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AWADmail Issue 25January 18, 2001
A 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)
Last week's contest to identify the common theme among the week's words brought huge response. Reading myriad of answers, I felt I was interpreting a Rorschach test. Here are some selections.
Day One: DEKKO
An Almost-Got-It AWArD goes to Jason R. Black (jrblackATshepherdelec.com) for his entry, "All the vowels appear in alphabetical order within the word, as do all the consonants."
Congratulations to winners, and to all who participated.
It was fun to read how much pain some took just to say that the words had all the letters in alphabetical order. Consider these:
I had written a quick Perl script to cull such words from the dictionary. Here are some interesting tidbits I discovered while preparing the theme:
2000: AWADmail Issue 15
1999: AWADmail Issue 12
From: Bradley Perkins (bradley.perkinsATlegis.state.wi.us)
After listing all the words for a co-worker I realized something they all share: The letters of each word are in alphabetically order. The reason I noticed it is that my mother has a peculiar habit, which she passed on to me, of alphabetizing the letters of words that she reads, as just a "mental fidget" ("aelmnt defgit").
From: Linda Fraley (ljfraleyATthegrid.net)
Horst also means eagle's nest or eyrie in German. I know this because my maiden name is Horstman and that is the etymology of the name. My German dictionary also lists this meaning, although I have seen others that use the definition you have given it. In either case it means a high place. And an anagram of my married surname is "A Flyer." My deceased husband was indeed a pilot (Navy) and was killed in a plane crash. We were both born in Ohio which claims to be the birthplace of aviation.
From: Barbara Jungbauer (barbara.jungbauerATtarget.com)
The first time I heard the word ait was also the occasion of my first excursion into Cambridge, England. My date, myself and three other couples had lunch at a pub called the Fort St. George. The FSG is on a (former) island on the Cam. The island was joined to the mainland centuries ago during one campaign or another when the King's forces poured tons of dirt into the river.
We ran into friends several hours later who asked about our day. My friend Susan replied, "We eight ate on the ait."
From: Charlotte R. Mitchell (rosebudAThorizonview.net)
I am writing in response to "Is there a desirable place name that, when turned upside down and (perhaps) slightly modified, becomes an undesirable place name? There could be a mix of capital and lower-case letters and just about any other nonsense to get this gag across."
Spending many, many hours in church as a child and being necessarily quiet caused many notes to be passed back and forth among the children of the congregation. I remember receiving a note from a friend asking me what the devil's telephone number is. I admitted I had no idea, having never had an occasion to look it up in the local phone book. My friend passed back the note with these four numbers, which at that time was the correct amount of digits in a phone number - 7734. Turn them upside down or stand behind your monitor and look down from the top of it, and you will see that it is also the devil's address. The number 4 needs to be open at the top as most people write it.
From: Robin F. Moore (moorerfATgunet.georgetown.edu)
Oddly, the address where I grew up, where my mother still lives, is such a phenomenon: 351W30, upside down, is "DEMISE." I found it out when a friend had written the address on her hand, and I saw it upside down.
This has got to be bad feng shui, whether it's publicized or not. However, if you're going to include it in a work of literature, please let me know so she can sell the house first!
What word has st in the middle, in the beginning, and the ending?