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 715

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

Sponsor’s Message: One Up! is way faster and funner than Scrabble. No board. No complicated rules. 20 or so wicked fun cutthroat minutes. Rinse (off your brain), and repeat. Congrats to Email of the Week winner, Shelley MacMillan (see below), as well as all AWADers: you get a yuge buy-one-get-one-free brain boost bargain, today only. TWOFER ME UP!


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

Little Bird Uses a Linguistic Rule Thought to Be Unique to Humans
The Seattle Times
WebCite

Google Honors Georges Perec with a Doodle
Google.fr
Also see lipogram

The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals
The New York Times
WebCite

How an Eight-Year-Old Boy Invented a New Word
BBC
WebCite


Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- A way better buy than Bananagrams)

From: Shelley MacMillan (shellthebelle gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--chicane

When I was a child, one Christmas all I wanted was Which Lane Chicane. It was a small racetrack with two racecars. The track was an oval that had a narrowing where the two cars switched inside/outside position. Many a racing mishap happened there! I never knew chicane was a word, but I remember that happy Christmas well!

Shelley MacMillan, Madison, Georgia


From: Ina Alvarez (i.alvarezfra yahoo.de)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--chicane

I’m Mexican and live in Germany. In German, the word Schikane is used when someone takes advantage of his/her position to cause unnecessary difficulties for someone else, by stopping or slowing him/her down to accomplish something, also in terms of being malicious and cruel. That is, in some way it mixes the meaning of the English word chicane mentioned in A.Word.A.Day: To trick by narrowing someone’s road to slow him down. For example: when Cinderella wishes to go to the ball to meet the prince, but the stepsisters rip her dress which she has to fix if she wants to go. That is Schikane, Cinderella is being schikaniert (in German: Cinderella wird schikaniert). It’s a kind of mobbing.

And of course, a “chicano/chicana” is a person who was born (and lives) in the USA, whose parents are Mexican. Sometimes also used for Mexicans who live in the USA very long.

Ina Alvarez, Bremen, Germany


From: Sarah Berman (bermansarahj gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--derogate

Disney fans rejoice! I first heard this word in Disney’s 2009 The Princess and the Frog. When Prince Naveen’s bumbling assistant, Lawrence, first meets Dr. Facilier, the voodoo man, he scoffs at the latter’s abilities to perform magic. Dr. Facilier begins his intro song, “Friends on the Other Side” (video, 3.5 min.), with “Don’t you disrespect me, little man. / Don’t you derogate or deride. / You’re in my world now, not your world, / and I’ve got friends on the other side.”

Needless to say when I received this word, the song immediately became stuck in my head. Thanks for the earworm, AWAD!

Sarah Berman, New York, New York


From: J Hansen (jrhindsh gmail.com)
Subject: ludic

Ah, Ludo Bagman, the former great quidditch player, later involved in nefarious betting schemes with the goblins. Now the name makes sense.

J Hansen, New Hartford, Connecticut


From: Elizabeth McIntyre (via website comments)
Subject: ludic

I remember long ago a music teacher saying, “No serious piano student can ignore Hindemith’s Ludus Tonalis.” I don’t know if he understood his own joke or not.

Elizabeth McIntyre


From: Dharam Khalsa (dharamkk2 windstream.net)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

All five words below, plus this heading, are equal to the one anagram:
1. chicane
2. derogate
3. ludic
4. altercate
5. complot
=
1. deceive, cheat; a clog in a road to slow me down
2. disparage, belittle
3. all in fun
4. to argue, quarrel
5. hatch a plot, scheme
The text in the right box is an anagram of the text in the left.

Dharam Khalsa, Espanola, New Mexico


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

Some voters now hope to restrain
Trump’s so far successful campaign.
But there’s yet to appear
the adroit engineer
to finesse an effective chicane.

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

To become a Republican heavyweight
You let civil discourse disintegrate,
Insult your opponents’
Most private components,
Just denigrate, deprecate, derogate.

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

In the steamy back seat of his Buick,
They got nekkid, excited, and ludic.
She said a month later,
“You’ll soon be a pater.
Thanks tons; I’ve just texted your new chick.”

-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (obutterfield shaw.ca)

She said, “I’m so sorry I’m late.”
This led to one big ALTERCATE.
Since, “Punctuality,
Was important,” said he.
This was the end of their blind date.

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

When a rhyme for orange is sought,
It’s much tougher than ever first thought.
When a task is tall,
We should start small,
Rhyming kumquat, loquat, and complot.

-Steve Kirkpatrick, Olympia, Washington (stevekirkp comcast.net)


From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: AWAD of puns

Chicane ‘round the mountain driving six white horses. (video, 2 min.)

Is derogate in this ramshackle fence?

Slang for a UK bathroom is ludic.

Ms. Jenner has changed her mind. They’ll have to altercate.

“Let’s hire a land surveyor to complot our acreage.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Translation is the art of erasing oneself in order to speak in another’s voice. -David Cole, professor, author, and correspondent (b. 1958)

Mar 13, 2016
This week’s theme
Unfamiliar cousins of everyday words

This week’s words
chicane
derogate
ludic
altercate
complot

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives
Index

Next week’s theme
Playing with words

Send a gift that
keeps on giving,
all year long:
A gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share

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

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith