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Dec 27, 2020
This week’s theme
Words made with combining forms

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Words to describe people

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AWADmail Issue 965

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

Sponsor’s Message: Quarantine got you down? Cooped up blues? Unpleasant relatives? 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, Jerry Macks see below), and hunkered-down brainiacs everywhere. Wise Up! + FREE Smarts Pills = unHappy Holidays!

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

How to Revive a Dead Language

What’s in a Name? Why Do Some Linguists Not Call It African American Vernacular English (AAVE) Anymore?
Language Jones

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Wise Up! + FREE Smarts Pills = unHappy Holidays!

From: Jerry Macks (jmacks verizon.net)
Subject: Combining Forms Funny

The Combining Forms theme reminded me of a happening I observed. In the late 1960s, I was designing a paper form (pre-computer) for hospital staff to use to order diagnostic tests. One of the tests was the EEG for brain waves. I designated it by its full name, but the print layout person decided to split it across two lines with a hyphen. It came out as Electroence-Phalogram. We got a good laugh among our design team as we tried to envision how such an exam would go, with what would be measured and how.

Jerry Macks, Baltimore, Maryland

From: Glenn Petersen (gpetersen15 gmail.com)
Subject: misunderstood word breaks

I’m an anthropologist and I work in the islands of Micronesia. One of the islands there is Bikini, where much testing of nuclear weapons was done in the years after World War Two. The French bathing suit was named for it because it was both little and explosive. But I’ve seen the form monokini, based on just this sort of misunderstanding.

Glenn Petersen, Micronesia

From: Russ Glessner (RGlessner corban.edu)
Subject: Helicopter

I had thought (mistakenly or correctly?) that the word helicopter is derived from helios (sun) and kopto (“to cut” from koptein) and thus sun-cutter. This seems functionally to work.

Russell Glessner, Tacoma, Washington

From: Englebert Humperdink (ledvains yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--misocainea

Also known as conservatism.

Englebert Humperdink

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Today’s thought

The tragedy in the lives of most of us is that we go through life walking down a high-walled lane with people of our own kind, the same economic situation, the same national background and education and religious outlook. And beyond those walls, all humanity lies, unknown and unseen, and untouched by our restricted and impoverished lives. -Florence Luscomb, architect and suffragist (1887-1985)

For anyone wishing to break out of this mold without traveling -- and even while traveling, many people remain within a homogeneous bubble of companions on tours and cruises and staying at luxury tourist hotels -- may I recommend participation in community theater, either on stage or behind the scenes. It attracts and welcomes people of all ages from toddler to elderly, all ethnicities, all religious beliefs, all socioeconomic categories and walks of life, all gender identifications and sexual orientations. I began about five years before retiring from my corporate career with its insular circles, and what a joyous broadening of life it has been!

You may see me as Scrooge in A Quarantine Christmas Carol this past weekend.

Steve Benko, New York, New York

From: Kate Smith (kate_b_smith me.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--polygyny

Polygamy is in contrast with polyamory which is when a person is in multiple *consensual* relationships (one or more of whom might be identified as partners but all parties have knowledge and consent to the arrangement). Polygamy does not have that agency.

Kate Smith, Canada

From: Scott Swanson (harview montana.com)
Subject: Re: polygyny

I remember once when a new client came into the office. After chatting a while, I started writing down her information for wills or whatever we were working on.

“So your name is really Polly?” I asked her.

“Yeah, I can’t believe my mom named me that,” she said. “But it’s okay, I don’t want any crackers!”

And we had a good laugh.

“Okay,” I asked. “Is your husband’s name Andrew?”

“No! Why would you think that?”

“Oh, I just wondered if you are polyandrous”, I said, and then after I explained to her what that meant, we had a really good laugh!

Scott Swanson, Pendroy, Montana

From: Bryan Todd (boyanlj gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--audiophile

My brother is a lifelong audiophile who built his first pair of speakers at age 13. This next month, at age 51, he’ll have his work featured for the first time on the cover of an industry audio magazine.

I once heard him describe one of the entrées at an anniversary dinner with his wife as “the culinary equivalent of a 10-watt tube amp”. The exact meaning of this is, I confess, still shrouded in mystery.

Bryan Todd, Lincoln, Nebraska

From: Dave Horsfall (dave horsfall.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--audiophile

Otherwise known as audiophools at times, when they believe that they can detect differences that no measuring equipment can.

Dave Horsfall, North Gosford, Australia

From: Steve Kirkpatrick (stevekirkp comcast.net)
Subject: deontology

As to duty and deontology, The Slave to Duty is the subtitle of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance. Poor Frederic was mistakenly apprenticed to pirates instead of pilots (nautical). He steadfastly steers that course, even after it is revealed that his apprenticeship runs until his 21st birthday, and with a Feb 29 birthday, that will end when he is 84 years old. In one funny song, he is sure his love, Mabel, will wait, yet her words aren’t as resolute.

Steve Kirkpatrick, Olympia, Washington

From: Vinay Kashyap (kashyap.vinay gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--deontology

So when ontologists are obliged to eliminate jargon from their findings, would that be called deontological deontologizing?

Vinay Kashyap, Cambridge, Massachusetts

A Selection of Readers’ Coinages Based on This Week’s Combining Forms

Misophile: One who is given to either great love or hatred, but never or rarely to likes or dislikes. One might say that President Trump is a misophile, especially with regard to Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping.
-Ted McNamara, Washington, DC (tedmcn22 gmail.com)

Misodeont: Commitment phobe.
-Kara Witt, Portland, Oregon (k-fw live.com)

Misophile: Someone who hates love or someone who loves hate?
-Dr Richard Stallman, Boston, Massachusetts (rms gnu.org)

Audiocolous: The technical term for the beatnik expression of delight in a piece of music, as in “I’m really into that tune, man!”
Caineagyny: The feeling expressed by many women after a day at the spa.
Polydeonogyny: The behavior demonstrated by sailors who have a girl in every port.
-John Schoonover, Sayre, Pennsylvania (schoonoj gmail.com)

Misomiso: People that hate miso soup.
-Vinay Kashyap, Cambridge, Massachusetts (kashyap.vinay gmail.com)

Silvigynology: The study of tree women, goddesses like Daphne, Lauma, or Nang Tani...
-Francesca Preston, Petaluma, California (datesugar gmail.com)

Polymisology: The ability for everyone to feel justified to hate. To study the art of hating. The condition in America today.
-Michele Richards, Sedona, Arizona (michelelamar gmail.com)

Misophile: Someone who loves to hate. As the saying goes, “Haters gonna hate.”
-Kevin T. Pogoda, Esq., Manassas, Virginia (KPogoda oldrepublictitle.com)

Misodeont: Hatred of obligatory duties.
-Srinivasan Chari, Chennai, India (srinivasan.chari gmail.com)

Seventh wife a charm?
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: polygyny & silvicolous

In contemplating our word “polygyny”, my first inclination was to take the Mormon tack, but I opted to enter the arguably more exotic realm of an Ottoman sultanate, where the supreme leader would have a sizable harem of consorts, the choicest of these women often ending up as one of his multiple wives.

Silvicolous Siesta
Perhaps I’ve stretched the definition of our word silvicolous, expanding the notion of a shady sylvan glade to the wilds of the Amazon rainforest. Here, a three-toed sloth is sawing some mid-afternoon Zzzs, getting a wakeup call from a feisty toucan, whilst a bemused red-faced uakari monkey looks on. My Froggy, disguised as a purplish tree frog, tosses in his two cents’ worth.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Anagrams of This Week’s Words
This week’s theme: Words made with combining forms
1. misocainea
2. polygyny
3. audiophile
4. deontology
5. silvicolous
= Yes, so I see:
1. Luddite
2. Devilish Chief Mormon Brigham Young
3. Costly McIntosh
4. Gloomy Kant
5. Waiwai people in woods
     Words made with combining forms:
1. misocainea
2. polygyny
3. audiophile
4. deontology
5. silvicolous
= 1. hate of your opinion
2. bigamy
3. old music lover
4. minding a policy, so ethics may go
5. dwells in woods
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.


Think of where the world would be today
If misocainea were the way
Most people behaved.
So many were saved
By geniuses with new thoughts to weigh.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

All the meals that she eats are the same;
I think misocainea’s to blame.
She is stuck in a rut,
Since she keeps her mind shut --
And her diet of pizza’s a shame.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

You’re a Luddite. That’s how I’d define yuh
‘cause you’re constantly looking behind yuh.
Your beloved “good old days”
were bad so many ways.
I call that typical misocainea.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Not willing to use a new workflow,
The diehard mused, “Since I love status quo,
I’d thwart this ‘change mania’
with my misocainea,
And be stress-free -- shun what I needn’t know.”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“Whatever I deign to assign ya,”
Said the prof. “I have strong misocainea;
Plus, I am a Luddite
So a pen is your bud, right?
No computer for this class -- I’ll fine ya!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

