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AWADmail Issue 197February 18, 2006
A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages
From: Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
Webster: One Man's Attempt to Define 'America':
Words Help Determine What We See:
Danish Pastry or Roses of the Prophet Mohammed:
From: John W. Price (johnwprice38AThotmail.com)
I'm sure I won't be the only one to point out the irony that there is an island in the Leeward Islands of the far eastern Caribbean named St. Eustatius, known as Statia for short. I've sailed in there, and another part of the irony is that their port suffered terrible damage from a hurricane a few years ago and they are about to finish rebuilding it, just in time for the newest cycle of hurricanes. The unprecedented ferocity of these hurricanes is conjectured to be caused by global warming which will cause... eustasy.
From: M.R. James (mr.jamesATrobins.af.mil)
This word reminded me of an excellent story I read in a Hitchcock collection. In _Out of the Deeps_ by John Wyndham, also published as _The Kraken Wakes_, eustasy is at the core of the frightening plot.
From: David Brooks (brooksdrATsympatico.ca)
Very good topic! I thought you might like this *blurb* from today's Globe and Mail:
This month sees the 140th birthday of humorist Gelett Burgess, who invented the word "blurb" and applied "bromide" to boring talk. Many of his coinages, however, didn't catch on, reports the Chicago Tribune, They included: alibosh (a blatant lie), bimped (to be cheated), cowcat ("a person whose main function is to occupy space"), igmoil (a bitter dispute over money), quisty (useful but not beautiful), skyscrimble (to go off topic), sulphite (the antonym to his "bromide"), tashivate ("to reply without attention") and vilp (a bad winner or sore loser).
From: Lane Andress (lyra2112ATmail.com)
Pangaea was not hypothetical. In fact, geochemists have proven that there were two other super continents before Pangaea. And the term WAS coined by Wegener. He noticed that Africa and South America fit together too nicely to be a coincidence and he was the first one to propose the theory of "plate tectonics", everyone thought he was crazy, but he was right.
From: Janet Parker (janet.parkerATmaine.gov)
Here along the beautiful coast of Maine, and in the western mountains of Maine, we have many McMansions where 'people from away' buy up land and old homes (essentially buying out the locals), tear down the home, then build a bigger, usually overly ostentatious home.
They are generally characterized by being very large, fancy (a local one has pink granite crushed rock drive ways to the main house and the 'cottages'), and only used for a week or two per year. When the home-owner employs locals to mow the grass, plow the snow, or check that pipes are not frozen, they are tolerated (if they give money to local fundraisers, they are appreciated), if they fly in on their private plane and act like they are better than the locals, they are silently ridiculed. McMansions are a waste of resources at best and an affront to local dignity at worst.
Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)