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Dec 29, 2019
This week’s theme
No el

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AWADmail Issue 913

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, Steve Morris (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

Advocates Want to Speak of Car “Crashes” Instead of “Accidents”
The New York Times

Will the Word Pedometer Make Babies Smarter?
The Web of Language

We Learned to Write the Way We Talk
The New York Times

From: Margaret Flint Suter (chilihedcreations iowaconnect.com)
Subject: No el

I can pen an epic, short story or a poem,
but I miss that character who aids sweet hearts in
giving their passion a home...
Here is to LOVE!
Joyeux NoeL indeed!

Margaret Flint Suter, Hampton, Iowa

No el button
From: Sandra Mosley (sjmosley q.com)
Subject: No el

During the holidays, I wear this button on my jacket. It’s amazing how few get it.

Sandra Mosley, Fife, Washington

No el pin
From: Ann Johnson (novavita2000 aol.com)
Subject: the No El theme

Years back Nordstrom sold a Christmas pin, red and green crystals, an L in the center of a circle with a diagonal line slashed across the L. I had more fun asking people to guess what it meant. Either they got it instantly or they went through so many guesses -- No Love, No Left, etc. I think now everyone I know has seen it so I may need to wait a couple of years to wear it again!

Ann Johnson, Arlington, Virginia

From: Alice Williams (alicew andrews.edu)
Subject: No el

Made a Christmas card once, with a tree made of all the letters except “l” and the inside saying something about No el.


Thanks for the reminder.

Alice C Williams, Berrien Springs, Michigan

From: Vikram Hukmani (vikhuk engineer.com)
Subject: Christmas songs

Here are some favorite Christmas songs inventoried minus the 10 and 2 character:
1. Joy to the Word (an ode to AWAD, perhaps)
2. Do Come Home for Christmas
3. Merry Christmas, Honey
4. Deck the Foyer with Boughs of Pine Tree, Da-duh da-da, da-da-da!
5. It’s Beginning to Appear More as Christmas
6. Have You Guys a Pretty Merry Christmas!
7. I’m Gonna Be Home for Christmas!

Vikram Hukmani, Baltimore, Maryland

From: JL Rosner (jlrathome juno.com)
Subject: No el

In NYC, a song popped up when the 3rd Avenue “elevated” line was being torn down:

No el
No el
They’ve eliminated the el
The Board of Estimates has voted
No el
No el

JL Rosner, Washington, DC

From: Jerry M. McCourt (jmmccourt centurytel.net)
Subject: This week’s theme of Noel

In line with your theme for this week and perhaps for future posts on Christmas (spelled with Noel) is this true story:

In high school, I was studying for the next day’s test when I became aware of rising voices across the hall in my little brother’s room. They kept rising and then there was a resounding wave of laughter.

When I went to his room I found that my mother had been drilling him on a spelling list based on words connected to Christmas. She had asked him to spell “Santa Claus”, which he did correctly. Then she asked for “Christmas”, which he spelled correctly. Then “Noel”, to which he spelled out “Christmas” again. Then “Noel” again, louder. To which he spelled “Christmas” louder. Then “Noel” again, even louder. To which he spelled “Christmas” even louder. Then “Noel” again, even louder. Finally my bother answered, “I didn’t spell it with an L.” That’s when they dissolved into laughter.

Jerry M. McCourt, Lakebay, Washington

From: Barbara Anuzis (barbara.anuzis gmail.com)
Subject: CAM & EPHANT

A favorite greeting card featured two animals on the front, labelled “CAM” and “EPHANT”. The message inside was, of course, Noel, Noel.

Barbara Anuzis, Fairview, North Carolina

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

From: Steve Morris (ohutilma gmail.com)
Subject: No el

In 1976 my friend Bill Lipscomb won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Being a composer, I wrote him a Nobel Fanfare. It was scored for a large orchestra. Among the percussion instruments there was a line for a bell. It was all rests. No bell.

Steve Morris, Quincy, Massachusetts

From: Elizabeth Whitt (ladylyzbeth gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oryzivorous

Today’s word is perfect for my older son. When he was a kid, he was a very picky eater. Rice was one thing we could always get him to eat. Now I wish I had known this word to use for him! He was definitely oryzivorous!

Elizabeth Whitt, Charlotte, North Carolina

From: Pat Dolan (pdolanwy verizon.net)
Subject: oryzivorous

I was unable to learn scientific names of plants and animals unless I translated them using my dictionary of Greek and Latin roots, even if I did not initially know any of the roots. Hence I know the meaning of oryzivorous from learning the (Latinized) name of the Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, the rice-eating long-claw. The male in breeding plumage is unusual for having its underside darker than the back.

Pat Dolan, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Andrew Lloyd (knockroe gmail.com)
Subject: If I have seen farther than others ...

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton, philosopher and mathematician (25 Dec 1642-1727)

My favorite example of worrying a phrase to death is Robert Merton’s book On the Shoulders of Giants: a Shandean Postscript which looks sideways at the phrase “If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I have been standing on the shoulders of giants.” This is usually attributed to Isaac Newton, but Merton’s wonderful investigation tracks it back at least as far as Bernard of Chartres who lived 500 years earlier. “Dicebat Bernardus Carnotensis nos esse quasi nanos, gigantium humeris insidentes, ut possimus plura eis et remotiora videre, non utique proprii visus acumine, aut eminentia corporis, sed quia in altum subvenimur et extollimur magnitudine gigante.” Esse quasi nanos = are like dwarfs, gives us nanometer (10-9m) and the currently trendy nanotechnology.

Andrew Lloyd, Knockroe, Ireland

Pasadena fork in the road
From: Larry Wines (tiedtothetracks hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--twiforked

Argh! The photo today of the paltry fork! Please share the world’s largest fork in the road, a towering piece of guerrilla folk art in Pasadena, CA. It was erected to comically mark a literal fork-in-the-road, and has been the scene of food drives for charity.

Larry Wines, Los Angeles, California

From: Stannous Flouride (stanflouride yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--twiforked

A related word is “twine” which these days is rarely made with just two strands.

Stan Flouride, San Francisco, California

From: Alan Freshwater (stefford.prawn gmail.com)
Subject: Amaxophobia

What a wonderful word. My dear old Irish Grandma suffered terribly from this affliction (possibly because of my Dad’s driving). I remember, whenever I drove her anywhere, she would be holding on tight and muttering “Jasus, Mary and Joseph, and all the saints preserve us.” The Whole Way.

There has to be an antonym -- amaxophilia. Both my dog and cat had that in abundance. They just loved to travel in a car.

Alan Freshwater, Halls Creek, Australia

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
oryzivorous and jactancy

In reading the definition of our word “oryzivorous”, it wasn’t a great linguistic leap to come up with the word “oryzivore”. Although, I highly doubt anyone on the planet, not even the voracious rice eaters of Asia, or the Middle East, would severely restrict themselves to an exclusive diet of rice. Here, in this pictorial montage I’ve included a prehistoric carnivore (Paleolithic man) chomping away on a chunk of roasted meat, whilst a herbivorous panda munches away on bamboo leaves... the exclusive food item that sustains these charismatic, long-endangered native Chinese creatures’ diet. Along with my oryzivorous young Asian gal, I couldn’t leave out my signature Froggy character, who is a prime exemplar of an “insectivore”, about to make short work of an ill-fated dragonfly. Frogs and their cousins, toads, are primarily insect-eaters, although they include the occasional more meaty morsel on their menu.

