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Nov 22, 2020
This week’s theme
Supervocalic words

This week’s words
euphoria
quaternion
urticaceous
autotelic
vinaceous

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Illustrated words

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AWADmail Issue 961

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

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

France Bans Discrimination Against Regional Accents
The Guardian
Permalink

OED Word of the Year Expanded for “Unprecedented” 2020
BBC
Permalink

Deciphering Words in the Woods: A New Irish Tree Alphabet
Emergence Magazine
Permalink



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Supervocalic headline contest

Thanks to all the readers who participated in the supervocalic headline contest. With so many clever entries among the 600+ entries, it was hard to pick just a few.

The winners, in no particular order, are:

ADIEU OZYMANDIAS
-Vikas Namadeva Prabhu, Bangalore, India (vikasnprabhu gmail.com)

MAN BITES DOUG
-Mary Berman, Esq., Pohnpei, Micronesia (mberman163 yahoo.com)

AE IOU
(A headline on United Arab Emirates debt. “Dubai’s gross general government debt will reach about 77% of GDP in 2020,” S&P said.)
-P. Tucker Withington, Plymouth, Massachusetts (ptw pobox.com)

The winners will receive their choice of either of the following prizes:
A copy of any of my books
A copy of the word game Word Up!

What I liked about the first entry is how, in just two words (that include the sometime-vowel y), it captured the feelings about the results of the US presidential election so well. Percy Shelley’s poem Ozymandias should be required reading at any presidential (or prime ministerial) inauguration.

In Mary Berman’s case, she adds just a letter to the trope “Man Bites Dog” to come up with her winning entry MAN BITES DOUG. So his name was Evander, not Doug, but she’s still a winner. A similar entry was from Kevin Reschke of San Mateo, California (reschkek gmail.com) who sent HUMAN BITES DOG.

P. Tucker Withington’s entry on UAE’s debt, AE IOU, is ethereal. It needs no comments. It inspired me to come up with a variation, UAE: I OWE YE, which is not as good as his, but includes the sometime-vowels w and y.

A few readers were upset at my example supervocalic headline: TRUMP IS A LOSER. I have never called anyone a loser in my entire life, but given that it’s Trump’s favorite word, I thought I’d make an exception for him. (See how many times and how many people he’s called someone a loser and even looser and that’s just in his tweets.) And, unlike dozens of lies that come out of Trump’s mouth on any given day, TRUMP IS A LOSER is a true statement in every possible way:
in business (he’s lost hundreds of millions of dollars; six bankruptcies),
in presidency (lost hundreds of thousands of lives to pandemic), and
in re-election (lost popular vote and electoral college votes).
Also see here, here, and loser.com.

Read on for honorable (and dishonorable) mentions. Entries that include aeiou exactly once are in bold, those that include aeiouy exactly once are in bold & italics.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

AMERICANS TO TRUMP, YOU’RE FIRED!
(Been waiting four painful years to say this.)
-Richard Mann, Hampton Roads, Virginia (uncle.ricky54 gmail.com)

POTUS V. REALITY
-Jeffrey Ho, London, UK (jeff jeffreyho.com)

OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER
(Some of the most welcome words I ever heard back in 1974 and ever so relevant today.)
-John Schoonover, Sayre, Pennsylvania (schoonoj gmail.com)

DEMOCRACY TRIUMPHS
-Martina Dinneen, Cork, Ireland (mdinneen gmail.com)
-Annika Montag, San Diego, California (annikamontag gmail.com)


DEMOCRACY SURVIVES!
-Norman Rabek, Burnsville, North Carolina (nrabek gmail.com)

DETRUMPIZATION!
-BJ Boulter, Algarve, Portugal (bj oxala.com)

UNREASONING, UNDEMOCRATIC, and DELUSIONAL, TRUMP FOMENTS PANDEMONIUM and EXHAUSTION
(With five supervocalics)
-Dan Klein, Santa Fe, New Mexico (dklein 21st-strategies.com)

REPUBLICAN MAP IS TRUMP-L’OEIL
-Lucy Hilburn, Sunriver, Oregon (lucyhilburn gmail.com)

