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A.Word.A.Day--obeisance

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

obeisance (o-BAY-sans, o-BEE-) noun

1. A movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.

2. Deference or homage.

[Middle English obeisaunce, from Old French obeissance, from obeissant, present participle of obeir, to obey.]

"I was always glad to be relieved from my duty, and went straight to the bedroom after doing obeisance to my father." M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth, 1927.

Five or seven messages in a week? That was a close poll. We received 4112 votes for five compared to 4049 for seven. This is your list and accordingly, beginning with next week AWAD will go out five days a week.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to voice your opinion. Your love and concern shows--a good number of people sent their votes for five to indicate that we, the people at Wordsmith, should take some time off.

Here are some selections from the comments that came with the ballots. (Ballot, from Italian ballotta, a small ball used to register a vote. So for this poll, maybe I should call these emailots).
-Anu Garg

If you go to five, you'll have to change the name of this valuable mailing to FWAW.
-Scott Murphree-Roberts

I'd vote with the Beatles - eight days a week! Please don't stop AWAD at weekends!
-Barbara Cooper, Rome, Italy

With so many words to learn, we need at least seven days a week.
-Helen Slade

Oh, Like I'd Just Stop BREATHING on Weekends?
More work for you, more fun for me. Seems like a no-brainer to me! Thanks for the great service!
-Hampton G. Miller

In the Middle East, Thursday and Friday are the weekend. Here in New Zealand, our Monday is your (North American) Sunday. The "weekend" therefore stretches from Thursday to Monday. Seen from a global perspective (which is the only reasonable view to take on a language as ubiquitous as English) the issue is therefore meaningless.
-Philip Gould

I like 7. I enjoy the email, and use it to verify that my email is up and running.
-Audrey Calvo

If, like the gallant little tailor, you're up to seven at a blow, so am I! Heartfelt thanks for 'A word a day' and AWADtalk -- the highlights of my day!
-Paulb

Take a break on weekends! Give me time to absorb all the wonderful new words you have sent during the week!
-Maddytg

Take the weekend off. Although I will miss the extra two entries, I'd rather see you conserve your efforts. I would hate to see this wonderful service burn out because of fatigue.
-Jane Dinielli

Have weekends free. I think AWAD is great, but I also think you deserve time off. I hope enough others agree!
-Art Funkhouser, Bern, Switzerland

I say take a break but I really love your programme - even if it does spell the American way, eh?
-Rod Dawson, Canada

I love wordsmith. I feel smarter, look smarter. But I want to be dumb on weekends and find that I don't pay attention as much. Please don't think that we don't love you as much as ever just because we want slightly less of you.
-Janice Heilmann

This week's theme: words from Gandhi's autobiography.

X-Bonus

The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason He makes so many of them. -Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the U.S. (1809-1865)


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