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Happy Valentine's Day to AWADers All!
Illustration: Alex McCrae
Feb 14, 2021
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
glossophobia
agathokakological
pensum
perlage
sialoquent

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Next week’s theme
To hyphenate or not to hyphenate?

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AWADmail Issue 972

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

Sponsor’s Message: Are you sick and tired of social distancing? Then try some intellectual distancing instead: THE OFFICIAL OLD’S COOL EDUCATION is “The Holy Trinity of wit, knowledge, fun and games”, three pocket-sized handbooks that are chock-a-block full of gee-whiz, Shakespeare, history, how-tos, sports, wit, and recalcitrance. There are also principles (Pareto, Peter), poetry, and trivia: What is Sleeping Beauty’s real name? How many towns are there in America? We’re offering an original call to intellectual adventure, a wild, edifying ride for less than a twenny. Buy Two, Get Three Special while supplies last.



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

If Only English Had a Word for ...
The Economist
Permalink

Style Invitational: Muddled Heads -- Anagram a Headline
The Washington Post
Permalink



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Words coined by readers

So many readers shared so many coinages, by them, friends, and family. Here’s a selection.

I was seven when I asked my mother where those missing socks went. More than once we put two in the dryer and only one remained when the cycle was done. The other just seemed to vanish. “It hasn’t vanished, son,” she said. “It’s just gone into the hozone.” Here we are seventy years later and I’m still getting mileage out of it.
-Richard J. Weiss, Johannesburg, South Africa (richardjweiss gmail.com)

Once, I watched in sheer delight as a friend of mine, leaving my house, jumped into the back seat of a car that had just pulled into my cul-de-sac, to then immediately jump out and run back to the second car that had pulled up behind the first, which was in fact the correct Uber driver! The first car was a neighbor’s friend, and not an Uber driver at all. I call all of these incidents mistaken Ubers, or my word for it, mistuber.
-Spencer Marks, Los Angeles, California (spencermar gmail.com)

The word isn’t new, but the use likely is. Spicy, used to refer to a physical ailment or soreness, particularly when massaging or otherwise “treating” a particularly sore area. Example: If you are getting a neck massage and the masseuse finds a spot that is particularly tender or sore, but you request that the masseuse continue working on that spot to try to alleviate the tension, laugh uncomfortably and say “That’s spicy, but please don’t stop.”
-Mariane Lewis, Alexandria, Virginia (mariane.lewis hotmail.com)

Twuplet - it means a tweet in the form of a rhyming couplet; i.e., a two-line rhyming verse of not more than 140 characters posted on Twitter. Example: I wake up each morning, open my eyes, smile at the world and say, “Thank you Life for the lovely gift of this wonderful brand-new day!”
-KE Priyamvada, New Delhi, India (kepriyamvada niyogibooksindia.com)

In French (France), glossophobie is a recent word, formed on the model of homophobie, meaning not fear, but a detestation of difference. It indicates that a person who speaks with a regional, foreign accent or class-based accent, instead of the standard accent based on northern-Parisian French, will be identified as “other”, not taken quite as seriously, never allowed to forget it, and possibly ridiculed. Our current prime minister, Jean Castex, who was born in the South West, and has impeccable educational and career credentials, has been made fun of for his accent. Most people who want to succeed in public life in France are careful to lose their accent in order to blend in.
-Margaret Crick, Paris, France (crickmarg gmail.com)

I stopped working at the far-flung place because I developed jamophobia!
-Raymond Muzaaya, Kampala, Uganda (muzaaya gmail.com)

My sister has two boys. While the boys got along very well, they each had their own special talents, which caused a little bit of quiet competition. When they were teenagers, the younger one became a vegetarian. So the other one was very proud to announce, whenever the subject of food came up, that he was a meat-a-tarian. He never was fond of vegetables.
-Anita Waldner, Frankfurt, Germany (amwaldner gmx.de)

