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Jul 19, 2020
This week’s theme
Misc. words

This week’s words

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Relative usage over time

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Words coined after fairy-tale characters

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AWADmail Issue 942

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

Sponsor’s Message: Coronavirus got you down? Feeling cooped up? Going stir crazy? WISE UP! -- is the perfect cure for cabin fever -- it’s a Wicked/Smart Party Card Game that 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. For example: Everyone knows the First and Second Amendments -- what’s the Third? Sleeping Beauty’s real name? How long is a furlong? But beware, there’s also a slew of “challenge” cards that chuck Darwinian physical and mental wrenches into the works, e.g., “Throw this card on the floor and pick it up without using your hands.” Just what the doctor ordered, especially for this week’s Email of the Week Winner, Dave Campbell (see below), and hunkered-down brainiacs everywhere. WISE UP! NOW.

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

Lexicon for a Pandemic
The New Yorker

Papers Should Print Offensive Language If It Is Crucial to a Story
The Economist

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: The power to define the situation (Re: stridor)

The power to define the situation is the ultimate power. -Jerry Rubin, activist and author (14 Jul 1938-1994)

Thomas Pynchon said it better - also, I think, a previous Thought for Today: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada

From: Marge Simon (msimon6206 aol.com)
Subject: sanguinary

Surely this is one of Dracula’s favorite words.

Marge Simon, Ocala, Florida

From: Maxwell Clyde (maxwellclyde gmail.com)
Subject: Sanguinary

When I hear this word, I think back to a quotation by Noah Smithwick, one of the original Texas Rangers, when the Texans had survived a battle with only a single casualty, a bloody nose from a fall off a horse. “It was our Lexington, though a bloodless one, save that a member of the ‘awkward squad’ took a header from his horse, thereby bringing his nasal appendage into such intimate association with Mother Earth as to draw forth a copious stream of the sanguinary fluid.”

Maxwell Clyde, New York, New York

From: Ann Adkins (annmadkins gmail.com)
Subject: Sanguinary

Today’s word reminded me of a 1970s late-night local personality, “Dr. San Guinary” who would introduce some campy horror film for the viewers. I was never a fan, but he had many followers! See a video retrospective here (3 min.).

Ann Adkins, Omaha, Nebraska

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Wise Up! -- the family that plays together stays together

From: Dave Campbell (museumofdave gmail.com)
Subject: Concupiscence

I’ll warrant that AWAD is deluged with missives citing the electric Wallace Stevens poem “The Emperor of Ice Cream” for its vibrant and haunting linking of “concupiscence” with “curds”, i.e.

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
(more here)

As an adolescent, I was fascinated and mystified by the title and contents of the poem, and as an adult I still am enthralled by its handling of universal subject matter in a work that still asks the important questions. (analysis).

Dave Campbell, Red Bluff, California

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

The 16th century Protestant reformer John Calvin was so obsessed with the concept of original sin (which some say is far from being original) that he claimed no human was worthy of salvation. Man was not only born of concupiscence, he said, but was concupiscence itself. To quote him: “Our nature is not merely bereft of good, but is so productive of every kind of evil that it cannot be inactive. The whole man is in himself nothing but concupiscence.”

Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Scott Dittman (scottdit gmail.com)
Subject: Verbose, ambiguous, oh my!

I love all the new words I learn at AWAD and having more precision always seems like a good thing. The judge overriding a certain non-disclosure agreement this week brought into stark relief the disadvantages of using “too many words with too many meanings” to obfuscate and control. Ah, for clarity of communication.

Scott Dittman, Lexington, Tennessee

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: sanguinary & concupiscence

In seeing our word “sanguinary”, my train of thought was quickly transported to the dark, macabre netherworld of vampires and their compulsive need and desire for fresh blood. Here, Count Spatula (I thought I’d change it up a bit... from the hackneyed “Dracula”), down a few quarts, moves in for the unkindest bite of all, homing in on our fair damsel’s succulent neck. Curiously, whether in vampire lore, gothic fiction, or vampire-centric films, there are invariably varying degrees of violence and bloodletting (the vampire’s modus operandi), often coupled with an undercurrent of sexual tension. We have to concede that the living-dead, just like we humans, have libidos that must be satiated. Ha! Bloody right!
Sanguinary Seduction Conspicuous Concupiscence
For our word “concupiscence”, I was inspired by recalling the fun, often lustful cartoons of Playboy gag cartoonist, Eldon Dedini, many of his delightful scenarios rooted in Greek and Roman mythologies... the pastoral world of satyrs, centaurs, fauns, nymphs, gods and demi-gods, and us mere mortals. So, I arrived at this homage, of sorts, to Dedini, where a satyr is in pursuit of a comely wood nymph. Clearly, my hirsute satyr, half goat/half human, is “horny” in more ways than one. Ha!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Anagrams of This Week’s Words
This weeks theme: Misc. words:
1. scansorial
2. stridor
3. disquisition
4. sanguinary
5. concupiscence
1. can go up trees, access windows (monkeys did it!)
2. harsh noise, in a crisis
3. critique
4. crimson
5. lust
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)


A young man had ambitions scansorial,
So he studied a YouTube tutorial.
Things were going quite well
When the rope broke. He fell;
Friends erected a fitting memorial.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

To accomplish pursuit amatorial,
he must be improvisatorial.
To Rapunzel the fair,
he called, “Let down your hair,
and I’ll show you my talent scansorial!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A scansorial mountaineer, Betty,
Crushed small glaciers to icy confetti.
Both fearless and strong
With a stridor-like song,
You may have guessed she was a Yeti.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

