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Sep 13, 2020
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AWADmail Issue 950

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, Patrice Curedale (see below), and hunkered-down brainiacs everywhere. WISE UP! NOW.

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

The Crisis of Political Language
The Lancet

In Quarantine, Kids Pick Up Parents’ Mother Tongues
The New York Times

Are Romance Languages Becoming More Gender Neutral?
Global Voices

From: Derek Koonce (derek dkoonce.com)
Subject: Family eponyms

Our family has one. If one is repairing an object or building something... “Don’t Schlamp it.” It means do not do it quick and cheap, such that it will knowingly, not viewed by Schlamp, fall apart. Schlamp was the last name of my step-father. I loved him dearly, but his methods of assembly and repair always tended to be in question. One key example is that he would use hot glue to hold a piece of wood to metal, and not bother really to clean either surface except with a quick wipe of the hand.

Derek Koonce, Roseville, California

From: MaryAnne Glazar (maryanneglazar48 gmail.com)
Subject: Eponyms

Since our circle of friends now includes so many people who don’t know each other, a current version of this is “Don’t be That Guy” (a stand-in for whatever unwanted trait is under discussion). (Doesn’t work so well if your name happens to be Guy...)

MaryAnne Glazar, Berkeley, California

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

From: Patrice Curedale (patrice.curedale gmail.com)
Subject: Eponym

The other day in line at the store I asked a Trumpnick to put his mask on (he was wearing it around his chin) and he said “OK, Karen” and I had to laugh. Was Moron a person?

Patrice Curedale, Woodland Hills, California

From: SarahRose Werner (swerner nbnet.nb.ca)
Subject: Griselda

A girl who is patient
As patient Griselda
Will find all she’s getting
Is elda and elda.

The rhyme was originally aimed at young women who sat patiently waiting for men to come court them, but it would equally apply to young women who wait patiently for recognition in their jobs and careers. Patience may be a virtue, sisters, but it’s not always the virtue you want to lead with.

SarahRose Werner, Saint John, Canada

From: Kalaichelvan Gurumurthy (kalaichelvan gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Griselda

Interesting to know the plight of women does not have boundaries of time and country. In Tamil we have an equivalent mythical character Nalayini who took her husband in a basket (since he was so ill he could not walk) to a prostitute.

Kalaichelvan Gurumurthy, Vellore, India

From: Glenn Glazer (glenn.glazer gmail.com)
Subject: Griselda

The story is basically the same as the story of Job in the Torah, replacing Gualteri with god.

Glenn Glazer, Felton, California

From: Lucas Brown (lucascbrown gmail.com)
Subject: Comical Griseldian tests

The backstory for today’s word made me think of this sketch (video, 3 min.) I recently saw.

Lucas Brown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From: Griselda Forbes (gbforbes bellsouth.net)
Subject: Griselda

So tickled that I made it into your Words! However, you left off a second pronunciation for us Latinas: gri-SEL-dah (no hard Z in Spanish). I was named for my mother Griselda who was named by her father Euripedes (!) who was reading The Decameron when she was born. I once saw an AWAD comment from another Griselda and emailed her. She was British and thought her parents got her name from the little girl in The Cuckoo Clock, an 1877 British children’s book by Mrs. Molesworth (Mary Louisa Molesworth).

Griselda Forbes, Gainesville, Florida

From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Griselda

Shakespeare actually uses the name in The Taming of the Shrew, where Petruchio says of Katherina:

For patience she will prove a second Grissel,
And Roman Lucrece for her chastity.
(As patient as Griselda, as chaste as the Rome’s Lucretia.)

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Mary Feeney (mmfeeney aol.com)
Subject: Homeric

In John Ford’s 1952 ode to Ireland’s West, The Quiet Man, local fixer Michaeleen Oge Flynn sees a couple’s broken nuptial bed and famously mutters “Impetuous, Homeric.” (video, 7 sec.) Yet the viewer knows the bed was a casualty of a misunderstanding, not marital hijinks. For those of us in the Feeney clan, an awful toady named Ignatius Feeney is another memorable character. It’s an in-joke, since John Ford was born John Martin Feeney.

Mary Feeney, Prior Lake, Minnesota

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

Whether Homer really composed the Iliad and the Odyssey is open to question. Whether one person could have achieved such a feat all by himself is something else to wonder. In art, he is depicted as carrying a lyre (suggesting that his recitations were musical rather than declamatory), but this, too, is a matter of speculation.

