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Aug 22, 2021
This week’s theme

This week’s words
clever clogs

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Relative usage over time

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Blend words

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AWADmail Issue 999

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

Sponsor’s Message: “A fast-paced alternative to Scrabble.” -Real Simple magazine. One Up! is the unfair, frustrating, and delightfully-cutthroat cure for boredom: No board. No complicated rules. No mercy. Just mind-to-hand combat that’s guaranteed to goluptiously ruin the rest of your summer. A fantastic gift: Buy Two Classics for $30 sale ends at midnight. Challenge yourself!

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

Language in Ukraine: Why Russian vs. Ukrainian Divides So Deeply
The Christian Science Monitor

What Do Children Know about Language, and When?
The Economist

From: Suzanne Sweeney (stsweeney verizon.net)
Subject: Dorothy’s shoes

I live in the village of Chittenango (an Iroquois word meaning “water flowing North”). It is also the birth place of L. Frank Baum who was the author of The Wizard of Oz. Yes, our downtown sidewalks are paved with yellow bricks, and we have until recently been the site of an annual Oz Fest including a parade in which children and adults dressed as the characters from the book/movie.

Suzanne Sweeney, Chittenango, New York

From: Linda Forrester (linforre aol.com)
Subject: Shoes

I’ve been a faithful and enthusiastic reader for a number of years now, and I’ve never known you to say anything that was incorrect, but there it was today. Dorothy wore ruby slippers, not silver ones. Sacred images from childhood stay firm in the mind, and this is one!

But I do love your daily words, have shared them with family and friends, and contributed from time to time. You give your readers an excellent gift. Thank you!

Linda Forrester, New York, New York

Sometimes two people can differ and both can be right. Dorothy wore silver shoes in the book and ruby in the film.
You’d think she would have had at least two pairs and wouldn’t have wanted to appear in the same old pair in a bestselling book and a major motion picture.
-Anu Garg

From: Pam Osborne (posborne430 gmail.com)
Subject: Shoes

For my wedding I wrote and read aloud a short essay about how I chose the pair of shoes that I was wearing that day. It went through each pair in my closet and explained why each would have been a meaningful choice and why each wouldn’t work. I ended up wearing a brand new pair which were new like we were as a couple. I said we would scuff them up together as life would scuff us up as well. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary this summer. Lovely scuff marks!

Pam Osborne, Vancouver, Washington

From: R Kathleen Dillon (rkdillon verizon.net)
Subject: Shoe story

I got a pair of much-longed-for saddle shoes for my 4th birthday in 1947. My mother noticed I was walking oddly and, not wanting to alarm me, took me to the doctor in case it was polio. The doc, very sensibly, asked why I was walking funny and I told him I didn’t want to wrinkle my new shoes.

Kathleen Dillon, Brooklyn, New York

From: Janine Harris-Wheatley (janinehw20 gmail.com)
Subject: brogues

I have tiny feet, my husband not so much. I have been known to stand shod in his brogues just for a laugh.

Janine Harris-Wheatley, Tottenham, Canada

Photo: Lynn Hollway
From: Lynn Hollway (lhollway comcast.net)
Subject: Shoe Obsession

You might consider me shoe-obsessive. My handyperson built this in my closet when I moved to a condo four years ago. It started out very organized, but I keep adding more shoes and the organization is crumbling a bit. I buy shoes when I’m sad, when I’m happy, for occasions, and as travel souvenirs. And these are only summer and all-season shoes -- the winter extravaganza is in a big bin on the floor!

A bit embarrassed, but not much,

Lynn Hollway, Gambrills, Maryland

From: Margaret Breuer (mabreuer0519 gmail.com)
Subject: Shoes

For over 20 years, I organized closets, kitchens, bathrooms, and garages for people. One client had 450 pairs of shoes, so I turned a small room in her large home into a shoe closet. One client had approximately 125 pairs of designer shoes which I calculated to be worth between $500-1,000 per pair. Most of my clients had roughly 50 pairs of very expensive shoes. In my estimation, the majority of my clients did not have an obsession with shoes, they just had excess disposable income and spent it on shoes. Needless to say, these ladies were all well heeled.

Handbags? Now that is a subject for another day.

Margaret Breuer, Sarasota, Florida

From: Terrance J. Kenneally (terry tjkenneally.com)
Subject: Shoes

A dear friend of mine definitely has a fetish for shoes, especially high heels. When she purchased her Nissan Z 350 coupe, she ordered personalized plates which read HI HEELZ.

Terrance J. Kenneally, Grafton, Ohio

From: Cade Silver (gorgolo_chick yahoo.com)
Subject: Women and Shoes

I’ve always been good at throwing off the law of averages.

I am a 58-year-old American woman not addicted to shoes. I currently own one pair of dressy shoes bought for a costume, one pair of woolly boots for cold weather, one pair of nice leather boots, and several identical pairs of all-black sneakers that I toss when I wear through the soles and go to a new pair. I order them online several pairs at a time. All-black sneakers go with practically anything and my boots are dressy enough to cover wearing a skirt, especially as I tend toward steam-punkish when going dressy.

Oh, and two pairs of slippers; a warm leopard pair with backs and a floppy bunny ‘Maxine’ pair because I admire the cartoon character Maxine. I guess I do have a lot of shoes. But the only thing with heels is the boots with about an inch of heel.

Cade Silver, Austin, Texas

From: Darlene R. Ketten (dketten whoi.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--brogue

Your topic this week caused me to count my collection of shoes. It is excessive but not Imelda-level obscene. Partly it is attributable to the diversity of heel heights expected for women according to activity and color of outfit. The pandemic and remote work has underscored how pointless this is and how very practical are flat sandals and our noble feet.

Darlene R. Ketten, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Jim Morgan (JimMorgan hsl.harvard.edu)
Subject: Shoes

I love shoes, and being broken-hearted is a great excuse to buy beautiful shoes, which in turn soothe the soul.

The first shoes I fell in love with were brogues, ideally brown (light brown, not dark), heavy, in pebbled leather, with extravagant wing-tips and thick leather soles. This was in the nineties, when you could still find Florsheim shoes worthy of that name. When I was young, I could only afford such shoes in thrift shops, even if (new) shoe salespeople counseled me not to risk hurting my feet with shoes that other folks had broken in. But like a dog or a horse, a good pair of shoes can adapt to a new human (a new rider?), and so they did. I shop less in thrift stores these days, and when I do I notice that quality shoes are less prevalent than they used to be.

Thanks for the excuse to meander in these thoughts.

Rabbi Jim Morgan, Brookline, Massachusetts

From: Donald Ardell (awr.realwellness gmail.com)
Subject: My obsession with a better shoe design

In 2013, I lost first place in a World Triathlon Championship in London by one second, due to wasting minutes fumbling around trying to get my running shoes on in a muddy transition field. This led to work on the design of a shoe that can be entered without the need for hands, while at the same time doing what needs to be done after the bike leg of a triathlon. The patented design also works for disabled folks and anyone with difficulty getting feet into shoes. You can see how it works here and in this 30-second video of an early prototype.

Don Ardell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Cynthia Jay (cjay589 mac.com)
Subject: Shoes

Scotland, 1936. Ten years old, growing fast, American, traveling with my Nanny on her leave back home. My shoes fell apart. Only ladies’ shoes with heels available in my size. I had to buy from the men’s department, if I remember. Back home, Best’s Department Store had anticipated girls with feet like mine, lots of shoes. Good to feel at home, back home in the USA.

Cynthia Jay, Hintongton, New York

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by One Up! -- A fantastic gift.

From: Robert Foster (rafoster9 gmail.com)
Subject: Shoe story

As Ed Sullivan used to say, “We have a really great shoe for you tonight.” My family was in the shoe business for many generations and the family business folded when all the commerce went overseas. Anyway, when I would visit my Dad, he always checked to see what I was wearing for shoes and would invariably ask me to take one off so he could examine it more closely. Your introduction to this week’s words rekindled that fond memory. Thank you.

Robert Foster, Rowley, Massachusetts

From: Jennifer Chilcoat (jenniferc library.arkansas.gov)
Subject: Going to bed with shoes

When I was a small child, I loved going shopping for new shoes, and I had a special arrangement with my parents. If I could resist the temptation to wear my new shoes out of the store, they would let me sleep with them that night. Not on my feet, mind you, but cuddled like a favorite stuffed animal.

Jennifer Chilcoat, Little Rock, Arkansas

From: Mary Jean Mailloux (mmailloux1 cogeco.ca)
Subject: Two different shoes

Shoes, I had so many favorite pairs. When I lived in France, while taking art classes, and desperate for subject matter, I painted and sketched my shoes and assigned them roles. Later on, when meeting an important client I wanted to impress, I greeted him wearing two different shoes I had stored under my desk, which I hastily slid on when he arrived. I was 8.5 months pregnant and really couldn’t see my feet while standing. Didn’t notice till the meeting was over and I was back in my office.