TRUMP’S ACT FOILED
-Peter Y. Sussman, The People’s Republic of Berkeley, California (peter psussman.com)

TRUMP’S TINY ACCORDION SHOW CANCELED!
(If you ever watched Hair Furor on TV, his hand gestures look like he is playing a little squeezebox.)
-Ann Bietsch, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (adbietsch comcast.net)

FRAUD CRIES FOUL
-Norman Rabek, Burnsville, North Carolina (nrabek gmail.com)

GIULIANI MELTS ON TV!
-Doug Hughes, Pipersville, Pennsylvania (doug will.to)

COUP ATTEMPT FAILS BIGLY
-Don Fearn, Rochester, Minnesota (pooder charter.net)

RUSSIA DROPS REPUBLICANS
-David J.C. Cook, Farnborough, UK (cook cbn.net.id)

JOE BIDEN HAS TRUMPED TRUMP
-Vikram Hukmani, Baltimore, Maryland (vikhuk engineer.com)

BIDEN PLANS, TRUMP POUTS
-William, Wellesley Island, New York (willtremain gmail.com)

TRUMP IS A VERY BIG LOSER
(If you can’t enter, what about me with this entry?)
-Russ Taylor, Changchun, China (russssch yahoo.co.uk)

LAME DUCK PARDONS TURKEY
-Brian Tjernstrom, Mississauga, Canada (brian.tjernstrom rogers.com)

CANINES RETURN TO WHITE HOUSE!
-Curtis Reeves, Fresno, California (creeves alumni.usc.edu)

BABY TRUMP LOSES TIT
-Susan Lundahl, Vancouver, Canada (susanlundahl shaw.ca)

BATTLE WITH NOVEL TRUMP-45 VIRUS WON BY MASKED VOTERS
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

BIDEN OUSTS ASS
-John Chambers, Victoria, Canada (giovanni.chambers hotmail.com)

DONALD TRUMP RESIGNS
-Sunga Rose, Seattle, Washington (sungarose gmail.com)

USA FOR BIDEN
-Tony Dillof, Detroit, Michigan (dillof wayne.edu)

BLACK LIVES MATTERED IN US ELECTION!
-Paul Filson, Connecticut (pfstrike9 yahoo.com)

COVID CATCHES TRUMP
or
TRUMP CATCHES COVID
-Timothy Buchowski, Austin, Texas (timbuchowski hotmail.com)

PANDEMIC ENCOURAGES UNITY
-Nancy Peled, Hazorea, Israel (nanbee gmail.com)

VACCINES CONQUER COVID
-Syeda Shehrbano Kazim, Islamabad, Pakistan (shehrbano gmail.com)

VACCINE FULFILLS WORLD HOPES
-Mariko Jesse, Tokyo, Japan (hello marikojesse.com)

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
-Lynn Wurzburg, St. Johnsbury, Vermont (lwurzburg yahoo.com)

In Other News

OVEN-READY BREXIT UNDERDONE
-Sally Yoxall, Surrey, UK (sallyyoxall16 hotmail.com)

ASTRONAUT ARMSTRONG TAKES A GIANT LEAP
-Aparna Agarwal, El Dorado Hills, California (aparna.loveyart gmail.com)

LEE SURRENDERS; THE WAR IS OVER
-Rob Richardson, Reston, Virginia (robr3 yahoo.com)

JESUS FAILS TO SAVE CITY
(This headline is as a result of yesterday’s EPL football match between Spurs and Man City. Jesus is a player for Man City.)
-Aduma Patrick, Nairobi, Kenya (ndioaduma gmail.com)

LIFE FOUND ON MARS
-Stuart Klipper, Minneapolis, Minnesota (sklipper bitstream.net)

TURKEYS GIVE THANKS FOR COVID
-Greg Chapin, New York, New York (greg.chapin gmail.com)

QUEEN DEAD - CHARLES NOW KING
-Ron Gerard, London, UK (ron gerard.as)

2020, DISASTEROUS
-Kate Cook (via website comments)

TO ERR IS HUMAN
-Srinivasan Chari, Chennai, India (srinivasan.chari gmail.com)