Our word “jactancy”, meaning “boasting”, immediately brought to mind a certain bombastic occupant of the White House, namely The Bloviator-in-Chief himself, who has single-handedly managed to stretch hyperbole and outright bold-faced prevarication to unprecedented and extreme limits. In this scenario, Santa, with his trusty reindeer Rudolph in tow, kinda sets the record straight (“truth to power”, as it were), reminding Trump that his NYC-based real estate developer dad, Fred, had actually set up son Donald as a neophyte real estate operative by starting him off with a million smackers. As is his wont, Santa had already checked his humongous gift/wish list, and as Froggy notes... this year, Trump has been far more “naughty” than “nice”. And no doubt, Santa had checked it at least twice. Ha!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words
This week’s theme: No el
1. jactancy
2. oryzivorous
3. gaminesque
4. twiforked
5. amaxophobia
1. brag (a-z)
2. monk enjoys rice, “It’s adequate”
3. my mischievous nephew
4. oh look, two!
5. taxi fear
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

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

Though the vote to impeach him is “Yes”,
he derides it as a witch-hunting mess,
and accelerates jactancy
touting his captaincy.
Outcome? It’s anyone’s guess!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Christmas Eve and she’s all alone,
Not minding being on her own.
In case you forgot,
Into people, she’s not.
Jactancy too often their zone.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

His jactancy gets on my nerves;
I can’t see what purpose it serves.
It’s childish, you know,
To constantly crow --
Comeuppance is what he deserves.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He thinks he’s the pattern of majesty
but Don’s really a model of jactancy.
He is just one long brag
and he sure makes me gag
with each falsehood and self-serving calumny.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“’Twas I wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’,”
Freddie Mercury noted with jactancy.
“Who cares what it means?
Generations of teens
Think there’s no greater song in the galaxy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Of course, we are all oryzivorous,
but would it be too ignominious,”
pondered the mice,
“since we ate all the rice,
to become just a little omnivorous?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I like to eat rice; yes, I do.
Are you oryzivorous too?
I have some each night,
Which isn’t so bright,
Since once in my gut it’s like glue.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Mother Nature needs us less carnivorous,
but we were designed to be omnivorous.
Planet lovers, don’t worry;
with stir-fry and curry
I’ll happily be oryzivorous.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

If you go to Uncle Ben’s house to eat,
You can truly expect the same treat.
It’s never carnivorous,
Always oryzivorous,
And the rice will suffice, but no meat.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“The reason I’m not oryzivorous
Is I like to fly high,” explained Icarus.
“All those carbs weigh me down,
Not to mention Dad’s frown;
He’s a noodge, but his worries are frivolous.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The old matron who danced in burlesque,
Was quite saucy though somewhat grotesque.
She was way past her prime,
But worked only part-time,
With an effect men thought gaminesque.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

I heard the poor substitute cry,
“I’m sick of the spitballs that fly!
One girl gaminesque
Just danced on her desk --
I think unemployment I’ll try.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When I’m trying to focus on bills,
Some perspective my kitty instills.
In her way gaminesque
She appears on my desk
And knocks everything off, just for thrills.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“‘Great White Father’ he’s called,” said the chief,
“But this treaty is just a fig leaf.
His tongue is twiforked
But his mouth will be corked
When we turn Custer’s men to ground beef.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

She told me she could confirm that
He’s an amaxophobic cat.
Each drive to the vet
Gets him quite upset.
A dog would not be such a brat.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Amaxophobes’ lives really suck!
They won’t ride a car, bus, or truck.
They’ll travel on foot
Or simply stay put --
Unless there’s a horse they are stuck.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When offered a ride, she would balk.
Her face turned the color of chalk.
Great amaxophobia,
Made her say, “Oh, no...see ya.
No thank you, I would rather walk!”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

You start with amaxo, then phobia,
To describe this unique catatonia.
If you’ve got it, poor you;
Thomas More had it too,
So he wrote of no cars in Utopia.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: What the L can I do with these?

After breaking in on his parents’ love-making, nothing could get Jactancy what he’d viewed.

Mom, is that rice cake for your bridge group oryzivorous?

If you want to soothe grandma, pat her on the gaminesque how she’s doing.

“Trump has the US moah than ‘in twouble’. Twiforked!”

You say Hagar is restless? Let amaxaphobian as how he loves carnage.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border. -Pablo Casals, cellist, conductor, and composer (29 Dec 1876-1973)

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