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May 31, 2021
This week’s theme
Gold

This week’s words
Fort Knox
hallmark
midas
golden parachute
pyrite

Fort Knox
Previous week’s theme
High-scoring words in Scrabble
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

We feature words in A.Word.A.Day and readers around the world do things with them. Limericists make limericks, punsters make puns, anagrammers make anagrams, cartoonists make cartoons, and so on.

For this week’s words, something different. Can you come up with a joke for one or more words featured this week? To get you started, I have written one for each word. Share your jokes below or email us at words@wordsmith.org by Friday (include your location). Best entries will receive a brick of gold goldmine of words: a signed copy of any of my books.

And, yes, the theme this week is gold -- each word is related to gold, sometimes obvious, sometimes not.

Fort Knox

PRONUNCIATION:
(fort NAHKS)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An inordinate amount of wealth.
2. A place extraordinarily secure and thus impossible to break into.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Fort Knox, nickname of the United States Bullion Depository, a vault that houses most of the US government’s gold, in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

NOTES:
Consider a kilo of gold. That sounds like a lot of the shiny yellow thing. How about 1000 kilos, about a ton? How about 1000 tons of gold? Now we’re talking. Fort Knox houses about 4,600 tons of gold. 4,603 tons to be precise, but what’s a ton here or there when we’re talking about gold?

That may sound like a lot, but all that gold is still going to buy you only about one-tenth of Apple or Google or Microsoft.

If you have your GPS handy, you can locate the vault at the intersection of Gold Vault Rd. and Bullion Blvd. in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Here’s the map. Don’t even think about it. Goldfinger was fiction and even that didn’t end well. For more productive results I recommend launching an online startup. Whatever your idea, please make it into something less detrimental to humanity than Facebook (permalink).

Guess what happens when the vault in Fort Knox overflows? They turn all that extra metal into crayons for nearby elementary schools.

JOKE:
A man prayed. He prayed and prayed and prayed. God was relaxing on His celestial couch watching the Super Bowl. The man’s whiny voice eventually got to Him. He picked up the remote and pressed pause. All the players froze in midair.

“What the hell do you want?” God asked.
“I want to be surrounded by so much gold, so much gold that I’d look tiny in comparison.”
This was a big ask, but God was eager to get back to the game. The man turned into a worm and found himself crawling among the pallets of gold inside Fort Knox.

He was happy for a few seconds, but then reality set in. He prayed again.
“What is it now?”
“Thank you so much for granting my wish, but get me out of here, please!”
“Man! Do you have any idea where you are? Even I can’t get anything out of Fort Knox. How about I make your football team the winner?”

Note 1: God does not play favorites. He makes the team that has the most prayers win (fair, don’t you think?). How did you think the Steelers won that time?
Note 2: All my jokes this week happen to be related to prayers, but yours don’t have to be.
Note 3: The best entry will actually be decided by God based on how many prayers He receives for it.

USAGE:
“The net result is a Fort Knox of vested-interest cash fighting for fewer and fewer genuinely contestable seats in an increasingly unrepresentative electorate.”
Peter Hartcher; Democracy Is Fragile. Guard It; Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia); Oct 17, 2020.

“Q: Your TV wife, Mandy Moore, recently let it drop that there was a big hot plot twist at the start of Season 4. Can you hint at what we should expect?
A: I think I’m a little more of a Fort Knox than Mandy Moore.”
Kathryn Shattuck; Milo Ventimiglia Finds a Good Guy Lane; The New York Times; Aug 4, 2019.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. -Walt Whitman, poet (31 May 1819-1892)

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