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AWADmail Issue 673

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


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

International Scrabble Dictionary Will Make You Lolz With Its Ridic List of New Words
CNN
WebCite

Is the Writing on the Wall for the Paragraph?
The Guardian
WebCite

Some Sami Languages Disappearing
Alaska Dispatch News
WebCite


Email of the Week (Courtesy Indian Summer -- The Original American Motorcycle Movie.)

From: Peter Armstrong-See (armstrong-see dlgtele.dk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--devolve

Today’s word is another wonderful faux ami, a false friend. In Spanish, devolver means give back, return. As in return a loaned book, or return a glance.

The French term faux ami (plural: faux amis) is commonly used among interpreters to describe such apparently synonymous words, that have quite diverse meanings. They are to be dealt with just as with false friends. Know them, watch out for them, and avoid falling into their traps.

Peter Armstrong-See, Grevinge, Denmark


From: Laura Burns (laurab12 sbcglobal.net)
Subject: A Thought for Today

A Thought for Today
Red roses for young lovers. French beans for longstanding relationships. -Ruskin Bond, author (b. 19 May 1934)

So he wants, perhaps,

An attachment a la Plato for a bashful young potato, or a not-too-French French bean.

as described by W.S. Gilbert in Patience?

Laura Burns, Galveston, Texas


From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
Subject: Re: espouse

Interesting to note that the word “embrace” possesses the same tension between its concrete, physical meaning and its abstract extension as does “espouse”, as seen in the famous exchange between the 4th Earl of Sandwich and Samuel Foote.

M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden


From: M.A. Bechtler (mabechtler hotmail.com)
Subject: another definition--espouse

E-Spouse: the significant other with whom you communicate via email.

M.A. Bechtler, Lexington, South Carolina


From: Peter Gross (plgrossmd gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--acerbate

In medicine we use the word “exacerbate” exactly as your meaning describes. Our extra syllable now seems excessive.

Peter Gross, Falls Church, Virginia


From Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: limericks

Should political discourse devolve
Any further then this would involve
A crusade for the Grail
Galileo in jail
For the Sun ‘round the Earth does revolve.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When a young rascal pays me to edify
His innocent pal, you can bet if I
Show him techniques
That work even for geeks
He will frequently be a hot sweaty guy.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Why must we keep rushing to parlay
our byways all into great highways?
That quaint little lane
that I look for in vain
Would still exist if I had my way!

-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When his wife he did espouse,
He promised some wedding vows,
But his wandering eye,
Caused crockery to fly,
Now he sleeps in barn with the cows.

-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Should your girlfriend ask “What rhymes with ‘acerbate’?”
You can tell her, but please do not demonstrate
If you talk with your hands
It will set off your glands
And your condition will only exacerbate.

-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns on the Words of the Week

“When I buy a new car, son, you’ll get devolve, oh!”

“Would you mind, Edify teach you something?” said Wallis Warfield Simpson.

“It’s parlay my fault that we lost twice as much as last year,” said the business partner.

Often, only espouse is likely to support a hare-brained idea.

While fishing, the woman got angrier acerbate kept getting stolen off the hook.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you cannot understand them. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

May 24, 2015
This week’s theme
Verbs

This week’s words
devolve
edify
parlay
espouse
acerbate

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Next week’s theme
Terms borrowed from French

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