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AWADmail Issue 549A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
From: Mike Elfant (michael.elfant cdph.ca.gov)
Many years ago, I decided the best way for me to remember this word would be to write a song about it. So I came up with a blues (with lots of innuendo) called "Numismatist". Here is one of the verses:
I wouldn't take no wooden nickels
Mike Elfant, Sacramento, California
From: Sonya Cashdan (SHCashdan aol.com)
As my father was segueing from amateur to professional numismatist a few decades ago, my mother condensed her reactions thus:
My coin collection, laid out for inspection, a thing of great beauty to see,
My wife often lectures on coin collectors; her viewpoint is biased -- you see,
So she keeps insisting, while I keep resisting, and often our temperaments clash,
Sonya Cashdan, Paso Robles, California
What is it about numismatics that causes people to break into rhyme? Is it because coins jingle? Or money talks (and sings)?
From: Duncan MacLaren (duncan maclarens.org)
In the UK, nouveau pauvre has a more nuanced meaning than simply 'newly impoverished'. The nouveau riche are those who have acquired money and aspire to the lifestyle of the aristocracy, but without the knowledge to make 'tasteful' choices. Conversely, then, the nouveau pauvre are the old aristocracy who retain the knowledge to be 'tasteful', but lack the money to live as their forebears. NR means new stone lions at the gates of your owner-occupied council house: NP means old, crumbling stone lions at the Lodge House of your country estate.
Duncan MacLaren, Edinburgh, UK
From: Jeb Raitt (jbrmm266 aol.com)
The infamous plague had two forms: bubonic and pneumonic. The bubonic form caused the ugly pustules called buboes, and could sometimes be treated by lancing them. The pneumonic form, caused by an airborne pathogen, was more aggressive. One could go to bed healthy and wake up the next morning at death's door.
Jeb Raitt, Norfolk, Virginia
From: Gary Muldoon (gmuldoon muldoongetz.com)
I mentioned this week's theme to a friend who speaks Yiddish. He replied, "Nu?"
Gary Muldoon, Fairport, New York
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness. -Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)