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AWADmail Issue 470

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

This week's Email of the Week is from Bob Hill (see below), who will get the Uppityshirt of his choice, and there's a heck of a selection.


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

A Rosetta Stone for the Indus script
TED

Don't Kill the Oxford Comma!
Salon
WebCite


From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Jeeves
Def: A personal servant, especially one who is resourceful and reliable.

The word brings one of Jerry Seinfeld's classic lines to mind:
"If your parents name you Jeeves, they've pretty much mapped out your life for you. You don't meet a lot of hitmen named Jeeves. 'I'm sorry, sir, but I am going to whack you."

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada


From: Ken Kirste (kkkirste sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Jeeves

W.C. Fields appeared to be influenced by the name of Wodehouse's character when he created Mahatma Kane Jeeves as his nom de plume as screenwriter for his 1940 movie "The Bank Dick".

Ken Kirste, Sunnyvale, California


From: Anirudh Sreerambhatla (anirudh.s2005 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--jeeves

The word Jeeves could be misconstrued by the patrons of Wordsmith, if they haven't read the Jeeves and Wooster collection of books by PG Wodehouse. The author, through Bertie Wooster, describes Jeeves as a man with resources. In the book Right Ho, Jeeves, Bertie Wooster, to whom Jeeves works as a valet, describes him as the person who is approached by people belonging to the cognoscenti whenever they find themselves in any sort of soup.

One must understand Jeeves as a gentleman's gentleman, and not belittle him as a person who carries out the menial jobs which mostly require elbow grease. And for all those who haven't read PGW's works, Right Ho, Jeeves should be a great starting point. It would then give one a deeper insight into Jeeves's Character.

Anirudh Sreerambhatla, Hyderabad, India


From: Margaret Dark Merrivale (mdark telkomsa.net)
Subject: thrasonical
Def: Bragging or boastful.

My mother -- who lived to be 95 -- was thrasonical when it came to colours elderly gentlewomen ought to wear. She eschewed pink, lavender, grey, and always wore the brightest of reds.

Margaret Dark, Merrivale, South Africa


From: Srinivas Shastri (shastrix gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--barmecidal
Def: Giving only an illusion of something; unreal.

Well, Barmecide certainly had a barmy side :-)

Srinivas Shastri, Bangalore, India


Email of the Week - (Brought to you by One Up! - Are you wicked/smart?)

From: Bob Hill (7714909 gmail.com)
Subject: man Friday
Def: A man who is an efficient and faithful aide to someone.

The only person who got everything done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.

Bob Hill, Redondo Beach, California


From: Jan Brittan (Skamandercat yahoo.com)
Subject: girl Friday

You mean "by contrast", not "by extension" -- "man" and "girl" are pointedly NOT parallel terms, just as "woman" and "boy" would not be. I do realize that sexism has made an aggressive comeback, but let's not take it for granted.

Jan Brittan, Columbus, Ohio


From: Jim Bishop (bishopj emu.edu)
Subject: Keep the good word coming!

I retired from my public information officer role at Eastern Mennonite University on June 30, 2011, after 40 years. One of my favorite things each morning was reading A.Word.A.Day; as a wordsmith, I learned something new about our marvelous and complex language and communication every day and should have taken time much sooner to simply express my appreciation for your labor of love on our behalf.

Jim Bishop, Harrisonburg, Virginia


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
No man, or body of men, can dam the stream of language. -James Russell Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)
Jul 3, 2011
This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
jeeves
thrasonical
barmecidal
man Friday
micawber

Next week's theme
Contranyms, or words with an opposite set of meanings

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