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AWADmail Issue 610

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

Sponsor's Message: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Calling all double-domes, especially this week's Email of the Week winner, Jacquie Scuitto (see below) -- we're offering an unbeatable cabin-fever cure for word lovers: One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game. A real steal at $15; and shipping is absolutely FREE. Quick, snap two up now.

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

Good English Teachers Improve Math Scores for Students

The Most Common Non-English Languages Spoken in the US
The Washington Post

From: John W. Cooper (jcooper stic.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gallivant

Here is a living manifestation of a verb:

"I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; to suffer. I signify all three."
-Ulysses S. Grant (General and President), from a note written a few days before his death

John W. Cooper, San Antonio, Texas

From: M Don Frampton (collepardo btinternet.com)
Subject: Gallivant

This word created a quantum leap into the past. My grandmother spent much of her life in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s below stairs in the kitchens of Longleat House in rural Wiltshire. She must also have kept her ears close to the ground for she had a remarkable vocabulary, no doubt gleaned from her betters above stairs. Gallivanting for her was disapproved, a disapproval, a subject of disdain. To gallivant was indeed to chase about, wasting time in idle pleasures, something no decent respectable person would do.

M Don Frampton, Newton Abbot, UK

From: Jennifer Barber (jbarber8 telus.net)
Subject: gallivant

"Lady Gaga, Kyle Richards, and Carlton Gebbia gallivant around the streets of Amsterdam in thigh-high boots and trench coats just past midnight." How long is a trench coat just past midnight?

While in college many years ago, I had a Iranian friend who came to me for help with an assignment on sentence structure. The professor had thought it witty to include the quotation from Groucho Marx, "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas". My friend was utterly confused as to why this sentence was included and how it was to be arranged. A valuable lesson for all concerned.

Jennifer Barber, Duncan, Canada

Email of the Week (Courtesy One Up! -- Blizzard, Schmizzard.)

From: Jacquie Scuitto (quiltmuse vermontel.net)
Subject: Gallivant

This was one of my husband's favorite words -- and activities. When we lived in Germany we often left our girls with a sitter for a weekend, picked a direction and possible destination (not always reached), and took off to enjoy and discover. He also dedicated Thursday afternoons to take the girls on a 'gallivant'. These included a visit to the castle in Heidelberg or the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz as well as simpler excursions to the Palmengarten in Frankfurt or just playing by the river. Such nice memories are revived by 'gallivant'!

Jacquie Scuitto, Springfield, Vermont

From: Jeffrey Turner (jturner alum.rpi.edu)
Subject: Gallivant

Whenever my mom reached my answering machine, the next time I answered the phone she'd ask me if I'd been out gallivanting. Usually it was nothing so interesting. Thank you for the reminder.

Jeffrey Turner, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

From: Claudine Voelcker (claudine.voelcker googlemail.com)
Subject: distend - détente

I felt called upon to leave a comment both by today's word's associate "detente" and the picture of a frog -- I'm French. I've always considered a "policy of detente" a diplomatic jest. In French, "détente" is also the term for "trigger".

Claudine Voelcker, Munich, Germany

From: Maria Grazia (m.capitani ocme.it)
Subject: manducate

Now I know the origin of "mandibola" and "mascella" (mandible and maxilla; in English: jaws) in Italian! I always make some discovery when I receive your daily mail.

Maria Grazia, Parma, Italy

From: Steven Szalaj (szjsings mac.com)
Subject: Scrutate

Former Chicago mayor Richard M Daley was a veritable font of verbal creativity, particularly when the press corps "got his Irish up", his elocutions often becoming column fodder for days. His dad, Richard J, was also known for this. One of his most memorable happened at a press conference after his brother Bill dropped his gubernatorial bid in 2001. The mayor was asked if he would have faced increased scrutiny had Bill stayed in: "Scrutiny? What else do you want? Do you want to take my shorts? Give me a break. ... Go scrutinize yourself! I get scrootened every day, don't worry, from each and every one of you. It doesn't bother me."

Steven Szalaj, Crystal Lake, Illinois

From: Risa (obsessed betawolf.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--manducate

I'm almost despondent over the definition not including "An alternate word for the slang 'mansplain'."

Risa, Bronx, New York

Winner of a signed copy of the book A Word A Day for the month of Feb for sending gift subscriptions

From: Alisa Mattheus (onewithcat yahoo.com)
Subject: Gift subscriptions of A.Word.A.Day

Those who I have shared A.Word.A.Day with tell me their weekly favorite words. We have small discussions as to why we pick those to be our favorites of the week and also share words we may not like much. Thank you for all the work put into these emails, it's all appreciated.

Alisa Mattheus, Montague, California

From: Irving N. Webster-Berlin (awadreviewsongs gmail.com)
Subject: Song based on this week's words

Here are this week's AWAD Review Songs (words and recordings) for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Irving N. Webster-Berlin, Sacramento, California

Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-92)

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