Factoclasm, not far removed in meaning from ‘fake news’ but meaning the widespread destruction of true facts.
-Griselda Mussett, Faversham, UK (griseldacmussett gmail.com)

In the new normal of mass remote working and requisite conference calls and video conferencing, a useful new descriptor (really a verbified acronym), is toming (or TOMing), which means “talking on mute”. I appreciate everyone keeping their phone muted when not talking, but when their turn comes to speak up, people often forget to go off mute. “Ann, I think you might be toming.”
-David Rothermich, Boise, Idaho (rothermich kr-group.com)

Bungitis interruptus. Describes the rupture of the cord during bungee-jumping. Often fatal!
-Ben Silverman, Playas de Rosarito, Mexico (bajabensilverman gmail.com)

Snurly combines snarky and surly to define teenagers and their unpleasant attitudes and behaviors at times.
-Leigh Duvall Parks, Fairfax Station, Virginia (leigh innovisionmm.com)

Findoutable, an answer to a question is available with research, most likely online searches.
-Bob Cent, Seattle, Washington (cent uw.edu)

Interlegate: To read between the lines.
-Michael Keyton, Aurora, Illinois (fresnarus att.net)

Living in Miami, Florida, as we have done for the past 48 years, frequent high temperatures and elevated humidity have given rise to our shorthand for reporting both together.
And on this Feb 8, the temperature is 77 degrees with 90% humidity right now. The humugity sucks.
-Mike Wagner, Miami, Florida (mike wildcardvideo.com)

Vaccelation is that feeling of elation that one gets after being vaccinated against Covid-19.
-Judah Rosner, Washington, DC (jlr4206 gmail.com)

My great uncle coined the word sprazzy as a combination of special and snazzy. Sprazzy is used to describe fancy dinners, outfits, etc. We even host a series of sprazzy dinners that feature fancy food and elegant outfits. (He was from Cheadle, England, near Manchester.)
-David C. Reynolds, Colorado Springs, Colorado (dreynolds fvs.edu)

Someone I knew long ago told me a story of a group of women who were taken in by fibs and myths, and separated from their assets. Bamboozled and swindled = swinoozled.
-Frances, Toronto, Canada (nordvie look.ca)

Years ago I was struck by a car as I walked across a road from the bus stop on the way to work. I suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for a couple of weeks, spending the next year in rehab. The primary result from the injury was a severe loss of memory. When I woke up one day at rehab, my wife was asking me all these questions about how well I had slept and how I felt, but I simply wanted to go back to sleep. It was so annoying and I told her to stop being such a, a, a flobbersop -- an annoying busybody.
-Patrick Spreng, Garland, Texas (pspreng gmail.com)

When we were on safari in East Africa years ago, searching for hippos, we’d often first spot a rockapotamus, a large rock resembling the animal we sought.
-Linda Jones, Hingham, Massachusetts (finallylbj gmail.com)

Dramastic, a dramatic change with drastic consequences. “When the glacier b
roke up, it was a dramastic event.” -Larry Tatsch, Ringoes, New Jersey (cltatsch aol.com)

Cratogenic: originated or created by rulers, that is, government or the state. From the Greek word, cratos, as in democracy, “rule by the people”. Refers to problems and mistakes created by government policy. (analogous to the word iatrogenic)
-E.S. Savas, Presidential professor emeritus, City University of New York, New York, New York (prisect aol.com)

My young daughter often created new words but I think the best one was aroma-hole, the vent holes in the top of pizza cardboard boxes.
-Judy Lanfranchi, Medina, Ohio (judylanfranchi yahoo.com)