My Uncle Fred was such a Luddite.
Technology gave him a fright.
He had a mania,
For misocainea.
He won’t even turn on a light.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Hammurabi declared, “Misocainea
Has no place here in Mesopotamia.
Let’s have progress! In stone
Carve each law I intone.”
Groaned his scribes, “But my lord, that’s insane o’ ya!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Cries the wife, “I have had an epiphany
since you’ve just revealed, quite unwittingly,
that she’s not your sister.
I’m leaving you, mister!
You’re guilty of sneaky polygyny!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The man’s life was some sort of a trilogy,
Which he played out with such fine agility.
On each one of his dames
He tried “laying” his claims
As he basked in salacious polygyny.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

She’s learned only since he seduced her
The guy’s a polygyny booster!
Again and again
He calls her a hen
And then struts around like rooster.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

On today’s crowded sexual freeway
people travel in search of a three-way,
seeking thrills in polygyny
like the “free aborigine”.
Most prefer the good old “you-and-me way”.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Thought Frodo, midway through the trilogy,
“In these novels, I’m treated abysmally.
When I’m rid of this ring,
I deserve as a fling
Some Galadriel-Arwen polygyny.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“This gramophone’s way out of style!”
declares the young audiophile.
He adds, “I must say
that it still looks okay,
but the sound it produces is vile!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The old man down the street was quite vile,
Plus the fact he was rather senile.
With sadistic delight
He’d blast music all night,
He was such a mean audiophile.
Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

She married an audiophile,
Whose hobby at first made her smile.
But he was obsessed,
And she grew distressed
As discs he amassed in a pile.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Our roommate’s an audiophile.
Hi-fidelity sound makes him smile.
But his search for perfection
might cause his ejection.
The noise level can be a trial.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Her aurally pleasing mobile phone,
Charmed even audiophiles full-blown.
Hearing its hi-fi sound,
they’d advise spellbound,
“Dedicate it to music alone.”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

My husband, the audiophile,
Set our household decor -- screw the style!
It sometimes would seemeth
Each speaker behemoth
Would run our whole lives for a while!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said the priest, “Though an audiophile,
You must music that’s bawdy revile!”
From the pulpit he’d shout,
“Cast the fiend’s hip-hop out!”
But tell boys, “Let’s be naughty awhile.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Deontology’s doing what’s right,
The nobility prized by a knight.
But those not so inclined
Are now likely to find
That a pardon from Donald’s in sight.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In my life of applied deontology,
I let no one misplace an apostrophe.
I’ll say, “’It’s’ means ‘It is!’ “
And hear, “None of your biz!”
But my duty’s to stop their frivolity.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“As you know,” says the wolf, “I’m silvicolous.
But I’m finding it very felicitous
to linger, instead,
in old granny’s bed.
Her sleeping gear, though, is ridiculous!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Silvicolous creatures like deer
Are losing their forests, I fear.
When woods are cut down,
They come into town,
And in my backyard they appear.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Felix Unger was fussy, meticulous.
The thought of existence silvicolous
filled Felix with dread.
“I’d rather be dead.”
he moaned. “This is simply ridiculous.”
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“I don’t care for camping,” she said.
“The thought of it fills me with dread.
Vacations silvicolous,
For me are ridiculous.
I’d rather stay at a Club Med.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Are you urban? Suburban? Silvicolous?
Ho, ho, ho, here I come!” said St. Nicholas.
“There’s no need for dismay,
For I wipe down my sleigh,
Wear a mask, clean the gifts -- I’m meticulous!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Wrote the theater lover to her distant pen pal, “Was that local production of Les Misocainea?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I’ll drink Beefeater, Gordon’s, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, whatever -- I’m polygyny.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I’m getting so much email that I audiophile things away.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

Does love for German cars make you an Audiophile?
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The songs collection of 1960s pop singer DiMucci is called a deontology.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

After years of studying Ms. Warwick’s music, I finally obtained my PhD in deontology.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The hotline operator told Ms. Plath, “Silvicolous again any time you’re feeling depressed.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Don Juan Quixotic
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Don Juan Quixotic and Lame Duck

Don Juan Quixotic and his sycophantic sidekick Rudy Giuliani have come to a crossroads. Don Juan is running out of frivolous lawsuits meant to delegitimize Biden’s election win. Illusory windmills... bogus lawsuits... signs of a very disturbed mind.

Lame (Duck) Donald
Trump is officially a lame duck president, as president-elect Biden’s Jan 20 inauguration day looms large. Here, The Donald has donned the guise of a very familiar Disney icon. Irate Donald Duck is clearly none too happy about it, scolding Trump for the charlatan he really is.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

If we would have new knowledge, we must get us a whole world of new questions. -Susanne Langer, philosopher (20 Dec 1895-1985)

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