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AWADmail Issue 644 - Extra

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

This is a continuation of the compilation of readers' responses to the rhetorical devices contest. See others at AWADmail 644.


Not just the tale of a whale, Moby Dick is a whale of a tale.
-Christine San Jose, Honesdale, Pennsylvania (csj1501 gmail.com)

Please consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Your doctor will help determine if you are fit to exercise before you exercise to be fit.
-Randa Serag, MD, Irvine, California (rserag gmail.com)

To forget to decide is to decide to forget.
-Susan K. Morris, Phoenix, Arizona (morristutor28 gmail.com)

No matter how many times you beat death, death will beat you in the end.
-Alfred Sefiani, Tehran, Iran (asefiani hotmail.com)

My mother was a chemist and we wrote on her tombstone:
"She did what she liked,
she liked what she did."
-Nicole Polonsky Ostrowsky, Nice, France (nostrowsky icloud.com)

Some of my students of English have trouble distinguishing between "to learn" and "to study". I tell them that it is possible to learn without studying and, alas, to study without learning, especially with music or the television competing for their attention.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

My opponent plays 'kick the can'. I say "Can the kick!"
-Thomas A. Witten, Chicago, Illinois (tten uchicago.edu)

Not to decide is to decide not to.
-DeeDee Varner, San Diego, California (deedeevarner gmail.com)

When the going gets weird; the weird go professional. (Seems to work here in Portland, Oregon) [video, 1 min.]
-Susan Peck, Portland, Oregon (speck peak.org)

To finish first you must first finish.
-Evan Bernstein, Chicago, Illinois (jpamber me.com)

Good from afar, but far from good (stated in reference to someone's appearance).
-Kate Mach, Millersville, Maryland (katepip11 hotmail.com)

Wind in the autumn leaves
Autumn leaves in the wind.
-Jonathan B. Harms, St. Louis, Missouri (harmsjb slu.edu)

Christopher Hitchens turned Socrates's famous words around when he said, "An unlived life is not worth examining."
-Norm Levine, Santa Monica, California (1rxpoet gmail.com)

Once you become addicted, you don't drink alcohol, the alcohol drinks you.
-Deepak Patil, Bangalore, India (deepuddin yahoo.com)

Define style? Style defines.
-Jane Grey, Paris, France (jgrey noos.fr)

A picture perfect day is a day in which you are still in the picture.
-Dr. Jill Butler, Passaic, New Jersey (jibutler verizon.net)

One of the best known practitioners of antimetabole is the character "The Sphinx" from the movie Mystery Men. He supplied us with gems like "To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn" and "He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions", among others.
-Nathan Horwitz, Slingerlands, New York (n_horwitz yahoo.com)

My husband and I own an Alpine and Nordic ski racing shop in Stowe, Vermont. Skiing is expensive, racing even more so, and the waxes that are most hydrophobic, and thus the fastest on snow, can be upwards of $50/oz. People are always looking for ways to save money but still be fast in the course. Our answer: "Going fast isn't cheap, and going cheap isn't fast!"
-Mila Lonetto, Stowe, Vermont (milalonetto gmail.com)

Several years ago the satirical magazine Private Eye lampooned the Australian writer and critic Clive James's fondness for this device by saying he used it so that "this clever effect thus achieves the effect of cleverness."
-Dr. John D. Steele, Kirrawee, Australia (chalybs64 hotmail.com)

Potential lodging facility slogan: Rest assured that we'll assure your rest.
-Rich Hucko, Venetia, Pennsylvania (rhucko verizon.net)

NYT layout team motto: If it's fit to print, we'll print it to fit.
-Evan Bernstein, Chicago, Illinois (jpamber me.com)

He who owns little is little owned.
-Barb Brazes, Durango, Colorado (brahl yahoo.com)

Old age is when it takes you all night long to do what you used to do all night long.
-Dannie Walker, Charleston, West Virginia (huskstang mindspring.com)

For a female of the species Homo sapiens, to be clever is to pretend not to be clever.
-Faith Rubin, Johannesburg, South Africa (f.d.rubin.designer gmail.com)

The USA is considered to be the primary exporter of freedom, justice, and democracy for the world, so I ask, as a USA citizen, "which should we be more concerned with -- policing our military or militarizing our police?"
-Eugenia A. Turner, San Bernardino, California (eturner hss.sbcounty.gov)

Poetry straddles the fence between a wonder of words and words of wonder.
-Carlton Johnson, Winter Park, Florida (ctj.32803 gmail.com)

Training the engineer is as important as engineering the train.
-Elinor Stecker-Orel, Croton-on-Hudson, New York (famouselinor optonline.net)

To ski the mount, you mount the ski.
-Sharon Wenzel, Louisville, Colorado (zingari q.com)

When I was rather young, one day our family returned home from church, where the pastor had dwelt on the injunction: "Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath." I paraphrased that for my father: "Let not thy wrath go down upon thy son."
-Jon von Briesen, New Jersey (pinefly hotmail.com)

Seeing the quotation "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" reminds me of Victor J. Stenger's rejoinder: Absence of evidence WHERE EVIDENCE OUGHT TO BE is likely evidence of absence.
-Robert Payne, Los Angeles, California (dziga68 sbcglobal.net)

Reality television is only television reality.
-J. David Mattox, Manhattan, Kansas (mattox cityofmhk.com)

Better centered in Self than self-centered.
-Dr. Valerie Girard, Santa Barbara, California (drvegirard panharmonic.com)

Great ideas can be ideas that grate.
-Joseph Romanelli, Jerusalem, Israel (romazaid romazaid.info)

To use Apple Pay is to pay Apple. [reference]
-Bernie Lechman, Cumberland, Maryland (bernielechman yahoo.com)