I’m a physician, specializing in dermatopathology. I’ve actually coined two words to describe cells which have gained a precarious purchase in my field. One is pulverocytes- “dust cells”. These are melanocytes (the pigment producing cells of the skin) in which the melanin granules, seen through a microscope, have a dusty rather than coarse granular appearance. The other is anisodendrocytosis- to describe conditions in which the dendrites of melanocytes vary in length and width. Pulverocytes are a clue to melanoma, rather than a simulator called Spitz nevus, and anisodendrocytosis is a clue to melanoma in situ on mucosal surfaces. Both words were first in lectures, then in a book I co-authored, and have now spread (what is the opposite of “virally”? Can I use this opportunity to crowdsource?) to scientific papers written by other physicians.
-Philip LeBoit, San Francisco, California (philip.leboit ucsf.edu)

I’m probably not the only one to come up with this, zoombie. The result of being on too many Zoom meetings.
Love your emails. Been following so long I can’t remember when I started. They were responsible for starting a wonderful friendship with a lovely gentleman in Capetown, South Africa.
-Rhana Bazzini, Sarasota, Florida (rhana3 verizon.net)

Church business: Something not to be disclosed or shared. My father was a Presbyterian minister and when he shared information about anything or anyone from church while he was at home, that was never to be repeated, it was always prefaced with, “Now, this is “church business ...”
-Elizabeth Dimon, Lake Worth, Florida (bethdimon57 gmail.com) Dicto: the dictation software equivalent of a typo.
-Bob Rosenberg, Winchester, Massachusetts (rbrtrsnbrg gmail.com)

Years ago I coined the term “mousographical error” or “mouso” for short, when you cut and paste the wrong thing with your computer mouse.
-Sue Toorans, Santa Clara, California (info suetoorans.com)

Many years ago, CBC Radio ran some word features, including one called “Wanted Words” -- listeners sent in their invented words. Some that have stayed with me: things that have been in your fridge too long - leftevers; one who kills house plants - a Darth Vegan; when your car stops making that funny sound the minute you take it to a mechanic -- immaculate correction. There are more, probably too many to send -- and anyway, they’re not my inventions!
-Jane Mossop, Roberts Creek, Canada (jmossop12 gmail.com)



From: Jerr Boschee (boscheejerr gmail.com)
Subject: glossophobia

I taught graduate school for many years. My students were starting social enterprises and frequently needed to speak in public forums to potential investors and other stakeholders. I commiserated with them about their glossophobia and shared two pieces of wisdom from my friend Chet Burger that helped me become a successful public speaker in more than 20 countries: “The audience members are on your side. They want to be entertained and informed. They don’t WANT you to be a bad speaker. They are NOT the enemy. So be yourself! Let the audience see the real you, let them make that connection.”

Jerr Boschee, Geneva, Illinois



From: Phyllis Charnyllis (charnyllis nyc.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--agathokakological

I’m no Trekkie, but I did watch the original Star Trek series. The word agathokakological immediately brought to mind the episode, The Enemy Within, which first aired in Oct 1966.

Due to a transporter malfunction, Captain Kirk is divided into two selves, a good one and an evil one.

Phyllis Charney, New York, New York



From: Eric F Plumlee (ericfplumlee hotmail.com)
Subject: Thomas Paine’s quotation

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
My country is the world and my religion is to do good. -Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (9 Feb 1737-1809)

Thomas Paine’s quotation pretty much sums it up for me, and it would be nice if everyone would choose to be naturalized in this country and convert to this religion. Understanding of course that “good” can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways, this second part would be more challenging -- but if we all actively became world citizens we would certainly be taking steps in the right direction.

Eric Plumlee, Niederlenz, Switzerland



From: Paul Smethers (paul.smethers nashville.gov)
Subject: pensum

My worst pensum ever, foisted upon me by a fed-up teacher: “As a fifth grader, I will learn to be responsible for myself and my class by not throwing snowballs.” 500 times. The sentence was too long to just go down the page with one word, as we used to do. I put it off so long I ended up having to finish it at the nuns’ convent on a Friday evening, smelling their dinner all the while and pressing pencil to page wearily.

Ever after, I eschewed the procrastination that landed me there.