Mary Jean Mailloux, Oakville, Canada

From: Axel Kairies (axel_kairies urmc.rochester.edu)
Subject: Shoes

Wasn’t it back in the 50s when certain shoe stores had special x-ray machines to confirm the correct fit of your shoes? You stood on a pad and then could see an image of your toes on a screen -- cool for kids to see if the fit was proper for the shoes you were considering. This nifty marketing device was discontinued when it was determined that exposure to these x-rays was not healthy for kids. Back in those innocent days advice from medical experts was more readily heeded!

Axel Kairies, Rochester, New York

From: Mike Zim (mikewzim gmail.com)
Subject: shoe cartoon

The mention of shoe-buying always, always, brings to mind a 1946 The New Yorker cartoon.

Mike Zim, Columbus, Ohio

From: Sally Howard (sallyhoward verizon.net) Subject: brogue

When my brother James was a teenager, the curse of his life was having to wear “brogues” or work shoes and denim work shoes to church among the girls on whom he had crushes. It didn’t seem to help that they all had crushes on him and the brogues didn’t matter.

Sally Howard, New York, New York

From: John Craw (thecrawh gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--brogue

Growing up (US East Coast, 1950s-60s, inner city) brogue was a thick Irish accent; brogans or broguettes were heavy wing-tip shoes vs the lighter dressy wing-tips. Never boots.

John Craw, Glenford, Ohio

From: Scott Chase (scott.chase fghwlaw.com)
Subject: brogue/brogan

During HS and college (early 60s), I sold brogans for Thom McAn and Florsheim. Same shoe as a brogue and, in fact, we shoe dogs used the words interchangeably.

Scott Chase, Oak Cliff, Texas

From: Craig K. Lehman (craig.k.lehman gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--shoestring

Also, food products of a narrower-than-normal width; e.g. shoestring French fries, potato chips, or licorice.

Craig K. Lehman, Fresno, California

From: Judah Rosner (jlr4206 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--shoestring

You might also add: shoestring catch, the baseball term for catching a fly ball by diving head first and catching it just before it bounces.

Judah Rosner, Washington, DC

Bauchle brogues
From: Carol Bobb (carol.lew xtra.co.nz)
Subject: Bauchle brogues

Here’s a photo of bauchle brogues purchased in 1965 at great cost. We were newly married and my husband decided he needed these brogues which were well beyond our budget. As you can see, they have lasted as long as our marriage.

Carol Bobb, Whangarei, New Zealand

From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: Edgar Guest

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. -Edgar Guest, poet (20 Aug 1881-1959)

Edgar A. Guest was a popular poet when I was a kid in the 1950s. His singsongy verse was reminiscent of James Whitcomb Riley’s. Dorothy Parker claimed she didn’t write

I’d rather flunk my Wasserman test,
Than read a poem by Edgar Guest.

but nobody believed her. (The Wasserman test was the common blood test for syphilis way back then.)

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: Pascal Pagnoux (pascal.pagnoux gmail.com)
Subject: Cinderella’s shoes

I remember thinking when I was told as a kid in France that Charles Perrault’s Cinderella went to the royal ball wearing glass slippers (“pantoufles de verre”), WTF?

First, you don’t wear slippers to a ball. Second, glass slippers would make a rattling noise likely to put any dancer off. Would be like dancing with someone in clogs.

I read years later that Balzac, in the XIXth century, had proposed that verre (glass) in Perrault’s tale was a misspelling and that the slippers were really made of vair, a squirrel fur much used for the lining of cloaks and pronounced the same in French. At least this would take away the rattling embarrassment. Not even mentioning that glass shoes would hurt and likely break while dancing - especially the high-heel version Disney later came up with.

Fur slippers and Perrault’s misspelling definitely sounded more plausible.

The trouble with that, as someone pointed out, is that Perrault was a specialist of the French language and an academician at that.

However, nobody’s infallible and it’s possible he was so persuaded that the squirrel fur was spelt the same as the glass that he never bothered to check it out, especially as vair is not a commonly used word, and none of his contemporaries dared to question the spelling of an academician.

Besides, in the XVIIth century in which Perrault lived, orthography was nowhere near as set as it is now and a lot of people probably wouldn’t notice or bother.

Funniest of all, however, is that there was never any debate in France or elsewhere about the word “pantoufle” (slipper) as something a girl would wear to a royal ball.

Pascal Pagnoux, Saint Gaudens, France

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Shoes

“The popular notion about women and shoes may or may not be true, but shoes have helped them majorly, more than once.”

Perhaps, but as with any human invention, they are a two-edged sword which can also cause one’s downfall, as in the Hans Christian Andersen story, and 1948 film, Red Shoes.

Not to mention (though I just did), the paradox that some women prize most and pay the most for shoes in which they cannot walk without pain and risk of injury.

