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AWADmail Issue 78April 29, 2002
A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages
From: Leonard Abee (leonardaATconninc.com)
Thanks for doing a series of words on writing. This is especially nice for me, since I have just landed my first writing position with my hometown newspaper. I am 59 years old and worked in a furniture factory most of my working years.
I've dreamed of being a journalist since I was in high school, but rearing a family side-tracked me. I've continued writing as a hobby and have several poems and a short story to my credit, but this job is the ultimate.
From: Paul Hoffman (phoffmanATproper.com)
Here's one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons on writers.
From: Edmond Scotch (easmps1ATaol.com)
There is an old saying: In history nothing is true but the names and dates. In fiction everything is true but the names and dates.
From: Michael Poole (michaelATcew.melco.co.jp)
We actually picked up a dictionary printed in 1845 "afore the Americans come", and that is basically the same as in your picture of an orihon, except that it's stitched along one end to form a book, and is printed on exquisitely fine paper. The folded edges probably explain why there's very little dog-earing, despite its obviously having been well used. Somehow, I suspect it's a series of folded sheets rather than one piece, but I'm not going to dismantle it to find out!
From: Andrew Greene (agreeneATpageflexinc.com)
An interesting -- and perhaps surprising -- example of a temporary orihon is the Megillah (scroll) of Esther. When it is read in synagogues on the festival of Purim, it is traditional to unroll the entire scroll and fold it back upon itself as an orihon, then begin reading it, rolling it back up as the reader progresses.
From: Michael Peterson (mipetersonAThesd.k12.ca.us)
Today's word, amphigory, clarified for me the title of a delightfully dark collection of satirical cartoons and poems by Edward Gorey which he somewhat eponymously named "Amphigorey."
From: Steve N. Crawford (sncrawfordATdorseyplus.com)
I have a question about today's word. If a conspectus is a "general survey, synopsis, outline, or digest of something," as you say, then what is a prospectus?
In the investing world, if you contact someone for information about a stock, bond, or mutual fund, they send you a prospectus about the fund. This is a statement of the fund's history, philosophy, and past performance (which sounds like a conspectus).
Are the two synonyms? My first thought was that they would not be, given the "pro" and "con" prefixes. Kinda reminds me of that joke: if pro is the opposite of con, then progress is the opposite of congress.
From: Ben Eloy (beloyATartifex.org)
Your daily words, and, more importantly, your meaningful quotes have been very important to me over the last few years. I frequently use one of Josť Ortega y Gasset's quotes as a signature:
"I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself."
Which, appropriately, explains why I was glad to contribute to your fundraising campaign.
From: Priya Bajpai (priyabajpaiATrediffmail.com)
What is a two-humped camel called? Haven't been able to locate an answer hence thought of posting it at Wordsmith.
From: Eric Shackle (eshackleATozemail.com.au)
My e-book began life as a parvum opus (small work) but with new stories added every month, it's gradually approaching magnum size. Don't miss Granma Welcomes Jimmy Carter.
I met, not long ago, a young man who aspired to become a novelist. Knowing that I was in the profession, he asked me to tell him how he should set to work to realize his ambition. I did my best to explain. 'The first thing,' I said, 'is to buy quite a lot of paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen. After that you merely have to write.' -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)