HOMELESS AND HUNGRY AMERICANS “CELEBRATE” THANKSGIVING
TRUMP ANGRY “LOSER” FAMILY MEMBERS FELL ILL WITH COVID
-Amy Heller, Harrington Park, New Jersey (aahellerdoros gmail.com)

MIKE PENCE COMES OUT AS GAY
-Jacob Aaronson, New Rochelle, New York (jaaronson12 gmail.com)

MARTIANS BROUGHT TO TRUMP ASK, “THIS IS YOUR LEADER?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

POET LIKENS POTUS TRUMP TO HIPPOPOTAMUS
-Robin Kinnel, New Hartford, New York (rkinnel hamilton.edu)

TONY BLINKEN IS A LOUSY WARMONGER
(Includes y & w as well.)
-Pascal Pagnoux, Saint Gaudens, France (pascal.pagnoux gmail.com)

FAREWELL, ETAOIN SHRDLU!
A supervocalicious paean to a sacred relic.
“Once called the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ by Thomas Edison, Linotype typecasting machines revolutionised publishing when they were invented in 1886, and remained the industry standard for nearly a century after. The first commercially successful mechanical typesetter, the Linotype significantly sped up the printing process, allowing for larger and more local daily newspapers. In ‘Farewell, etaoin shrdlu’ (the latter portion of the title taken from the nonsense words created by running your fingers down the letters of the machine’s first two rows), the former New York Times proofreader David Loeb Weiss bids a loving farewell to the Linotype by chronicling its final day of use at the Times on 1 July 1978. An evenhanded treatment of the unremitting march of technological progress, Weiss’s film about an outmoded craft is stylistically vintage yet also immediate in its investigation of modernity.” (Aeon)
-John Kilmarx, Indiana, Pennsylvania (jkilmarx yahoo.com)

OLD EBENEZER’S “SPIRITS” UP AT LAST
(A supervocalic headline using univocalic words.)
-Tom Reel, Norfolk, Virginia (tom.reel cox.net)

UNDEMOCRATIC “CUSHION HEAD” COMMUNICATES DELUSIONAL BEHAVIOUR TO SUPERPATRIOT IGNORAMUSES -- QUESTIONABLY ON HALLUCINOGENS?
(A supervocalic headline where [almost] each word is a supervocalic.)
-Wendy Shimada, Duvall, Washington (wendy gardentango.com)

MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING LAWYER RECEIVES A NEW ATTORNEY
MIKE PENCE COMES OUT AS GAY
HOMELESS CRIMINAL UNDER HOUSE ARREST
STUDENTS ARGUE VEHEMENTLY OVER WHETHER W IS A VOWEL
-Jonathan Mosesson, Binghamton, New York (jonmosesson gmail.com)

ANU IS A HERO
ANU IS MY HERO (including y)
-Peter Jennings, St. Catharines, Canada (peterj benlo.com)

Readers with Supervocalic Names

Bob Sciaudone, Lowell, Massachusetts (robert.sciaudone ssa.gov)

Paul Rescino, Baltimore, Maryland (paul.rescino gmail.com)

Dishonorable Mentions / Fake News

TRUMP WON BY LANDSLIDE!
-Cindy Smith, Atlanta, Georgia (spawnofajewishcarpenter gmail.com)



From: Phil Strauss (via website comments)
Subject: Trump

A loser indeed.

Phil Strauss



From: Brad Tinkham (punflyer gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--euphoria

I tried euphiveia hoping to see better with two ‘i’s, but had no success.

Brad Tinkham, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania



From: Bill Venables (bill.venables gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--quaternion

And there I was thinking you had come up with a word straight out of my profession and private passion, mathematics, the queen and handmaiden of the sciences. Quaternions, in my culture, represent a mathematical system that generalizes complex numbers. Rather than two dimensions, they are represented in four. They include both the real numbers and the complex numbers as restricted sub-systems. They were introduced (or “discovered” according to some people) by the great Irish mathematician Sir William Hamilton in 1873, initially as a mathematical curiosity, but like so many things of that kind (including binary numbers, for example) they have proved to be pivotal in other areas. See Wikipedia for more.