The apes live a life that’s arboreal,
All thanks to their talent scansorial.
The view is sublime
For those who can climb,
But I’d need a Tarzan tutorial.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He followed adventures scansorial.
Enjoyed vistas majestic, pictorial,
always testing his skill,
his courage and will
as did visitors to his memorial.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Rock-climbing’s a hobby he took,
But a view from the top left him shook.
His vertiginous head,
fueled a great sense of dread;
Grand scansorial plans he forsook.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“It’s a story from time immemorial;
My feelings for her grow sensorial,”
Sighed the dwarf. “But my plight
Is that kissing Snow White
Would require much effort scansorial.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

On a pretty blue tuffet below,
Sat the little Miss Muffet we know.
When I dropped down beside her,
She gasped with such stridor
That back to my web I did go!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“A beauty!” he cried when he spied ‘er.
“But what’s with that guttural stridor?”
He truly abhorred
sleeping people who snored,
so awakening kiss was denied ‘er.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Whenever the woman would speak,
Her voice had a harsh, grating creak.
“I cannot abide her --
I’m sick of her stridor!”
His grounds for divorce were unique.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Miss Muffet was scared by a spider
who showed up and sat down beside her,
but it scurried away,
too frightened to stay
‘cause her scream was a regular stridor.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

When the dentist said, “Please open wider,”
From out of my mouth came a stridor.
But soon laughing gas
Made anxiety pass,
Like I’d floated away on a glider.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

When I sing, “Stand beside her and guide her,”
These days it comes out as a stridor.
For it seems a cruel jest
That Repubs say we’re blessed
By their “God”: the Great Orange Divider.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

If your sex life is losing its shine,
Have a look at this old book of mine.
These rich disquisitions
On coital positions
Will soon have you feeling just fine!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“To present here your long disquisition,”
he’s told, “there is one precondition:
If tedious, you
must either skiddoo,
or at least have a brief intermission!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The young mistress, she took a position,
Tempting gents was her nightly ambition.
On the subject of sex,
Her suave suitors she’d vex,
Put them all through a long disquisition.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

We all heard the famous physician
Discussing infectious transmission.
Trump gave it a miss,
And then chose to dis
Doc Fauci’s informed disquisition.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Dr. Fauci’s astute disquisition
Was met by the Donald’s derision:
“I’ll believe it’s a hoax
Till democracy croaks,”
He replied, “Then to Vlad we’ll transition.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

On top of my sundae a cherry
Looked perfect, its hue sanguinary.
But stopping to spit
Out a tooth-chipping pit,
Now I’m wishing I’d chosen a berry!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

A critic by the name of Larry
Said “This movie is really quite scary.
The blood and the gore
Make me beg for more.
This movie is quite sanguinary.”
-Maxwell Schoenstein, age 13, New York, New York (maxwellclyde gmail.com)

“The fact that I’m so sanguinary,”
says vampire, “must seem really scary.
But be of good cheer,
and don’t worry, my dear.
The pain will be just momentary!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I’m really most terribly sad --
A big part of my life -- well, it’s bad.
My pet penguin, Larry,
Has become sanguinary
And no remedy seems to be had.
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said the elf, “If we let Santa tarry,
He’ll be late bringing toys sanguinary.
Then how will Dick Cheney
-- He’s bored when it’s rainy --
Find countries to torment and harry?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When I first in love’s pond began casting,
As a teen, I was feasting or fasting.
More than once, like a dunce,
I took concupiscence
As a sign of amour everlasting.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Like she knows two and two make four,
She feels concupiscence galore
For a boy in class.
Then, she thinks, “Alas,
Why doesn’t he live right next door!”
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Concupiscence we all agree
To human survival is key.
For lust leads to sex
And thus it affects
Each person there ever will be.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When Donald is feeling concupiscence
For praise of his bigly munificence,
He needn’t go far
To be told he’s a star;
He just turns to that sycophant booby Pence.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Limericks should scansorial poetry lovers can appreciate them.
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)

Bird watcher enters bluff, remains completely still, spots fine specimen, takes out binoculars, and scansorial.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A complex algorithm is used to predict how often contestants stridor #3 as their first choice.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Stormy was a pro at faking it while Donald was a stridor.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When I saw the finish line in sight, I ran faster for a stridor two.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

The drunk driver protested the policeman’s questioning: “Disquisition fair, offisher!”
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Too bad Ferdinand and Isabella didn’t simply sponsor a Spanish Disquisition.
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)

With his beautiful vocals, Lancelot sanguinary love songs and won her heart.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The Cockneys celebrated and sanguinary married Meghan.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Aye, after teachin’ all the wee lads and lassies to read the music, the choir sanguinary a note out o’ place!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Concupiscence: An autonomic reflex that awakens a paramour for a trip to the bathroom.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

The Bahamian ship’s cook said, “If you want concupiscence are whelkome to dive for some.”
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)

Le Grand Orange

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Trump’s Foibles & Follies: Le Grand Orange

On July 3, in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore, Trump announced to his unmasked lemmings that he’d be shortly signing an executive order mandating what he coined, “The National Garden of American Heroes”... in his words... “a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.” Hmm... appears to be a little grammatical stumble in that last bit, perchance allowing space for future so-called “heroes”... namely Le Grand Orange himself. Here, I’ve portrayed him informing the sculptor on-high, how his cast-bronze statue will dominate all 30-plus others. Bigger than even Kid Rock’s, Kayne West’s, and Ted Nugent’s... loyal Trumpsters all. (Ha!)

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America. -John Robert Lewis, civil rights leader (1940-2020)

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