My favourite antimetabole came from my late friend Gail, who liked to say, "I think of you a lot because I think a lot of you."
-Bob Berrigan, Alexandria, Canada (sleetburger bell.net)

My late father who suffered for me (and suffered me) a great deal told me: "If you're going to let people upset you, you're going to be upset a lot."
-Beth Goodrich, Washington, DC (goodrichedit gmail.com)

Just because it's interesting to the public, doesn't mean it's in the public interest.
-Evan Radford, Regina, Canada (evandradford gmail.com)


AWAD: Words of wisdom about the wisdom of words.
-Ilan Solomon, New York, New York (ilanso gmail.com)

He played in a contest then contested the play for the unfair score.
-Anca Gindila, Sibiu, Romania (anca72 yahoo.com)

Chemotherapy implies antimetabolite and antimetabolite implies chemotherapy.
-Michael Feinberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (michael feinberg.net)


The respiratory performance artist held her breath and her audience's attention.
-Tom Riley, Pittstown, New York (groveside aol.com)

Before meeting his parents, she put on fresh lipstick and airs.
-Sydna Armstrong, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (arbouse rcn.com)

Once upon a time when Facebook and I were both younger, I posted a status update announcing that I had just seen the band, The Hold Steady, perform in the middle of the afternoon, a rainstorm, an empty swimming pool, and a crowd of hipsters.
-Adam Ross, Brooklyn, New York (adamross321 gmail.com)

When you buy clothes like that, you debit your bank account and your credibility.
-Phil Kann, Westport, Connecticut (phil philkann.com)

He was engaged in money laundering and to the mob boss's daughter.
-Charles Kowalski, Hadano, Japan (c_kowalski yahoo.com)

While thinking and driving, I ran out of ideas and gasoline.
-Edie Bonferraro, Rochester, New York (edieb mailbug.com)

The mailman delivered her package and her baby.
-Rob Gerstein, Reisterstown, Maryland (robertrx verizon.net)

He changes his mind more often than his socks.
-Jim Waldfogle, Cincinnati, Ohio (jim.waldfogle burke.com)

He won the lottery and the hearts of several women.
-Michael Gatzkiewicz, North Eastham, Massachusetts (gatzcape comcast.net)

A red-light district is the place where love and money are made.
-Nam Truong, Singapore (ptnknamhcm yahoo.com)

She emerged from the hot tub wearing nothing but a hairband and a smile.
-Dr. Jill Butler, Passaic, New Jersey (jibutler verizon.net)

Ned Stark lost the throne ... and his head. (Game of Thrones, Season 1)
This Thanksgiving, count your blessings, your calories, and the hours before your dysfunctional relatives leave!
-Lori Gregor, Upper Freehold, New Jersey (lgregor cpcbhc.org)

He popped the cork and the question.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodth snet.net)

The turncoat pitcher threw the ball and the game.
-Monique Schweitzer, Nesconset, New York (moimonique verizon.net)

He dropped his inhibitions and his underpants.
-Dagny Haug, Portland, Oregon (fiberbabe gmail.com)

She found her child and her happiness.
-Jennifer, Ahmedabad, India (jennifer_june256 yahoo.in)

He saw the microscopic dot and the big picture.
-Debra Godfrey (godfreydebra hotmail.com)

We have a lawnmower that's difficult to restart when the engine's hot. My approach is a quick pace so the lawn can be finished without having to stop to refuel. My wife's method is a little different: "I mow until I give out or the gas does."
-Randy Parrish, Richmond, Virgina (parrish_randy yahoo.com)

One of my favorite bands is I Mother Earth. They pepper their typically vague and obtuse lyrics with zeugmas: "I bite my tongue and swallow pride and blood."
-Marc Beland, Charlottetown, Canada (beland upei.ca)


The prospective chemistry professor judged the quality of the department by counting the number of Paulings on the faculty bookshelves.
-Prof. Preston MacDougall, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (preston.macdougall mtsu.edu)

A farmhand from Schenectady
Had feet as well, 'twas said.
His cattle head and daily bread
Were fine bits of synecdoche.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

As if having the measles and pigtails, and being six weren't enough, I instantly became "four eyes" and gradually began to disappear.
-Candy Prudhomme, Bella Vista, Arkansas (rmembrme cox.net)

If you hire this brilliant mind, he'll make you millions! He has a genius for making money out of money.
-Olga Rotko, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (olga.rotko gmail.com)

One time I was talking to my two kids who were undergrads at the U. of Michigan. We were wondering when you called a person an asshole, if you were using synecdoche (the part for the hole) or metonymy (container for the thing contained).
-Martha O'Kennon, Albion, Michigan (mokennon albion.edu)

Boots on the ground. I always wonder if we're supposed to divide the numbers by two to get the actual count of soldiers!
-Corlan Johnson, Vermont (corlan.d.johnson valley.net)

Welcome to the Olympics, a synecdoche for the best athletes the world has to offer.
-Andres Cortes, Miami, Florida (aecotes001 gmail.com)


Memory, memory, where did I leave my memory?
I grieve it and wonder, but mostly, I grieve it.
Shimmery photo comes, and another -- shimmery.
Believe it -- I have a past -- please, believe it!
-Jerry Lightfoot, Dallas, Texas (jjfoot tx.rr.com)


Protons are positive and stunning.
-Joshua Marx, Brooklyn, New York (marx.joshua gmail.com)

She described to me how painful and brutal her Crossfit exercise routine had become.
-Randa Serag, Irvine, California (rserag gmail.com)

The fresh and baked cookies were delicious.
-Winston, Seattle, Washington (winstons2004 gmail.com)

There's something I love about being home alone at night, the comfortableness of its being peaceful and silent.
-Madalynn Ramirez, Belton, Missouri (madalynnramirez yahoo.com)

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