Bill Venables, Dutton Park, Australia



From: Bob Stein (stein visibone.com)
Subject: quaternion

In mathematics, quaternions are a mind-bending extrapolation of the concept of complex numbers: instead of a real and imaginary part, a quaternion number has one real and THREE imaginary parts. Quaternion numbers are useful in 3D computer graphics and much else. There is a famous bridge in Dublin, Ireland, with an inscription about the moment Sir William Hamilton realized that two imaginary parts could never work, and so where quaternions were air-quotes discovered.

Bob Stein, Brushton, New York



From: Burt Humburg (humburg.burt gmail.com)
Subject: Quaternions!

Quaternion calculations are also useful for understanding 3D orientation and avoid problems that the use of matrix multiplication for the same purpose might cause. Make sure to check out 3Blue1Brown’s primer (video, 32 min.) on the topic.

Burt Humburg, Mason City, Iowa



From: John Welch (welch sfu.ca)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--euphoria

I HEART YOU!

Bonus point for use of occasional/honorary vowel Y?

John Welch, From vowel-laden Vancouver (en française, Vancouvier?), Canada



From: Peter Gross (plgrossmd gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--urticaceous

The medical word for hives is urticaria. We generally use the former when speaking to the patient and the latter amongst ourselves.

Peter Gross, MD, Falls Church, Virginia



From: Harriet Winner (harriet.winner gmail.com)
Subject: urticaceous

As a nurse, I often see patients with urticaria (a rash of round, red welts on the skin that itch intensely, sometimes with dangerous swelling, caused by an allergic reaction, typically to specific foods [per Oxford Language]). Having once been “stung” by a nettle plant in Seattle with quite unpleasant consequences, I am pleased to know the derivation of the word.

Harriet Winner, RN, BSN, CPN, Potomac, Maryland



From: George Dunlap (dunlapg umich.edu)
Subject: Wealth

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community. -Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (25 Nov 1835-1919)

Along a similar lines: “When you have one billion dollars, that’s not your money. That’s the trust society gives to you.” -Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba

George Dunlap, Ann Arbor, Michigan



From: Kiko Denzer (handprint cmug.com)
Subject: Carnegie & philanthropy

The “Andrew Carnegie Dictum”:
  • Spend the first third of one’s life getting all the education one can.
  • Spend the next third making all the money one can.
  • Spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.
Of course, he didn’t believe in paying fair wages and (violently) rejected the efforts of his employees to organize for themselves. Yet he talked about a “sacred trust ... for the good of the community”? Huh?

Kiko Denzer, Blodgett, Oregon



From: Richard Bruno (richardgbruno gmail.com)
Subject: Autotelic

A specific meaning of the word that has always fascinated me is in reference to a school of literary criticism, also called New Criticism. These critics of the mid-20th century, who trace their origins to T.S. Eliot, felt that a work of art was entirely self-contained and self-referential and could only be understood on those terms. They attempted to exclude what they felt were extraneous factors, like history, environment, social context, author’s biography, and most fundamentally, author’s intention. I believe there was even a special poetry anthology devised on autotelic principles, which had only the title of the poem and the poem, excluding the author’s name as an irrelevancy at best. I believe it is Reading Poems, 1941.

Richard Bruno, New York, New York



From: Kathy Borst (kborst mcn.org)
Subject: Supervocalic

I was confused about whether or not a supervocalic word or phrase could have a vowel that repeats. The examples suggested not. My question on the AWAD Facebook page got a reply that said more than one vowel was allowed. Wednesday’s word, urticaceous, contains the letter u twice, so that settles where Anu Garg & co. stand.

My phone’s dictionary didn’t even have the word, so I went looking around on the internet. The four or five sites I looked at all agreed: each vowel, any order, once and only once. Maybe there’s disagreement about this elsewhere. They did not agree on the inclusion of y as a vowel.

