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Today's Word



Mar 18, 2024
This week’s theme
Words made with letters that double as musical notes

This week’s words

A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Photo: Kate Ter Haar / Wikimedia

Previous week’s theme
Words entering English in the last 30 years
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with Anu Garg

What can one do with just seven letters? You’d think that would be limiting, but music made with those seven notes A-G can move the world.

OK, sure, composers have more than just seven notes at their disposal. They have sharps and flats. Also, multiple octaves, variations in rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and more.

But the bigger point stands. It’s not the number of notes on your keyboard or the number of letters in your alphabet. It’s what you do with them, how you arrange them, that counts.

If you doubt me, consider the alphabet of life. All life on Earth in its almost infinite variety of species and individual organisms is made up of just four letters: A, C, G, and T (the nucleic acids adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine), which, arranged in an endless number of sequences, make up DNA.

So musicians actually have it easy. In this week’s A.Word.A.Day we’ll play with words built from letters that double as musical notes. Just as these notes have created infinite melodies, we know each musician has a unique story to tell.

Are you a musician, enthusiast or professional? We want to hear your story! Tell us about your website, albums, scores, performances, and more. Share highlights from your musical journey -- the triumphs and the challenges. Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. As always, include your location (city, state).

PS: Among thousands of bands out there, the Swedish band ABBA and the Australian band AC/DC stand out. No, we are not commenting on their musical ability. Both of these band names are spelled using only the musical notes. The same holds true of individual members of the Bee Gees, i.e. each Bee Gee.



noun: A general truth conveyed succinctly and often metaphorically.

From Latin ad- (to) + aio (I say). Earliest documented use: 1530.

“Behind every great fortune is a great crime, according to an adage attributed to Balzac.”
Andrew Marantz; The Gift; The New Yorker; Aug 14, 2023.

See more usage examples of adage in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn. -John Updike, writer (18 Mar 1932-2009)

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