Paul Smethers, Nashville, Tennessee



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

From: Susan Gawarecki (llamaladysg yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--pensum

My hobby is handspinning, and I once took on a commission to spin the brushings from an owner’s late beloved cats into yarn. This was a pensum in both the original and the modern meanings. The task involved washing, carding, and then spinning 6 oz of a relatively short-staple fiber. And then winding and setting the twist in four huge skeins. I was never so glad to see a job out the door.

Susan Gawarecki, Andersonville, Indiana



From: Barbara Ganter (barbara.nf web.de)
Subject: pensum

This is interesting. In German, pensum is a more neutral word for workload, without the punishment aspect.

Barbara Ganter, Husum, Germany



From: Lars Erup (lerup videotron.ca)
Subject: Pensum

In Danish, the word is also used in a school context, but not to describe a punishment; rather, it means the curriculum for a particular course. Some students may of course equate this with punishment.

Lars Erup, Saint Lazare, Canada



From: Lynn Manheim (lmanheim aol.com)
Subject: Thumbs down on Pasternak

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth. -Boris Pasternak, poet, novelist, Nobel laureate (10 Feb 1890-1960)

This is a very clumsy and speciesist statement. “Beasts” are the embodiment of unarmed truth. They are so far above us that nothing can raise us to their level. I know he’s trying to say that truth wins in the end, but dragging “beasts” into the equation just doesn’t work.

Lynn Manheim, Bayside, New York



From: Alison Huettner (pondalorum aol.com)
Subject: Perlage

Thank you for this morning’s laugh! I am currently assisting with Covid-19 saliva tests at one of the local universities, so all day long I’m giving students the same spiel about the proper way to collect saliva in a tube. “Bubbles and froth don’t count, so if there are bubbles or froth, those need to be ABOVE the 2 cc line.”

Now I want to tell them that perlage needs to be above the 2 cc line! Doesn’t that sound elegant? Alas, efficient communication trumps elegance in this particular context.

Alison Huettner, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



From: Linda Lipscomb (lips3000 aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--perlage

I was just reading a book titled The Science of Leonardo, in which there is a substantial discussion of Leonardo Da Vinci’s fascination with the perlage of water, in particular, and illustrations of his drawings depicting those observations. I would never otherwise have encountered the word had I not received your email! I don’t think that the author, Fritjof Capra, used the word perlage, by the way!

Linda Lipscomb, Kensington, California



From: Tobias Robison (tobyr21 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--perlage

I might use this word, in a new way:

Perlage: a mess of code written in the programming language called Perl.

Toby Robison, Princeton, New Jersey



From: KC Ross (kreativsnail gmail.com)
Subject: Perlage under the ullage

Some time ago, you featured the word ullage, which I really liked, and started using. Now I can add perlage to my vocabulary of interesting beverage words. So, a glass of soda has perlage under the ullage.

KC Ross, Quakertown, Pennsylvania



From: Robert Burns (robertburns oblaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--perlage

Sorry, but this is utter BS. First, it’s at best trade jargon. Second, pearls hardly connote bubbles. Flush it.

Robert Burns, Ocean Beach, California



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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. -Thomas Edison, inventor (11 Feb 1847-1931)

Quite an ironic statement coming from a man who staged public executions of stray dogs, and ultimately of condemned criminals, for purposes of demonstrating the superiority of his form of electricity, direct current, over Nikola Tesla’s version, alternating current. But what’s old is new again, with Republicans pleading for healing, unity, and letting go, after years of bogus investigations of Hillary Clinton for Benghazi and her emails, all leading nowhere.

Steve Benko, New York, New York



From: Glen Glater (glen oldmoose.com)
Subject: Edison

Some may wonder how this quotation meshes with the urban legend of Edison electrocuting an elephant named Topsy to disparage Tesla’s AC current. This video (3 min) suggests that wasn’t the case.

