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AWADmail Issue 922

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

Sponsor’s Message: What are Sleeping Beauty’s two other names? “GED” is an abbreviation for a high school equivalency diploma -- what does it actually stand for? What’s unique about the word “facetiously”? WISE UP! -- The Wicked/Smart Party Card Game asks tons of devilishly difficult questions that’ll give you know-it-alls plenty of life lessons in humility, history, sports, science, literature, and geography. And wit. Here’s another: Everyone knows the First and Second Amendments -- what’s the Third? But beware, there’s also a slew of “challenge” cards that chuck Darwinian physical and mental wrenches into the works. For example: Throw this card on the floor and pick it up without using your hands. So much humbling fun for everyone, including this week’s Email of the Week Winner, Gail Rendle (see below). WISE UP! NOW.

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

Uncovering Ireland’s Lost Field Names Before It’s Too Late
Irish Times

Museum-Quality Text Messages
The New York Times

From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
Subject: substantive

With respect to the discussion of the word substantive “another word standing in place of a noun”, some readers may find it interesting to note that the word for noun in both Swedish and Norwegian is substantiv (the Danes say navneord, i.e., name word). Thus a substantiv = noun is a word that stands in place of a thing, concrete or abstract.

M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden

From: Jason Jehosephat (via website comments)
Subject: substantive

The connotation given for “substantive” interests me. In Spanish, “sustantivo” is simply the word for “noun”.

Jason Jehosephat

From: Tim O’Hearn (tjohearn aol.com)
Subject: Live extraordinary

“Live extraordinary.” The question could also be raised whether the first word is an adjective rather than a verb. This is a picture of a live “extraordinary” as opposed to a dead one.

Tim O’Hearn, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Walmart "Change how you grocery."
From: Bryan Todd (boyanlj gmail.com)
Subject: Change how you grocery

I always loved this one from Walmart: “Change how you grocery.”

Bryan Todd, Lincoln, Nebraska

From: Cyndy Ainsworth (panettone2 gmail.com)
Subject: Drive safe

If I drive north to San Francisco on Hwy 101 at morning commute times, most of the tech buses heading south have a notice that says “Drive safe.” Drives me crazy!

Cyndy Ainsworth, Palo Alto, California

From: Glen Toogood (gardenislandcanoe ontera.net)
Subject: Shop Local

The local Chambers of Commerce are having a campaign that I find irksome. They are putting up billboards with the admonition, “Shop Local”. I’m pretty sure that they aren’t avoiding the adverb on purpose.

Glen Toogood, Temagami, Canada

From: Ellen Akins (ellen.m.akins gmail.com)
Subject: adjectives-into-nouns

This has become such a phenomenon there are a number of articles about it. I think this is the first one I saw this.

Ellen Akins, Cornucopia, Wisconsin

From: Sally Chetwynd (brasscastlearts gmail.com)
Subject: More hospital mottoes

Our local hospital/healthcare system has adopted a new motto: “Proudly wellforce.” I have given up trying to figure out its meaning. I don’t think it has one; it’s been designed only to sound important.

Sally M. Chetwynd, Wakefield, Massachusetts

Email of the Week (Brought to you by the wicked wonderful world of WISE UP! - Yes, you can BUY SMARTS.

From: Gail Rendle (renrdg nep.net)
Subject: somedeal

Back in the 1940s and 50s, when I was growing up in Lackawanna County, PA, things were “a good deal” better. “Good-deal” was my grandparents’ (both sides) term. It sometimes came out as “a goodjeel”, as in, something was “a goodjeel better” than (whatever the alternative was).

Gail Rendle, Nicholson, Pennsylvania

From: Paul G Ross (paul.g.ross.gszh statefarm.com)
Subject: abaft

My old Navy days. Lookouts telling you where to look for sighted ships, “Two points abaft the beam...”

Then again, I do like my sleep.

Paul G Ross, Pembroke Pines, Florida

From: Matt Nash (mattanash live.com)
Subject: Cellars of the night

In the cellars of the night, when the mind starts moving around old trunks of bad times, the pain of this and the shame of that, the memory of a small boldness is a hand to hold. -John Leonard, critic (25 Feb 1939-2008)

Today’s quotation nearly brought a tear to the eye, not of sadness, but of relief to know that someone else had experiences the same as I, and expressed it with such elegant perfection. Makes me feel like maybe I’m not so alone. Tonight I’ll try to remember to seek a hand to hold if I find myself again in that dark cellar.

Matt Nash, Oak Harbor, Washington

From: Alec Charles (via website comments)
Subject: Small boldnesses

I have to confess that some of the bad times locked up in the old trunks of my mind were themselves the result of inappropriate small boldnesses...

Alec Charles

From: G.B. Ketcherside (jeketchaz gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--abaft

I’m sure the words aft and abaft are related. (I assume aft is an abbreviation for after.) In aircraft manufacture, we designated the back part of the airplane the aft fuselage. The plethora of nautical terms in the manufacture of aircraft is really interesting. (And their use precluded us ol’ airplane guys from having to invent our own language.)

Jerry Ketcherside

“Aft” and “abaft” are cousins. “Abaft” is from a- (toward) + baft (in the rear), from Old English beaeftan (behind), from be (by, at) + aeftan (behind). This aeftan is what gave us the word aft.
-Anu Garg

From: David Warner (illahabadi hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--natheless

Knowing exactly how much of the future can be introduced into the present is the secret of great government. -Victor Hugo, poet, novelist, and dramatist (26 Feb 1802-1885)

Apologies to Victor Hugo! I misread the “THOUGHT FOR TODAY” quotation. I read “a failure” instead of “the future” resulting in this serendipitous “tongue in cheek” inadvertent truth: Knowing exactly how much of A FAILURE can be introduced into the present is the secret of great government.

David Warner, Portland, Oregon

From: Caroline Glen (dollyglen bigpond.com)
Subject: Argument by noise and command

He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak. -Michel De Montaigne, essayist (28 Feb 1533-1592)

ATFT reminded me of my barrister father, who demanded I lie on the kitchen table while he collected a cane from the pantry and caned me because he caught me flicking my tongue at him after a prolonged lecture without looking at me. I was five years old and must have learned my dreadful act from newly schooling. “This hurts me than it hurts you,” he said. I often smile when I realise his need for command.

Caroline Glen, Goldcoast, Australia

From: Rick Carmickle (via website comments)
Subject: Quotation

As a trial lawyer, I was taught a well-known varient of the ATFT: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.”

Rick Carmickle, Denver, Colorado

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Abaft an somewhither

Donald J. Trump (aka Capt. Crunch the Opposition), in his exhortation... “Abaft! Abaft! Ye Maties!”, is unwittingly summoning his motley crew to the rear/stern of “Ye Ship of Fools”, whereas he had likely intended to use the homophonic nautical term “Avast!”, meaning to hold fast, or stay put. Here’s Capt. Trump forcing Lady Justice to walk the plank, giving her a final prod, while a passel of fleeing rats plunge overboard, perchance symbolic of former Trump loyalists’ mass mutiny on the briny. Trump, with his designated enabler, shipmate Attorney General William Barr, is clearly intent on eviscerating the US judiciary with his sustained pattern of undermining and demeaning high-level, patriotic, principled judicial and diplomatic personnel at every turn, many resigning before Trump can officially dismiss them. Trump has essentially crowned himself King of the Courts. Not unlike Napoleon declaring himself Emperor and ceremoniously placing the golden imperial crown upon his own noggin.

In contemplating our somewhat arcane-sounding word "somewhither", I decided to harken back to the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as the young, adventurous Dorothy, and her constant canine companion, Toto. Here, Dorothy breaks into song with the now-classic, arguably signature musical number of the entire movie, yet with a slight twist... my substituting the opening "somewhere" with this week's featured adverb "somewhither". Admittedly, "somewhither" doesn't have the ease of rhythmic flow that the original "somewhere" provides. Yet the sentiment and expression of a young, mid-century American girl's longing for a life beyond the mundanities and routines of Midwest rural life is not diminished... "Birds fly over the rainbow/ Why then, oh why, can't I?" Indeed.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week's words
This week's theme: Adverbs
1. somedeal
2. abaft
3. natheless
4. endlong
5. somewhither
1. sort of
2. behind a mast
3. Hamlet's "even tho"
4. lengthwise (as bed, desk)
5. am elsewhere
     This week's theme is adverbs
1. somedeal
2. abaft
3. natheless
4. endlong
5. somewhither
1. a dash; at most; kind of seems best
2. behind
3. all the same
4. lengthwise
5. wheresoever
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

