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AWADmail Issue 655

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

Sponsor’s message: Are you serious about bridging the “Word Gap”? We are. Which is why this week’s Email of the Week winner, Steve Benko (see below) -- as well as all free (down)loaders near and far -- can now make their own cool, ludic vocab party for a song. Introducing our best-selling One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game as a complimentary pdf. Y’up, absolutely gratis.


From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Listen to A.Word.A.Day on your phone

Now you can listen to A.Word.A.Day on your phone:

   Call toll-free 1-844-A-WORD-A-DAY (296-7323).

It's about 30 seconds. Give it a try and send us your comments or suggestions.


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

Use of Definite Article Shows “Radical Decline” in Last Century
The Guardian
WebCite

Bilingualism Changes Children’s Beliefs
ScienceDaily
WebCite


From: Peter Quartly (peter.quartly jlta.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--apricate

As a Bondi Surf Life Saver, this is a new word to me, but describes how many of us have spent our spare time over the years. I certainly will be using in the future.

Peter Quartly, Sydney, Australia


From: Louis Hobbs (via website comments)
Subject: apricate

My daughter learned the verb “bask” as a four-year-old listening to the Olivia stories. She promptly extrapolated and started calling her beach towel a “basker”, i.e. Something you bask with. Can’t wait to share this word with her, even though I think I will stick with “basker”.

Louis Hobbs, Phoenix, Arizona


From: Gregory Palermo (gregorypalermo aol.com) (via website comments)
Subject: apricate

French has a good verb for basking in the sun: lézarder (literally, to lizard).

Gregory Palermo, Edgartown, Massachusetts


From: Paddy Hernon (paddy tallship.ca)
Subject: Apricate

Everything in the Hebrew language is based on three Otiot Shoresh, three root letters. Any word will have three root letters that, depending on the way they are used, will indicate what is meant within the concept that they relate to.

There are seven verb forms. One form is the Hitpael form. This is used when one does something to oneself, such as dressing oneself.

The Agama Lizard is called a chardon in Hebrew. Note the root letters Ch R D. Can you guess what the slang expression, Ani mitcharden means? Yup, suntanning. That is, “I lizard myself.”

Paddy Hernon, Victoria, Canada


From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Ascesis

God save us from self-styled ideological ascetics -- conquerors, dictators, megalomaniacs: Maximilien de Robespierre, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (aka Lenin); many of them disguised as religious fanatics, e.g. Calvin, Savonarola. Alexander the Great was the arch-ascetic of them all. He set out to unify mankind by conquering the known world. At his “unification marriage” to the Persian princess Roxana, however, he managed to overcome his abstemiousness by getting sloshed to the gills.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada


From: Lou Pierce (loupierce comcast.net)
Subject: Senary

For most of my working career with a family of title insurance companies, I supervised their reinsurance operations. We routinely distributed liability among primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, occasionally adding a quaternary level. When an exceptionally large transaction needed yet another level of liability in order to entice reinsurers to accept unusually high levels of liability, we had to research the matter to determine that the fifth level would be the quinary level. We often wondered what the sixth level would be, but I retired before we had to come up with what I now know would be the senary or sixth level.

Lou Pierce, Geneva, Illinois


From: Monroe Thomas Clewis (mtc265 yahoo.com)
Subject: arenicolous

I remember arenicolous (burrowing in the sand) together with another unusual word struthious (like an ostrich) by image and rhyme: A ridiculous (to rhyme with arenicolous) ostrich strutts or “struths” (like struthious) about before burrowing its head in the sand -- much like climate change deniers.

Monroe Thomas Clewis, Kunming, China


From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--arenicolous

Those global-warming deniers, arenicolous,
Come off as decidedly ridiculous
Like clueless ostriches collectively,
Their heads buried deep in sand

What more hard evidence must empirical science muster
To quell the hard-headed, obfuscating skeptics’ bluster
As we watch scores of endangered species vanish forever
Ancient glacial ice rapidly melting,
Sea levels continuing to rise
Our blue planet’s fragile ozone layer dissolving
As Mother Nature plaintively cries?

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


From: Linda Taddeo (linda.taddeo gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--arenicolous

Probably that photo dog buried in the sand is meant to be amusing, but given that people have died from being playfully buried in the sand, and the dog had no choice in participating in this amusement, the image is callous, cruel, and frightening. That’s very much not the impression I’ve gotten from you, so I guess none of this crossed your mind?