Steve Benko, New York, New York

The Wordy Book
From: Julianne Paschkis (jpaschkis comcast.net)
Subject: The Wordy Book

The Wordy Book is a picture book painted with words as well as images. Any word can be savored for its sound and shape as well as for its meaning. When you hear a word, the meaning usually arrives first; sometimes the meaning obliterates the other qualities of a word. I like to include words in paintings because those other qualities have time to surface.

The words still have meaning, but the meaning can be fluid. The words bump into each other and they bump into the images in the painting. They ask questions as well as giving answers. AWAD readers savor words. Dear Readers - please meander, wander, and take a gander at my just-published The Wordy Book.

Julie Paschkis, author and illustrator, Seattle, Washington

Tongue Twisted
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Brogue and bauchle

Having had a Glaswegian-born grandmother, Emmy Matheson McCrae, I had first-hand exposure to her Scottish brogue, often punctuated by “old country” colloquialisms... one of my favorites, oxters for armpits. At times it was a challenge to understand Granny. Here, at a Scottish neighborhood bar, two old mates shoot the breeze. Seamus may be hearing-challenged, clearly mishearing his friend’s words, though his drinking buddy’s brogue is unlikely the reason for his misunderstanding. Dialogue note: “Aye Seamus, auld Jock is quite an age!” translates as, “Yes Seamus, old Jock is up in years.”.... “ Yer sayin’ auld Jock’s a sage? I’d swear he’s as daft as a heeland coo!”, translates as, “You’re saying old Jock is a sage? I’d swear he’s as daft as a highland cow!”

Gov. DeSantis Finds His True Calling
In contemplating the multiple definitions of bauchle, its meaning of a fool resonated with me. As former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously declared, “It takes a village.” And surely no self-respecting village is complete without its requisite idiot. Recently incorporated Mar-a-Loco may have just found their prime candidate for village idiot in die-hard Trump apologist and public-school-mask-mandate denier, Gov. Ron DeSantis. If my take on the Florida governor’s beaming visage is reminiscent of Mad magazine’s quintessential doofus/mascot Alfred E. Neuman, you are not mistaken. “What, me worry?”

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Shoes
1. brogue
2. revamp
3. clever clogs
4. shoestring
5. bauchle
= 1. speech; work boot
2. (verb) change, revise
3. smart, much ego
4. slight
5. useless heel
     Theme: Shoes
1. brogue
2. revamp
3. clever clogs
4. shoestring
5. bauchle
= 1. her accent
2. revive
3. Mr. Smug Bugger
4. cheap
5. hobo lost soles, heels
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.


By the burr in his brogue ye will ken
He was born and brought up in the glen.
With his flaming red hair,
Clad in kilt -- what’s ‘neath there --
He’s a bonny, braw man among men.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

A soprano once really went rogue;
Though such things nowadays are in vogue.
But my jaws I did clench,
When she sang, not in French,
Bizet’s Carmen, but did it in brogue.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

My man is a well-shod young rogue;
He speaks with a thick mumbled brogue;
I don’t understand him
But do like to hand him
His pair of fine brogues, much in vogue!
-Sondra Landin, New York, New York (sunnytravel att.net)

She admits, “I don’t care what’s in vogue,
whether loafer or sandal or brogue.
Most days, I’m unshod.
Some folks find that odd,
and they call me a barefooted rogue.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A Scottish or Irish brogue to me
Sounds absolutely so heavenly.
My heart starts to flutter
When one deigns to utter
The accented words so charmingly.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

She fell really hard for his brogue,
And so she eloped with the rogue.
This move ill-advised
Left no one surprised,
Since romance is always in vogue.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

It’s considered by some so in vogue
If you speak with a slight Irish brogue.
So poor little Miley,
Fell hard for O’Reilly,
But her mother thought he was a rogue.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“You’re too good for that Rhett Butler rogue,”
Said Gerald one day in his brogue.
“Papa, fiddle-dee-dee!
I’m like Gypsy Rose Lee,”
Answered Scarlett, “I’d pose nude for Vogue.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“No, your mirror is telling the truth.
Say goodbye to the looks of your youth.
Even with a revamp,
Time will only decamp
For a while. You’re too long in the tooth.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