Of greater interest was the quest, initiated in 1970, to find words that had all of the different configurations of vowels, of which there are 120 without y. That is, a word with the vowels in each different order:
aeiou
aeiuo
aeoiu
aeoui
etc.
(Note: 120 because, if using each vowel only once, there are five vowels to choose for the first letter, then four, then three, then two, then one. 5x4x3x2x1=120)

Here’s a couple of sites (1, 2) that discuss the history of this quest. The first one also includes a list of words found.

Kathy Borst, Yorkville, California



From: Jon Aalborg (jaalborg me.com)
Subject: vowels

In many other languages, notably the Scandinavian ones, German, and others, the number of vowels is greater. That makes it exponentially harder to find or create such a word -- I dare say next to impossible, e.g., in my own mother tongue, Norwegian.

Jon Aalborg, Oslo, Norway



Dream Team
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: quaternion & vinaceous

On the heels of Dustin Johnson’s Masters victory last Sunday at Augusta National, our word “quaternion” suggested, for this diehard golf nerd, the familiar golf player configuration... the foursome. Here, I’ve assembled three current greats of the game... Tiger Woods, the aforementioned Masters and US Open champ, Dustin Johnson, and veteran leftie, Phil Michelson, winner of three Masters green jackets and over 40 regular PGA tourney titles. Here, Tiger gobsmacks a young golfer, inviting him to complete their foursome. An unlikely scenario... but perchance to dream?

Vinaceous Schnozola
Connoisseurs of the fermented grape have a litany of criteria to judge, and identify wines. Discerning the characteristic bouquet or aroma of a particular wine is a key one. Every wine varietal has its diagnostic “nose” (le nez du vin), where the most skilled “sniffers” can distinguish, say, a merlot from a burgundy, or a cabernet sauvignon from a rosé. Here, I’ve pictured a sommelier attempting to identify a red wine, not quite convinced that it’s a merlot. “Nosey” Froggy has a different take.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



Anagrams of This Week’s Words
Supervocalic words:
1. euphoria
2. quaternion
3. urticaceous
4. autotelic
5. vinaceous
=
1. elation
2. a trio? a quartet!
3. vicious
4. pursue own cause
5. red sauce color, vino (hiccup)
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)



Limericks

She sits at the Waldorf Astoria
observing the phantasmagoria
of folks in the lobby.
Says she, “Lovely hobby!
It gives me a sense of euphoria!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Trump believes in a carnivore diet.
It’s no good if the cook didn’t fry it.
Scarfing burgers and fries
Euphoria blooms in his eyes.
Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

Her stay at the Waldorf Astoria
Had filled the young girl with euphoria.
“This wonderful suite
Has been a great treat --
It’s fit for a queen like Victoria!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Biden’s in! I am filled with euphoria
and I’m singing Laudamus and Gloria.
With my blues on the shelf
I am pinching myself,
hoping it’s not just phantasmagoria.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Though infirm, aged, and tottery,
Dad jigged when he won the lottery.
But his euphoria
turned to dysphoria:
Kins claimed all; their tales sad, eyes watery.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

I had a friend named Victoria,
Who was feeling great euphoria.
Said she, “I can’t lose,
On such a great cruise.
Its name, the Andrea Doria.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

In the bar at the Waldorf Astoria,
A girl said, “Hi, handsome, I’m Gloria.”
Back then, before Zoom,
You could be in one room
And a meeting could lead to euphoria.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

Wrote Albert to young Queen Victoria,
“Having met you, I’m filled with euphoria.
Choose me for your groom,
And my dear, va-va-voom!
Please eat lots of dessert, so there’s more o’ ya.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Four leaves has my clover, you see --
one more than the regular three!
I hope this quaternion
brings me Hibernian
luck in abundance!” says she.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

She had two daughters and a son,
Just missing a quaternion.
She seemed so happy
While raising her three,
Not needing to bear a fourth one.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

With Covid my contacts are few --
Just four of us make up my “crew”.
My bubble is coping;
For good health we’re hoping,
As lockdown quaternions do!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

You want me to name a quaternion
Of the greatest of figures Hibernian?
Oscar Wilde, James Joyce;
Also Yeats is a choice,
And Saint Patrick -- one heckuva clergyman.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