Linda Taddeo, Los Angeles, California

Please take a look at the picture closely: legs sticking out in the front and, maybe, half an inch of sand on the back and on the legs. That’s not really a dog ‘buried’, this is.
While we are on the topic of dogs, here are a few words from A.Word.A.Day archives with doggie connections:
dog’s letter, dog’s age, dog’s chance, dogsbody, dog-and-pony show, doggo, seadog, running dog, bird-dog, hangdog.
-Anu Garg


From: Mike Aparo (Mikeaparo aol.com) (via website comments)
Subject: pregustator

Parents are frequently pregustators for their young children to prove that their food is edible, tasty, and not too hot!

Mike Aparo, Wethersfield, Connecticut


Email of the Week (Courtesy One Up! -- 100,000 words in a can. At least.)

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: This week’s words in limericks

When Edward the 8th abdicated
Wallis Simpson and he were elated
Joined together as one
Their lives became fun
On the island where they apricated

A young bon vivant rich as Croesus
Thought he might try his hand at ascesis
No wine, women, or song
Oh, that girl in a thong...
His discipline soon went to pieces

To many, five wives may seem plenary
Yet some gentlemen still want a senary
Yes, there’s something to say
For a young fiancée
But the outcome is sure to be penury

Two lovers said, “Wouldn’t it tickle us,
To try doing the deed arenicolous?”
At the beach in the sand
They dug, and and and.....
Well, the whole thing looked rather ridiculous.

The job of the king’s pregustator
Was to see if the cook was a traitor
If the fellow turned green
Upon eating a bean
Then that was a good indicator

Steve Benko, New York, New York


From: Joan Perrin (perrinjoan aol.com)
Subject: There’s a word for it

This week’s theme, I do admit,
For me it was a perfect fit.
’Twas fun to create,
Lim’ricks that relate
There really is “a word for it”.

Physicians say that they hate,
When patients do APRICATE,
Exposure to sun,
Bad for everyone,
Abstinence they advocate.

I try to practice ASCESIS,
Whenever my weight increases,
But I lose self control,
If I’m faced with a bowl,
Of my downfall, Reese’s Pieces.

History tells us King Henry,
Was known for his wives SENARY.
Divorced, beheaded, died,
Divorced, beheaded, cried,
Wife Parr, “I outlived him, Yippee!”

Some people I do understand,
Like to put their heads in the sand.
Yes, they find it quite a plus,
To Be ARENICOLOUS,
And live in a fantasyland.

A food taster’s job isn’t sweet,
When he samples food king will eat,
With PREGUSTATOR,
No assassinator,
Can poison so, “Bon appetit(e)!”

Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York


From: Ruth Gorton (ruthgorton myfairpoint.net)
Subject: Palette of words

As a Daily Painter, I loved your connection of vocabulary to a large palette. I volunteer in a nursing home where we paint daily, we now have a word a day as well. It’s encouraging to see how many of our elder population have a strong appreciation of language. Both words and painting help to keep them intellectually stimulated, when otherwise they might be stagnating. Many thanks!

Ruth Gorton, South Portland, Maine


From: Louis S. Lunardini (preacherlu aol.com)
Subject: Too many words?

It is said that a day without wine (or chicken, or baked beans, or whatever!) is like a day without sunshine. No! A day without AWAD is like a day without sunshine!

Louis S. Lunardini, Bluffton, South Carolina


From: Srinivas Chari (srinivaschar gmail.com)
Subject: Back

Hmm... I am back subscribing to A.Word.A.Day after unsubscribing. The joy of enlisting a word or two into my oral/aural armoury got the better of the pain of information overload.

T.K. Srinivas Chari, Chennai, India


From: Pat Naylon (patrick.naylon naylonassociates.com)
Subject: Too much email?

I am a lawyer in Los Angeles. I use words that I learned from your website oftentimes in the many briefs that I write. There is no such thing as “overload”. That excuse is the product of an incurious mind. I look forward to your email each day. In fact, each day I write the word in a notebook and I write a sentence of my own creation so that my mind digests its syntax. Please keep up the good work. You are greatly appreciated.

Patrick Naylon, Sherman Oaks, California


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burrs. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

Jan 18, 2015
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
apricate
ascesis
senary
arenicolous
pregustator

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Index

Next week’s theme
Insults

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