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AWADmail Issue 559A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor's message: Are you a world-class bon (mot) vivant, like this week's Email of the Week winner Tom Kuffel (see below) is bound to be? Unfortunately, we're extending our cabin-fever crazy sale -- One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game -- since there is more freezing sleet and flurries in the forecast. A bestseller at $15; how about 2 for $25, including free shipping? Long may it reign.
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
How were the five words connected with the number 19? Tom Kuffel wins the Email of the Week prize One Up! for concisely listing the connections, but other readers came up with other links that I had not thought of. Thanks to all for participating.
The link to nineteen in this week's words (Monday's was a given) was
that suffragist was the 19th Amendment
to the US Constitution; bromide involves the nineteenth element (potassium);
tinnient contains all the letters used in the word nineteen; and the word
extraterritoriality has nineteen letters.
It was the 19th amendment to the constitution of the USA that gave the right
to vote to women. It was also in 1919 that this passed in the US Congress.
The word in Latin appears in Jeremiah 19:3 "tinnient aures ejus".
Extraterritoriality: Shih Shun Liu,
who wrote the book titled Extraterritoriality, was born on July 19, 1900.
Bromide: Potassium Bromide has a molar mass of 119.002 g/mol.
Tinnient: Tin's atomic weight is 118.710 -- that's nearly 119.
The melting point of bromine is 19 deg. F.
Tinnient: There are a record 19 bells in the ring of Christ Church Cathedral
The word bromide makes one think of the Gershwin tune, the Babbit and the
Bromide (video), which has 19 letters.
TINNIENT can be written with 19 strokes.
Tinnient has eight letters -- exactly as many as nineteen has.
From: Anthony Vazquez (tonyvazquez mac.com)
For your 19th birthday, I will eat a pi. Happy 3.14!
Anthony Vazquez, Brooklyn, New York
from: John Joshua (Jhjoshuamd aol.com)
19. Age I went to US Army, and drank my first beer. One fifth of my life.
John Joshua, Denver, Colorado
From: Laure Cadier (laurecadier gmail.com)
In France a term widely used is troisième mi-temps which means literally "third half-time", drinking session after a match of rugby or foot-ball.
Laure Cadier, Trensacq, France
From: Bill Emmons (bill emmonsjackson.com)
Ah, but modern golf course design is not only slowing down the game, and scaring off new players, it is also damaging this fine old expression.
More and more really top end clubs include a 19th hole, to settle bets, when contestants finish the normal round tied. I have personally seen one, and have heard of another half-dozen -- including one 14-hole which is a very odd, one family, golf course, where a "round" is the original 13 holes, and the 14/19th was added for the purpose described above.
Plus, a few courses have added an extra hole, which allows one hole to be taken entirely out of rotation for serious refurbishment.
All that said, I expect 19th hole will keep the meaning described, except at the very few venues described above.
Bill Emmons, Houston, Texas
From: Chris Weaver (chrweave gmail.com)
In my youth, I thought suffrage was an archaism for suffering; little did I know of "passion", then. This made me wonder what possessed suffragists to wish suffering upon themselves. Of course, I eventually learned the meaning of the word; women wanting the right to vote made perfect sense to my young mind. When I attained voting age however, I learned the true meaning of suffering from disambiguating the quadrennial US presidential polylemma. I now choose the least of all evils with great "passion".
Chris Weaver, Huntsville, Alabama
From: Jacob Katz (jkatz cssc.com)
I'll never forget an episode of The Man Show where they secretly filmed people signing a petition to end women's suffrage. Not wanting to see their fellow women suffer, many signed. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. What a difference a good vocabulary makes.
Jacob Katz, Troy, Michigan
From: Allison Taylor (m.allison.taylor gmail.com)
I encountered a totally different meaning of this word in a video game. In Japan, a bromide is a celebrity photo. I figured it came from the English term and must have something to do with handing out the same photos so often that they are like a cliche. The word actually comes from the use of bromide paper to print these photos and now applies to any celeb pictures of that type. Similar to an actor's "glossy" in English.