We don’t even know whether the heroes mentioned in the epics really existed, nor do we know to what extent their deeds may have been governed by the grace of the deities.

Then there is the given name Homer, very popular in the English language, as seen by the success of the cartoon character Homer Simpson. D’oh!

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Wes Reynolds (cwr rinsey.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Homeric

If only we knew who Homer was?

My mom read these books to me when I was a child. We lived in NY and both my parents were from the Midwest. Every summer we would visit the grandparents. No interstates in those far-off days so my mom and dad would take turns driving and read to me when they weren’t at the wheel.

One summer the books were the Iliad and the Odyssey. And then in time I read them to my children and then to my grandchildren from my eldest daughter. I have two other grandchildren from my youngest daughter and hope that I will get the opportunity to read the books to them also.

Always felt like Achilles had got a bad deal. I particularly loved the description of Achilles’s new armor after Hector slew Patroclus arrayed in Achilles’s armor and Hector stripped Patroclus’s body and took the booty behind the high walls of Troy.

But Hector was also a hero.

Wes Reynolds, Croton, New York

From: Paula John (johnpaulag verizon.net)
Subject: Thought for Today

On seeing weather-beaten trees: Is it as plainly in our living shown, / By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown?- Adelaide Crapsey, poet (9 Sep 1878-1914)

Back around 1950, I once arrived at high school English class to discover we were to have memorized a poem. Frantically leafing through the anthology we were using, I found Crapsey’s “On Observing Weatherbeaten Trees”, which I mastered by the time I was called on to recite. Some 25 years later, hiking with my teenage son, we came upon such a tree, and I recited the poem and told him of the circumstances under which I’d learned it. It was a bonding moment, for him to learn his mother had pulled off such a stunt in high school.

Paula John, Vancouver, Washington

From: Alex Speers (ivykoc2011 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Juno

Yikes! You just “dissed” us Canadians! Juno was the Canadian landing beach on D-Day which gets ignored by Hollywood and is also the name of our premier Canadian music awards. We don’t often get patriotic but... :-)

Alex Speers, Wolfville, Canada

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

Beware of spelling. The Canadian music industry gives annual awards for Canadian music and musicians. These are called the Juno awards, even though they are not named after the goddess, but in honour of Pierre Juneau, the first president of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and former president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Whether he was Junoesque is another question.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Russell Custer (russellacuster comcast.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Pavlovian

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Correct answer: Yeah, it makes me want to spit!

Russell Custer, Atlanta, Georgia

From: Gary E. Moulton (gary.e.moulton gmail.com)
Subject: Pavlovian

These days, every time I hear “Happy Birthday” sung I have a Pavlovian urge to wash my hands.

Gary E. Moulton, Lincoln, Nebraska

From: Norwin Simms (norwin.simms bt.com)
Subject: Pavlov

You might enjoy John Finnemore’s excellent sketch (video, 3 min.) about Pavlov’s experiments, which I thought was absolutely hilarious. It was originally on BBC Radio 4.

Norwin Simms, Belfast, UK

Homer contemplates the bust of Homer
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Homeric and Pavlovian

In this scenario, animated patriarch, Homer Simpson, in the guise of a portrait bust, meets his Greek namesake, Homer, author of the epic tales, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Frankly, the only thing “epic” about the klutzy Homer Simpson is that his cartoon show, The Simpsons, has aired on Fox for an astounding 31 years, and close to 600 episodes. Truth be told, Homer Simpson was named after a close relative of series creator, Matt Groening, as were most of Homer’s toon family.

Dog-Whistle Politics
Pavlov had his bell. Let the drooling begin! Whilst Trump has his dog whistle. Much like Pavlov’s bell triggered responses from his pooches, Trump uses his dog whistle to set off his rabid rabble of loyal lemmings, essentially serving up chunks of “red meat” to his base.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Anagrams of This Week’s Words
This week’s words: Eponyms
1. ballardian
2. griselda
3. homeric
4. juno
5. pavlovian
1. joyless village
2. his kind woman
3. Doric
4. star woman
5. pup’s learned behavior
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)


It gives me a pain in my head
To see how man’s meddling has led
To this chaos Ballardian.
We’ve failed as Earth’s guardian,
And burnt down our own house instead.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

We live in Ballardian times,
And as my anxiety climbs,
I will not despair!
Instead I will share
Some more of these humorous rhymes.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

If you don’t think our times are Ballardian
compare them to the epoch Edwardian.
We’re distinctly dystopic.
Think we’re not? You’re myopic
or naive and in need of a guardian.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The Country is in such a state,
For Trump’s leadership isn’t great.
With Donald as guardian,
Things have turned Ballardian.
A new President, I await.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