Glen Glater, Natick, Massachusetts



From: Pip Meadway (pipmeadway me.com)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--sialoquent

A few years ago I was at a West End show and the lead male was sialoquent when singing (sialcanto or even sialobcent?). His range was measured in octaves and feet. Best not to get front row seats.

Pip Meadway, Haywards Heath, UK



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

I was once told about an Episcopal priest who had a loose upper plate. When he said, “Let us pray,” he really sprayed.

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon



From: Sheppy John Silverman (via website comments)
Subject: sialoquent

We used to call it fluid speech.

Sheppy John Silverman, Houston, Texas



From: Ramakrishnan K (ramrex hotmail.com)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--sialoquent

We had a sialoquent teacher in our school. The first-row kids used to dread when she would move away from the board/desk and get closer to the benches. Kids always have their own vocabulary collection and in this case had a nickname for her. She was called “Flora Fountain”, a popular fountain and heritage monument in the heart of South Mumbai, Mumbai, India.

Ramakrishnan K, Mumbai, India



From: Janet Walters (janet.walters utoronto.ca)
Subject: Sialoquent

In Apr 2020, before mask wearing became ubiquitous, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested that masks might be useful to protect others, if one were “speaking moistly”. He was immediately grossed out by his own choice of words, obviously unfamiliar with sialoquent. Brock Tyler, made a remix (2 min) of Trudeau’s speech.

Janet Walters, Picton, Canada



From: Phyllis Charnyllis (charnyllis nyc.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sialoquent

The word sialoquent reminds me of something from the early 60s (7th grade). Instead of saying to an awkward 13-year-old “I find your sialoquence most unpleasant, please stop!” kids would say “Say it, don’t spray it!”

Don’t know about the rest of the world, but in my Long Island, New York, junior high school (now called “middle school” but to us oldtimers it was junior high), it was said frequently!

Phyllis Charney, New York, New York



From: Guido Tamburini (gctamburini gmail.com)
Subject: Darwin quotation

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (12 Feb 1809-1882) [Ichneumonidae: The family of parasitic wasps that deposit eggs inside or on top of the larvae of other insects. Once hatched, the ichneumonid larva slowly eats its host alive from inside out.]

Thought you might like this song (6 min). Mr. Erelli is, you guessed it, an evolutionary biologist on the side. (For extra credit, the closed captions on the video are hilariously wrong).

Guido Tamburini, Concord, Massachusetts



From: Venice Kelly (venicekelly555 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sialoquent

I have seen first-hand the damage done by the parasitic ichneumon wasp as well as the parasitic tachnid fly. I study butterflies and moths. When I find a caterpillar, or even an egg, I bring it home to raise indoors. Most often I end up with a butterfly or moth to release back to nature. Sadly, there have been times when the unsuspecting caterpillar had been parasitized by the wasp or the fly. It is not pretty.

However, there are ichneumon wasps that also parasitize the highly destructive larvae of the pine bark beetle. We seem to appreciate that much more.

Venice Kelly, Nederland, Colorado



From: Davide Migliaccio (dcmiglia gmail.com)
Subject: Darwin’s Thought for the Day

Darwin’s eloquent profession is another way of saying what Epicurus posed many centuries before:

Evil exists. Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both willing and able? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?

Davide C. Migliaccio, Colorado Springs, Colorado



From: Michael Feinberg (mfeinberg dca.net)
Subject: Darwin

Mark Twain used the example of infants killed by malaria.

Michael Feinberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



From: Gordon Rogers (grogersrn yahoo.com)
Subject: Interesting use of a word

On the TV show All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on Tuesday, Feb 9, 2021, his guest Rashida Tlaib said (of Trump) “people were hurt, they were harmed, people died because of his incitefulness.” I automatically heard that last word as “insightfulness” because I have never heard the word “incitefulness” before, which as far as I know is a new word made from the root or base word. Of course I quickly realized what in fact she was saying and how she meant the word. I thought you might be interested in this use of the word.