There once was a woman curvaceous,
Who fell in a patch urticaceous.
Guys rushed to her side
And ointments applied,
Performing first aid most audacious.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The display, vulgar and ostentatious,
brought critiques that were quite urticaceous,
but sorry to tell,
on deaf ears they fell.
The suggestions were not efficacious.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The more this word rolls round my tongue
The more it feels like I’ve been stung!
Sure, I know “urticaceous”
I’m quite perspicacious!
I’ve known it since I was, well, young!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

In a field that is lovely and spacious,
Beware of all plants urticaceous.
They seem safe, but will sting,
And great pain they will bring.
Stay far from the nettles, good gracious!
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Illustration: Mark Seltman
Illustration: Mark Seltman
Defeat can be so urticaceous
That the loser can’t bear to be gracious.
When the meteor hit,
No T-Rex would admit
To the end of the era Cretaceous.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The wise bard was himself an old relic.
Looking back on his life, so poetic,
He would pass all his time,
Choosing words that would rhyme,
He’d a metier most autotelic.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He loves what he does, you can tell.
His job’s autotelic; it’s swell!
I think you’d agree,
He’d do it for free.
His boss doesn’t know -- just as well.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

As a teacher I may be a relic.
And some students are less than angelic.
I still get satisfaction
From a good interaction.
For me, my career is autotelic.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

To engage in pursuits philatelic
Is nothing if not autotelic.
A hot date with a tramp
I once tried, but a stamp
Next to that is a pleasure angelic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“That girl in her hoody vinaceous,”
says wolf, “was extremely loquacious.
We talked, nothing more.
So please just ignore
the rest, since it isn’t veracious!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The old vintner, so very tenacious,
Had a passion for wine. He’s voracious.
His mile-wide row of grapes,
Filled his vineyard landscapes,
While his face became oh-so-vinaceous.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Sommeliers know all about wine;
They’ve studied the fruit of the vine.
I’m not so sagacious
About things vinaceous --
Sangria for me is just fine.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Give him credit -- the guy was audacious --
pretending to knowledge vinaceous.
We’re sorry to say
He was no sommelier,
but we humored him. Just being gracious.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

At the Thanksgiving table this year,
You’ll have fewer relatives here.
No uncle, loquacious,
With nose that’s vinaceous,
Whose political views bend your ear.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

If your face when you lie turns vinaceous,
You lack talent for being mendacious.
A career at Fox News?
I’m afraid they’ll refuse,
But try Trump if your body’s curvaceous.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns

In voting for Mr. Eeyah, are you against or are euphoria?
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“You’re arresting us? The Beatles? All of us?” “Yeah, euphoria.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Said Sonny Liston, “Clay ain’t nothin’. I’m gonna urticaceous bad.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Some people work in the office, some from home. Me, I work in my car. I autotelic commute.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When in doubt how to recount an unpleasant experience, you autotelic like it is.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)



Trumposaurus rex
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Trumposaurus rex

Apex predator of the Cretaceous period, Tyrannosaurus rex (aka T-Rex), king of all dinosaurs, for millennia one of the scariest, most massive carnivores on the entire planet, is today a mere anachronism, a footnote in history. Just as one could argue that the institution of the monarchy, and its attendant legitimizer, the divine right of kings, is an arcane notion today. Yet, Trump has “reigned” for the past four years over his fellow Americans as essentially a despotic, unhinged faux-monarch, lambasting the judiciary, toying with Congress, and denigrating media, labeling serious journalists as purveyors of “fake news”, while essentially governing by whimsical executive fiat.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



From: Bob McArthur (rlmcarth colby.edu)
Subject: Thanks

It has been 20 years since we joined A.Word.A.Day. We've moved to different states four times, watched as our daughter went from a toddler to a college senior, retired, owned two boats, and successfully (so far) weathered several medical issues.

All of it with words from you.

Thanks for the organization and creativity that you have lavished on your enterprise. We look forward to 20 more years.

Bob McArthur, Waterville, Maine



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If I can do no more, let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won. -Louisa May Alcott, writer and reformist (29 Nov 1832-1888)

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