When the President orders, "Come, heel!"
It's to Senate lap dogs a done deal.
Thank God a few guys
Eye the genuine prize,
For they water the bills down somedeal.
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

While watching bikinis cavort
on the beach at a seaside resort,
he thinks, "How would Mum feel
about this?” And somedeal
ashamed now, he cuts his stay short.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A man I knew once took up farming,
He thought little lambs were so charming.
But when lambing comes round,
Unknown troubles abound,
And he finds it all somedeal alarming.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

Now Bernie’s much loved by our youth
Although he’s grown long in the tooth.
I feel his appeal
Is somedeal surreal --
He’s just a curmudgeon in truth.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

For a torn-apart nation to heal,
government on a more even keel
would be great, but that’s not
the leader we’ve got.
Grow in office? Not even somedeal!
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

To fully delight in the sun’s feel,
You mustn’t be clad even somedeal.
So go forth in the nude,
Though some places it’s rude;
At an abbey, you might hear a nun squeal.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The pirates were all feeling glum,
for they thought they had run out of rum.
But one simply laughed,
then revealed that abaft
he had hidden a fully-filled drum.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Anacondas were swimming abaft
But the river explorers just laughed.
They were foolish, somedeal.
The beasts had a nice meal
And there’s nobody left on the raft.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

Donald Trump should be given the shaft,
The heave-ho, the goodbye, pushed abaft.
After four years of him,
Future outlooks are grim,
Let’s just face it: the world has gone daft.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

They say that astern there’s a draft,
And therefore I hasten abaft.
I hear that fresh air
Can cure mal de mer --
I wish I’d not boarded this craft.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Zere are two who ve like,” Putin laughed,
“And ze others are falling abaft.
Vhether Donald or Bernie
Ees champ of ze tourney,
By me vill ze Vhite House be staffed.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I’ll do something shocking,” she smiled,
“Like what?” you asked, innocent child.
“Tho I’m known to be faithless
I’ll go to church natheless
And drive the poor minister wild!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

He claimed that he hadn’t been faithless.
She didn’t believe him, said, “Natheless,
I want a divorce!”
She got one, of course.
Alas, the poor guy is now mateless.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

There once was a lassie named Jean
Who was bonny, and boys were quite keen;
She was full of allure,
But in fact she was poor,
Natheless she thought she was a queen!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

My skill with Old English is wanting.
So I find all the words this week daunting.
Natheless I will try;
No quitter am I,
Though I’m risking professorial taunting.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

When it comes to a diet, I’m faithless,
But each morning you’ll envy me natheless.
When I step on the scale,
It’s like finding the Grail:
As an astronaut, up here I’m weightless.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Says Rapunzel regarding her hair,
“Though it works very well as a stair,
it must be hung endlong.
If I should suspend wrong,
‘twould be of no use whatsoe’er.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

He wanted to carpet the hall
And asked me to measure it all.
So endlong I’d walk
With yardstick and chalk
To calculate length wall to wall.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Young maidens do tend to be headstrong,”
Said the groom, “But, my dear, you contend wrong.”
For his innocent bride
Wouldn’t lie side by side;
She insisted the right way is endlong.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Since her looks were suggesting “Come hither,”
he said, “Let me take you somewhither.”
But then she refused.
Now his ego’s been bruised --
and confused, he is all in a dither.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Singing “Over the Rainbow” (Somewhither),
As a child, how I longed to fly thither.
Down the yellow brick road
we would sing as we strode
while the lion and Oz would just dither.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The wandering minstrel did play
At a new locale every day.
If today, he’d be hither,
Then tomorrow, somewhither.
Play his zither, and go on his way.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

At the White House sang Dorothy, “Somewhither
Is a land where those FBI scum slither.”
For Kansas is red,
And November we dread
Here in blue states where we who are glum wither.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: To make punny sentences, just adverbs

Mary Queen of Scots asserted, “Ach! Somedeal rule England, too.”

Most actors would rather win an Oscar than abaft, uh, wouldn’t they? (BAFTA)

Bridge playerth loathe a natheless hand.

I am a square endlong to be a rectangle.

When you plant crops someflourish and somewhither.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

We should not be simply fighting evil in the name of good, but struggling against the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found. -Tzvetan Todorov, philosopher (1 Mar 1939-2017)

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