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AWADmail Issue 639A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor's message: Summer is an action verb, and it's not past tense yet. This is a last call-to-action for all you tan double-domes out there, especially this week's Email of the Week winner, Ezra Wegbreit (see below). Purchase One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game -- a real steal at $15 (with FREE shipping), and we'll throw in a jokey lagniappe valued at "priceless" -- since we all know you can't buy brains. Today only.
From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
From: Carol Williamson (williamson sapo.pt)
After reading your description of modular cellphones, my first thought was granddad's axe, which is at least a hundred years old. It's just had another new handle and someone had to replace the head a few years ago, but it's still the same axe.
Carol Williamson, Algarve, Portugal
From: Stephen Phillips (stephen_l_phillips talk21.com)
WHAT? You have not downloaded a dog-walking app?
Stephen Phillips, Wrexham, UK
From: Lawrence N Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
This reminds me of words including xylo-, from the Greek for wood. Back in the late 1960s there was a lighthearted article in the New Yorker about how American place names are Latinized for the official name of RC dioceses. The diocese of Boise is Diocesis Xylopolitanae, using a Latinized form of the Greek for wood city, since Boise comes from the French word for wood.
Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon
PS: The bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend is Episcopus Wayne Castrensis-South Bendensis, a rhyming mouthful.
From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
And I who thought that this adjective rather applied to office workers who tended to hang around the Xerox machine (which, of course, made dry copies) and gossip !... ;-)
M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden
From: Yi-Chuan Ching (yching005 gmail.com)
It's not a digital rectal exam?
Yi-Chuan Ching, Honolulu, Hawaii
From: Jane Brandes (janebrandes gmail.com)
The root -parous meaning 'bearing' is a suffix also used to designate the bearing of a child. By attaching a numeric connotation, doctors have a shorthand way of referring to a woman who is or has given birth to her first child, for example, as a primapara.
I was always amused at the use of the word 'elderly' in the term 'elderly primapara' which was applied to a woman who will or had given birth past the age of 35. The pregnancy of an elderly primapara was considered at somewhat higher risk and warranted closer attention.
Jane Brandes, Larchmont, New York
From: Rich Trapp (g1dfly yahoo.com)
Plutomania: The consistent adoration of the planet we grew up with and a refusal to re-classify it because some eggheads got the decimal place wrong. Fight the power. Pluto forever.
Subject: Combining forms and new words
Each time you do this theme of words made from combining forms, I try to guess what the other four words of the week are. If I had looked up all of the combinations this week, I could have obtained all four words, as none of the other combinations are dictionary words. However, given that these are combining forms, most if not all of the constructed words sound like real words.
I present you with a list of these constructed words and a definition for each. Note: in some instances I slightly modified the combining form to make nouns rather than adjectives.
fissiology the study of cracks/divisions (in rocks, institutions, or society)
Mayhap someone reading this email will see these words and use them in print, and then they will become real words.
Ezra Wegbreit, Attleboro, Massachusetts
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Language is as real, as tangible, in our lives as streets, pipelines, telephone switchboards, microwaves, radioactivity, cloning laboratories, nuclear power stations. -Adrienne Rich, writer (1929-2012)