Allison Taylor, Washington, DC
From: Oliver Haffenden (oliver.haffenden rd.bbc.co.uk)
No doubt many readers from the UK will write to mention the reputed anaphrodisiac properties of bromide and its alleged use by the British Army on its own men. One of my favourite lines delivered by the late, great Humphrey Lyttelton on the BBC radio programme "I'm sorry I haven't a clue", not long before his death in 2008 at the age of 86, went something like this: "In the army they used to put bromide in our tea to suppress our sex drive... I'm still wondering when it's supposed to kick in." The delightfully written snopes.com article on the subject explains some of the origins of the myth.
Oliver Haffenden, Wandsworth, UK
From: Vasanth Pai (vasanth.paiomatic gmail.com)
Bromide was used in half-tone block-making. The ad agencies and the printers of laminates use this term frequently. Satyajit Ray's father Sukumar Ray was a pioneer in block making and printing.
Vasanth Pai, Bangalore, India
From: Marc Williams (msw60223 gmail.com)
The root of this word reminded me of a character in one of my favorite musicals A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. One of Lycus's courtesans was named Tintinnabula and her performance was characterized by many bells, cymbals, and other tinkling devices. After her dance Pseudolus comments, "Do you have anything a little quieter?"
Marc Williams, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
From: Nils Andersson (Nilsphone aol.com)
Number 19 has an interesting property. If you divide 1 by 19, you get as a decimal number 0.05263157894736842105263157894737... Note that it repeats after 18 digits.
Rearranging this to take out the 18 digits and not starting with zero you get 526315789473684210. Multiplying this number by any number 1-18 will produce the same sequence, only starting at different point. Numbers 7 and 17 have similar properties.
Nils Andersson, Anguilla
From: Tom Priestly (via Wordsmith Talk discussion forum)
I was visiting England in 1985 when the song "19" (video) became popular. The writer, Paul Hardcastle was comparing his own life at 19 to those of the soldiers featured: "...what struck me was how young the soldiers were: the documentary said their average age was 19. I was out having fun in pubs and clubs when I was 19, not being shoved into jungles and shot at." The title "19" comes from a documentary's claim that the average age of an American combat soldier in the war was 19, as compared to World War II's 26. The source for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, shows a large number of deaths (38%) were ages 19 or 20. The song is known for its "stuttering" refrain: "N-n-n-n-nineteen".
Prof. Emeritus Tom Priestly, Edmonton, Canada
From: Pamela Capraru (pam1988 sympatico.ca)
In the card game of cribbage, a perfect hand earns 29 points -- and 19 (along with 25, 26, and 27) is an impossible score to achieve with any combination of four cards dealt plus the pone, a card turned up from the pack. When laying down and counting a hand with no points, players will often say "19" meaning zero.
Pamela Capraru, Toronto, Canada
From: Jack L. Yohay (jlyohay nava21.ne.jp)
A complete Jewish lunar calendar cycle is 19 years. To adjust the approximately 354-day lunar year to the solar, a 13th month, Adar 2, is added seven times within each 19 years.
Jack L. Yohay, Mie-ken, Japan
From: Geno Centofanti (heygeno columbus.rr.com)
I went to barber school in 1973. We had to learn to do a man's shave (as in old-timey pictures) even though no one was getting them anymore. Our being able to pass state boards depended on doing a proper shave. Everyone hated shaving.
So-- there are 12 STROKES to a professional shave. Hand positions are crucial. There's even a "backhanded" stroke.
We saved the "13th stroke" for last... a joke to the client if he was
mean. (13th being the cutting of his throat : )
Geno Centofanti, Columbus,Ohio
From: Zelda Dvoretzky (zeldahaifa gmail.com)
There also are many bars in downtown areas that call themselves The Office where executives stop for a quick one after work and, if called by anxious spouses can say in all honesty, "Honey, I'm at the office."
Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel
Never underestimate human ingenuity. Near universities you can find bars, called, what else, but The Library.
From: Roland Philipp (roland philipp.co.at)
In the Bahá'í-Faith 19 is a holy number and appears in the teachings in many different connections. For example, the Bahá'í calendar is based on 19 months with 19 days each.
Roland Philipp, Vienna, Austria
From: Jim Phillips (jimphillips icfconsulting.com)
This word instantly brought to mind its unlikely use as a musical theatre lyric. Stephen Sondheim's "Pacific Overtures" features a song by five foreign admirals converging to open up Japan in the mid 1800s. (lyrics, video)
Jim Phillips, San Francisco, California
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Words differently arranged have different meanings, and meanings differently arranged have a different effect. -Blaise Pascal