Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


AWADmail Issue 646

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

Sponsor's Message: This is a heads-up for all you game lovers out there, especially this week's Email of the Week winner Curtis L. Brown (see below) -- we're doing some double dealing over here: One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game. is on sale 2 for $25; and ONEUPMANSHIP -- The Machiavellian Board Game -- is 2 for $75, TODAY ONLY. Hurry'up!


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

Bilingual Brains Better Equipped to Process Information
ScienceDaily
WebCite

Time Magazine's Silly Proposal to Ban the Word "Feminist"
The Washington Post


From: Howard Stafford (howard.stafford absa.co.za)
Subject: Tegular

Thank you for this word which prompted me to re-read the wikipedia articles on Penrose tiling and MC Escher and to wonder anew at the genius of these mathematically gifted men.

Howard Stafford, Johannesburg, South Africa


From: Timothy Ebert (tebert ufl.edu)
Subject: Tegular

What a great word. It sent me scurrying to my entomology books. Yea! The tegula is a small plate at the base of the wing in some insects. The relationship between the tegula and a part of the pronotum is a key character separating the bees from other Hymenoptera. What I couldn't figure out was why this plate is the tegula when the entire insect exoskeleton is tegular.

Timothy Ebert, Auburndale, Florida


Email of the Week ONEUPMANSHIP -- It's an already done (double) deal!

From: Curtis L. Brown (curtisb722 aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tegular

Tiling was one of the decorative arts in which the Moors and other Arab tribes excelled, as they were forbidden to portray human figures. (See Symmetry by Marcus du Sautoy, 2008, Harper Collins) There are 17 -- and ONLY seventeen -- different regular patterns in which an area can be tiled with symmetrical polygons without a residue All 17 can be found in the surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors, gates, courtyards, etc.) of the Alhambra.

Curtis L. Brown, Neenah, Wisconsin


From: Evan Hazard (eehazard paulbunyan.net)
Subject: tegular

Tegular (my spell check just said, "What?") could have been nicely illustrated with a close-up photo of an insect's eye. Probably loads of them on the web.

Evan Hazard, Bemidji, Minnesota


From: Eleanor Jackson (elej mindspring.com)
Subject: refection

I have encountered quite a few dining halls in colleges/seminaries that were termed "refectories" and never knew where that term came from. Now I know! Thanks for turning on the light bulb regarding this and many other fairly common word definitions/roots I've wondered about through the years but didn't bother to look up.

Eleanor Jackson, Gainesville, Georgia


From: Dave Gellert (djgellert sherwin.com)
Subject: refection

There is an excellent restaurant in Columbus, Ohio named The Refectory. Now I know the origin of the name. Thanks.

Dave Gellert, Chicago, Illinois


From: Charles Kowalski (c_kowalski yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--refection

I can't see this word without recalling Robert Browning's "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister", in which the narrator criticizes his fellow monk:

When he finishes refection,
Knife and fork he never lays
Cross-wise, to my recollection,
As I do, in Jesu's praise.
I the Trinity illustrate,
Drinking watered orange-pulp,
In three sips the Arian frustrate,
While he drains his at one gulp!

Charles Kowalski, Kanagawa, Japan


From: Bob Missing (landmanbob yahoo.com)
Subject: Refect

As a teenager I suffered through three years in a prep school -- never enough food to satisfy my hunger. Occasionally I was invited to join one of the kinder masters (nicknamed "Pepe La Mocho") in the refectory for a "seminar" at which we received cocoa and snacks, as much as we wished. On those occasions I went to bed happy.

Bob Missing, Rio Rancho, New Mexico


From: Sr. Monica Seelman (bvmnewsdw aol.com)
Subject: refection

When I entered the BVM Congregation in 1958, we had to learn a whole new vocabulary. On our list of new words was the term for the community dining room: a refectory. All three meals were eaten here, not just light meals.

Sr. Monica Seelman, Dubuque, Iowa


From: Wm. Roentgen (roentgen1 juno.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--refection

I tried to train my pet Lepus (Br. Harvey) not to engage in refection, but he remained ensconced in the refectory completely refractory to my admonishments.

Wm. Roentgen, Albany, New York


From: Enita Torres (enitatorres gmail.com)
Subject: refection

Today's word spawned a poem and a chuckle:

While much of Nature deserves emulation
The rabbit's excepted, upon reflection,
for habits of copious copulation...
never mind a tendency to refection.

Enita Torres, Houston, Texas


From: Arlan L Rosenbloom (rosenal peds.ufl.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--wonted

From Middle English woned, wont (accustomed), past participle of wonen (to be used to, to dwell).

Regarding today's word, with a (half) German granddaughter, we could not resist purchasing and hanging over our fireplace in Florida, a carving found at a craft fair in Wisconsin many years ago:

Oma und Opa wohnen hier

It says: "Oma und Opa wohnen hier" ("Grandma and grandpa live here"). The German origin of "wonen" should be noted.

Arlan L Rosenbloom, Gainesville, Florida


From: Eric Shackle (ericshackle bigpond.com)
Subject: Spelling

Do you know you can spell every number from one without using a single B until you reach a billion?

Eric Shackle, Sydney, Australia


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. -Anton Chekhov, short-story writer and dramatist (1860-1904)
Nov 16, 2014
This week's theme
Words that appear to be misspelled

This week's words
tegular
refection
frustraneous
wonted
ambagious

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives
Index

Next week's theme
Words borrowed from German

Caught in spam?
Whitelist us to ensure uninterrupted delivery of A.Word.A.Day.
Here's how to do it
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith