Andrew and Helga were caught up in a torrid secret tryst has failed to surface.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Catherine Allgood-Mellema (polly_pureheart mac.com)
Subject: Re: Thank you for being with us for 20 years (a vicennial)!

Amazing! Thank you for 20 wonderful years of words and insights!

My computers, access, and email addresses have all changed, but I remember receiving my first AWAD email while we were living in Laurium, MI. (We are now in Sitka, AK.) My godparents and mentors, Lee and Matthew Fountain, sent me the invitation in 1999. Lee was a retired English teacher and Matthew was a scientist and engineer. From the time I first opened a book, they ensured I had a steady supply of thought-provoking reading; my bookshelves are filled with memories of their gifts (the books I’m most likely to re-read!), and I think of them each day as I open my AWAD email.

Catherine Allgood-Mellema, Sitka, Alaska

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

Illustrated words:
1. fulgor
2. inquiline
3. jouissance
4. worricow
5. hyaloid
1. light
2. an indoor squirrel
3. jollity, said “Oui!”
4. scarecrow
5. useful window
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

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

Sometimes there’s a word I would not choose.
In fact, there is one that I won’t use:
The Word-A-Day, “fulgor”,
Sounds too much like “vulgar”.
To have it misheard would be bad news.
-Willo Oswald, Portland, Oregon (willooswald gmail.com)

The sounds we hear are often nice,
But some are not all sugar and spice;
Unfortunately “fulgor”
Sounds somewhat vulgar,
Not at all like the art of L. Palmer Preiss.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

Please turn down that dressing room light!
I’m finding it blindingly bright.
Such fulgor I fear
Just makes me appear
In swimsuits a hideous sight.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

With a golden “TRUMP” twenty feet high,
lots of glitz to bedazzle the eye,
he was grasping for fulgor
but only looked vulgar.
That’s what one expects from the guy.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Joseph’s coat was a sight to behold,
And his brothers were jealous, we’re told.
They thought its great fulgor
Was showy and vulgar.
Into slavery, Joseph was sold.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“For my fires to burn with such fulgor,”
Said Satan, “I use lots of sulfur.
We bear with the smell,
For what’s great about hell
Is we get to use language that’s vulgar.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“That trespassing lass came again!”
cry the bears.”Now we never know when
the sly inquiline
will decide to entwine
her lifestyle with ours. And what then?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I never would be one to grouse,
If I did, you could call me a louse,
But I cannot respect,
This inquiline; I reject
Big D. who’s in the wrong house.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

A sad situation transpired
In the house of two old folks, retired.
Their inquiline lout
Refused to move out
Though his welcome had long since expired.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

When I first heard the word inquiline,
I thought of Larry, my male feline.
He dwells with me here,
Can be such a dear,
And I’m ever so glad he is mine.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

The old dog had a bed, oh-so-fine,
‘Til the hound would mistake it for mine.
Every night he would creep
To my room where he’d sleep,
Such a sneaky though sweet inquiline.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

The inquiline thought it was best
To live in another bird’s nest.
And with his big head,
That cuckoo got fed --
The worms were all grabbed by this “guest”.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said the weaver-bird, “This egg’s not mine;
Those cuckoos are way out of line.
With goodwill unmatched,
I’ll see the thing hatched
and take care of their young inquiline.”
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The new nanny arrived on a Monday,
And announced that this job was no child’s play.
“I’m a true inquiline,
So I’ll make the house mine,”
She declared, “till your brat hits the highway.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

A mountain goat lives past the timberline,
While a hermit crab thrives as an inquiline.
From high peaks to the seas,
Every creature one sees
Is heard saying, “This President isn’t mine.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

She hung her splendiferous sconce
To spruce up her home’s ambiance.
Though some might not see it,
She reasoned, “So be it;
My Art gives me needed jouissance.”
-Willo Oswald, Portland, Oregon (willooswald gmail.com)

When you read this, pretend you’re “en France”:
S’il vous plait, avez-moi connaissance?
I know that’s not right
But it gives me delight
To find something that rhymes with jouissance!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Having never to make an obeisance
has brought him inordinate jouissance.
Now things start to crumble.
He’ll take quite a tumble
if guilty of willful malfeasance.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Ooh la la, mon cheri, let us dance,
Let us see all the world at a glance,
Let us go see some shows,
Let’s read poems and prose,
Such jouissance does exist outside France.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

The young bachelor went off to the dance,
With intentions to preen and to prance.
He was such a good catch,
Who soon found his love match
In a woman who gave him jouissance.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

With high culture, grand places to dine --
superb cheeses, magnificent wine --
for true jouissance
you must come to France.
Once you’re here you’ll agree. We’re divine.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

We all need in our lives some jouissance.
That is why we all try for romance.
If you want joie de vivre,
Many lovers agree,
Then you must make a visit to France.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Once I locate the fountain,” said Ponce,
“I’ll enjoy everlasting jouissance.
Of life’s many stages,
My willy’s Dark Ages
Will end in a love Renaissance.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

In England I learned that a worricow
Loves chocolate! So I would procure enow
Of its favorite treats
Can you guess what it eats?
Yes! a whopping big bar of Cadbury -- yeow!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Dear mirror, I find that somehow
over time, you’ve declined, so that now
your once lovely face
has become a disgrace.
Alas, little glass worricow!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Our office has not been the same
Since the worricow said when he came,
“To turn this around
We’ll shed costs by the pound,
And by gosh, change our logo and name!”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

A facelift too many had she!
A worricow now she would be.
Her wild wide-eyed look
Was all that it took
For terrified children to flee.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

On Halloween night, please take care.
All the goblins and ghosts lurk and scare.
To your home hurry now,
When a weird worricow
Is behind you, so you must beware.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Marley, the frightening worricow,
“Ebenezer, get up, you must hurry now.
Tonight you shall learn
All your mean ways to spurn,
Then we’ll hit the nude beaches in Curaçao.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Though most of the patrons enjoyed
the barmaid’s new dress hyaloid,
said her boss, “I’m no prude,
but that costume is lewd!
Consider yourself unemployed!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A fellow I knew used to grouse,
“I live in a hyaloid house.
No stones can I throw,
And all is on show
Whenever I spoon with my spouse.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Though all dangers he tried to avoid,
he ran into a door hyaloid,
and when he came to
he hollered, “I’ll sue!”
One could tell he was greatly annoyed.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Said Jesus one day, quite annoyed,
“Don’t throw stones in a house hyaloid!
Next to you folks, this sinner
Is just a beginner;
You all should seek treatment from Freud.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Ill-ly straightened puns

When Tony the Tiger says “They’re Grrrreat!” he gives it a fulgor.

I had no inquiline there were squatters living in my rent house!

To kids, an amusement park with free admission is an attractive jouissance.

“Don’t worricow. You are udderly important.” (I milked that for all it was worth.)

“Stainless” is an example of hyaloid steel.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The real index of civilization is when people are kinder than they need to be. -Louis de Bernieres, novelist (b. 8 Dec 1954)

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