Gordon Rogers, Columbia, Missouri



Proud Boy to Lost Boy
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: perlage & sialoquent

A cohort of Trump supporters who answered his call to insurrection on Capitol Hill on Jan 6 are now feeling a sense of abandonment. So used to being energized by Trump’s tweets, now that he’s been permanently excised from Twitter, they’re experiencing a deep feeling of loss. Here, I’ve imagined a discombobulated Trumpster, a perlage of foam bubbling up from his mouth... my take on just one of the myriad manifestations of Trump Withdrawal Syndrome.

Eloquent Sialoquence
For our word sialoquent, a pre-Covid scenario came to mind. Playing off the phrase spitting image, the subject of the portrait effusively praises the artist, inadvertently showering him with a spritz of saliva. Yuck!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



Pangraphs (include all words of the week)

If, on January 6th, perhaps as a pensum, one had been forced to stand in front of the sialoquent buffoon, receiving a perlage of spittle and wishing desperately he had been born glossophobic, any sentient creature would have been convinced he was not agathokakological, but rather pure evil.
-Ray Wiss, Greater Sudbury, Canada (portray vianet.ca)

The patient was now glossophobic, the sibilant sounds were leaving a sialoquent perlage of mucoproteins dribbling down his chin while the dental student inserting the new denture was dwelling on the pensum bestowed upon him by the clinic director, who assigned him this patient, now explaining to the patient the agathokakological features of his new teeth, “Now you can eat, you just won’t be able to taste.”
-Robert H Sadowsky, DMD, New York, New York (rsadowskydmd gmail.com)



Anagrams
 
This week’s theme: There’s a word for it
1. glossophobia
2. agathokakological
3. pensum
4. perlage
5. sialoquent
= 1. I fear orating
2. OK equals not OK
3. gig
4. mousse, a widget aerates alcohol brew
5. some people talk, spit - shhhh!
= There’s a word for it:
1. glossophobia
2. agathokakological
3. pensum
4. perlage
5. sialoquent
= 1. angst to speak
2. good/ill are equal (logic? ha!)
3. rough task
4. beer foam
5. whoops, I spit on Earl!
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Limericks

I must, with regret, to all confess
To this that causes me much distress:
Each new day brings me news,
Famed politicos spout their views;
Glossophobia is what I wish! YES!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

Says she, “Let me make something clear:
It’s not public speaking I fear,
so no glossophobia.
This, xenophobia,
strikes me when strangers appear!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

As personable as I can be,
Glossophobia does not fit me.
While I’m shy in a way,
I still manage to say
What matters to me ... usually.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Glossophobia handicaps some,
Who, like Moses, would rather stay mum.
This terrible fear
Can hurt one’s career
But with effort can be overcome.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He suffered a lot from stage fright
and he fought it with all of his might,
but mention della Robbia?
No more glossophobia.
He’d discuss that fine sculptor all night.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

When they ask you to speak, glossophobia
May cause you to spill sauce all ovuh ya.
A fundraising dinner
Can thus make you thinner;
No diet’s quite like catatonia.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Her persona, highly paradoxical,
Was considered to be pathological.
One day she was cheery,
The next, cold and dreary,
Thus labeling her agathokakological.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Her agathokakological ex
never failed Mary Cecelia to vex.
If he’d just been all bad
she wouldn’t miss the cad,
remembering some decency in her old Tex.
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

Now changes that are neurological
Cause problems that are psychological.
So with Jekyll and Hyde
Did Stevenson provide
A case agathokakological.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Agathokakological means
Good or evil or something between.
Eight-syllable words
So seldom are heard
Bet it’s giving Steve Benko bad dreams!
-Scott Swanson, Pendroy, Montana (harview montana.com)