From school to the office to camp,
Our lives we all had to revamp.
For more than a year
We suffered in fear --
Thus Covid-19 left its stamp.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Oh, I could just kill him, that scamp!
He decided that he would revamp
That most basic rule:
Namely, stay put in school
And don’t simply decide to decamp!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Her new rescue dog looked like a tramp.
To the groomer he went to revamp.
She found out indeed,
He was a true breed.
And, now he’s a Westminster champ!
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Though I’m falling in love with you, Tramp,”
Your habits we’ll have to revamp,”
Said Lady. “You stray,
And I can’t live that way;
You must go to obedience camp.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I have found that annoyance persists
Even after the speaker desists.
How it galls that he might,
After all, be quite right --
As this clever clogs always insists.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Wherever that clever clogs goes,
He shows off the stuff that he knows.
Though knowledge is prized,
This fellow’s despised,
Because he’s so smug, I suppose.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“That Hillary Clinton’s a clever clogs,”
Said the voters. “We much prefer demagogues.”
Since that night she’s been quiet,
Inciting no riot,
While Donald the limelight forever hogs.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“You’re in love and you don’t have a lot.
So, you’ll wed on a shoestring.” “Sounds hot!”
“Use the end from a lace
For a ring you’ll replace --
And announce that you’re tying the knot.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Says miser to lady friend, “Hon,
you say being wed could be fun.
But your dowry’s a shoestring,
requiring that you bring
more money, or honey, we’re done!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Our shoestring production, it’s true,
With limited budget makes do.
But nevertheless
We strive to impress --
We’ll put on a great show for you!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

As our shows are produced on a shoestring,
My theater group tends to eschew bling.
When the cupboards are bare,
We don’t stop, but do Hair,
For our troupers can then in the nude sing.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Just a down-at-heel, shabby old guy,
Whom misfortune has left high and dry,
So contemptuous folk
Can look down on the bloke
And think, “Bauchle!” and sneering, pass by.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Like a bauchle she discarded me.
She said she had needs to be free.
But in my own view,
I’m a comf’table shoe.
Yet barefoot, indeed, she did flee.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

My friend is a kindly old soul,
To make people happy -- his goal;
But meeting a bauchle
He’s quick to be vocal
And switch to a much darker role.
-Sondra Landin, New York, New York (sunnytravel att.net)

The old man in worn shoes is a local,
Who’s considered to be the town yokel.
He is such a poor slob
With a menial job,
Who is viewed as a sad wizened bauchle.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

That fellow she’d always ignore,
Because of the clothing he wore.
She thought him a bauchle,
A dumb country yokel;
He’s really a mensch she’d adore!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“In helping you fleece every yokel,”
Said Donald, “I’ll be very vocal.”
Steve Bannon replied,
“I just knew you’d take pride
In my scam to help build your dumb bauchle.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


I brogue the bank in Vegas -- drinks are on me!
-Ray Pasinski, Downers Grove, Illinois (rayomic yahoo.com)

At the football game, the Scotsman shouted, “Go for brogue!”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

To paraphrase the old saying, “If the shoe ain’t brogue, don’t fix it.”
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“I have a code an’ I brogue my toy,” sobbed the sniffling toddler.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Sun’s going down, time to revamp,” said Count Dracula.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When Drano failed to unstop the sink, the clump of hair said to the grease ball, “Aren’t we clever clogs?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

After searching for a private detective, the client was pleased with a certain gum-shoestring of successful cases.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

Said Charo to her agent, “Can shoestring together some TV appearances for me?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Despite attempts to avoid a complete fiasco, the situation turned out to be a real de-bauchle.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“Though surely the greatest composer of the Baroque era, I believe Bauchle be remembered most for fathering 20 children,” said Casanova.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

To his old sweater the Frenchman whispered, “Merci Bauchle.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Global Warning
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Global Warning and The Way of the Dodo

The recently issued UN-sanctioned investigative report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a dire future for our planet if there isn’t a concerted global initiative to markedly reduce fossil fuel consumption and the resultant spewing of carbon dioxide. Starting yesterday! The immediate goal should be to reduce the mean global temperature by 1.5 °C. We’ve reached a tipping point, where if the planet heats up to a mere half a degree more, we may be at the point of no return... all the coral in our oceans would die off and most sea creatures would be imperiled. Catastrophic natural disasters would become commonplace. Mercy!

The Way of the Dodo
As an avid birder, I’m cognizant of how precarious and precious life can be on this planet for all creatures great and small... including humans. Most of these fascinating winged marvels can fly, but there are some that have wings, yet are flightless. One such bird, the dodo, once thrived, but hunters ultimately slaughtered the species into extinction. Here, I’ve brought to light seven bird species who either through human predation, native habitat loss, or global warming, are no more. We humans, as a species, could be heading the way of the dodo, either through nuclear annihilation or by ignoring climate change.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little. -Ray Bradbury, science-fiction writer (22 Aug 1920-2012)

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