These chips when embedded in his head,
would help him keep his workout sked.
But my friend was incensed,
Hard work he was against;
this Ballardian threat filled him with dread.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“Though they say that Big Brother’s our guardian,
This world that I’m in is Ballardian,”
Sighed Winston, “and Orwell
Has rung Huxley’s doorbell;
We suffer while those two are partyin’.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

No one would ever describe me
As a true Griselda lady.
I have never been shy
Asking the how and why
Whatever we know came to be.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

The Griselda was patient no longer;
She got angry and that made her stronger.
It was time to react.
She put out a contract
On all of the guys who had wronged her.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

They lauded the patient Griselda;
as a model for women upheld her.
That was then. This is now
and I’m sure anyhow
that it doesn’t apply to this Zelda.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Now women today are not meek.
They speak up. Pursue jobs they seek.
No more a Griselda,
But not an Imelda.
If you call us nasty, you’re weak!
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Chuckled Ferdinand, “More shoes, Imelda?
Dear, you’ll never be called a Griselda.”
But this seemed rather callous,
And crowds stormed the palace;
Next morning, they flew out on Delta.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

An opus Homeric she’d written;
By Harry her readers were smitten.
The public related
To what she’d created,
Enriching this writer in Britain.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

There once was a shortstop named Derek
With talents far more than generic.
He’d jump and he’d twirl,
As each night a new girl
He delighted with exploits Homeric.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

My first blind date ended in tears,
But next time I swallowed my fears --
And wouldn’t you know?
She was quite the Juno:
We’ve been married, now, twenty-six years!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“I certainly will persevere,”
says the seamstress. “However, my dear,
since you are a Juno,
to finish your trousseau,
there’s not enough fabric, I fear.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Said the Don to Mike Pence, “It’s a sure go,
I’m a shoo-in, a winner, you must know.
All those gorgeous young femmes,
The right-wingers and Dems,
I’ve secured votes from every last Juno.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

There once was a wrestler named Bruno,
Who had searched all his life for his Juno.
When he found her, his bubble
Was burst; “For the trouble,”
She said, “is I’m not into sumo.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

In Pamplona, a bull met his Juno;
“You’re not local,” he said. “That I do know.”
As he looked rather pained
When she spoke, she explained,
“As a cow from Paree I still moo, no?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Explaining the old jitterbug,
says Granny, with chuckle and shrug,
“We hear nickelodeon,
have a Pavlovian
moment, and must cut a rug!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Is it a Pavlovian trait
When my pet cat insists I wait?
If so, he has many
He likes using on me.
I still think Sir Lawrence is great!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Pavlovian learning is why
The sound of Trump’s voice makes me cry.
His words I so dread
That tears I will shed --
That’s how I respond to this guy.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

With Trump in the White House it seems
To exhibit Pavlovian themes:
Common sense is kaput
“Open mouth, insert foot”
Like the answer to all Ivan’s dreams!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Our marital waters he’s muddyin’,
For to girls his response is Pavlovian.
If he won’t cut it out,
I’ll do more than just shout;
There’s a box I’ll be puttin’ my hubby in.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


A sedentary lifestyle combined with overeating will make you Ballardian.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Frank left a message for Peter: “I’ll get to Vegas tonight and we’ll have a ballardian and Sammy there yet?”
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michgan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Said Scott, “You think ‘Gatsby’ is my best yet? I ‘griselda.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

An Icelandic saga: “You are banished! Go west! Greenland is now Homeric.”
-Peter Jennings, Stony Lake, Canada (peterj benlo.com)

“Juno any women of stately beauty and bearing?”
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

Goldfarb said she wouldn’t dance with him because he was a Juno, I explained, it’s because you’re a jerk!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michgan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“My feelings for Luciano’s beautiful tenor were Pavlovian,” said the opera fan.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Dereliction of Duty
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Trump’s Foibles & Follies

Dereliction of Duty

“Losers! Suckers!”, the labels Trump has given to our nation’s soldiers show his true colors: predominantly “yellow”. I think my cartoon of Trump at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier speaks for itself. We all know who’s the real loser here. When reports surfaced over a month ago that Putin had offered the Taliban a bounty on American soldiers in Afghanistan, Trump ignored it, and has yet to take any action. Disgraceful!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

I’m so full of what is right / I can’t see what is good. -Neil Peart, musician, songwriter, and author (12 Sep 1952-2020)

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