“Y’all are agatho-dang-kakological,
But I like all the parts biological,”
Said Bonnie. “So Clyde,
Sure, let’s go for a ride,
For together we two are unstoppable.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Says teacher to student, “You’re done
with the punishment given you, son?”
“I’ve finished my pensum,”
kid answers,” and then some!
You gonna give back my toy gun?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Her student had been truly crass.
“The language you’ve used in my class --
Offensive and then some --
Has earned you a pensum.
In future, don’t call me an ass.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The pharmacist needed to blend some
Concoctions for helping to end some
Condition or other
For the customer’s brother
But it seemed like a bothersome pensum!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“If you asked me to all of my men sum,
I suppose I’ve had hundreds and then some,”
Said Stormy. “It’s fun,
But when he was the one,
Those two minutes were more of a pensum.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Ms. Beverly Sills, you’ll recall,
Was known as Ms. Bubbles to all.
She sang those high Cs
That sparkled with ease,
And perlage filled Carnegie Hall.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

She watches her tub effervesce
with bubbles that rise in excess.
Says she, “It takes courage
to enter this perlage!
Those bath salts create quite a mess!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

They admired the champagne’s perlage
while indulging in light persiflage,
and when there was no more
they exclaimed, “What a bore!”
Then they sighed and they cried, “Quel dommage!”
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The inspector and search team of nine
Looked for clues with some tooth-combs quite fine.
Soon a full glass with perlage
Their hopes did encourage:
“Close by is this pourer of wine.”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Under Donald, ‘twas water with perlage
That to saner times gave me a sure bridge.
When I wanted to scream,
My belov’d SodaStream
Added fizz to a dram of Dutch courage.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


A mentor with sialoquent speech
Was told to “Practice what you preach.”
He’d persuade students better
In pandemic weather
By masking what’s needed to teach.
-Gary Muldoon, Rochester, New York (gmuldoon kamanesq.com)

“Prime minister’s life,” declares he,
“is not what I thought it would be.
Too oft those in parliament
hiss in sialoquent
voices when they disagree!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

An eloquent speaker is he --
Sialoquent, too, one can see.
By all means go hear him,
But do not go near him,
Or sprayed with saliva you’ll be.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Have you ever watched a big elephant
Use its trunk to spray water? It’s relevant
To contrast and compare
When a speaker somewhere
Is ludicrously sialoquent!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

In a rage, incoherent, sialoquent,
“It’s another fine mess!” was what Ollie meant.
But the two were best friends,
And they soon made amends;
He and Stan on vacation to Bali went.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns

The psychiatric patient sarcastically said to the bartender, “As if I already don’t have enough fears, pour me a glossophobia!”
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

Hit by a worldwide glossophobia pandemic, cleaners refused to do windows.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Fascinated by whether the secret to good mystery writing might be found in the gut biome, a group of scientists formed the branch of study called agathokakology.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When asked what writing supplies I bought, I hesitatingly replied, “Some notebooks, pensum ... oh yeah, and pencils.”
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

With some bosses, you can lick their boots and Pensum all you want, but they’ll still throw you under the bus at the first sign of trouble.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com) Never having learned how to Zoom or email, when the pandemic hit I sat down to pensum letters.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

Said one oyster to another, “This irritant is driving me crazy. Would you scratch my perlage?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The resort hotel banned large gatherings in the lobby, perlage requirements.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

Said the Supreme Court justices to Manhattan District Attorney Vance, “Sialoquent as your brief is, we’re just not ready yet to decide about the Trump financial subpoena.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Schism in the Rank
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Schism in the Ranks

The post-Trump Republican Party has reached a watershed moment, having to either cleave to the lunacy and conspiratorial rants of House newbie Marjorie Taylor Greene, a diehard Trumpster, or adhere to the Party’s bedrock tenets espoused by the likes of Rep. Liz Cheney, who had the gumption to vote her conscience in finding Trump guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. I’ve reprised Honest Abe’s wise words in reflecting on the apparent “uncivil war” within the GOP ranks.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If I love you, what business is it of yours? -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher (1749-1832)

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