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AWADmail Issue 739

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

Sponsor’s Message: What’s “old school” mean to you? A straight-razor shave? Cream whipped up with a whisk? You gotta be impressed by a man who stands up and looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand. A sincere “sorry”. White gloves in church. So, we’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Paul Varotsis (see below), as well as all you traditionistas out there a (last) chance to tell us what you value and love about the world we are losing or have already lost, and win some of our authentic, ludic loot to boot. ENTER The Old’s Cool Contest NOW.

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

Bilinguals Are More Attractive, Say 71% of Americans

Two Stories About Translators and Interpreters We Use During Wars:

He Saved My Life in Afghanistan. So Why Did Australia Want to Send Him to Nauru?

Donald Trump to Iraqi Heroes: Keep Out
The Daily Beast

From: Jane Bloomfield (janeblott hotmail.com)
Subject: estivate

A friend commented on Saturday that they hadn’t seen me for some time. I replied that I had been hibernating, then found myself wondering if there was a “summer” version of hibernate. Sure enough on Monday morning A.Word.A.Day provides the answer for me! Thank you!

Jane Bloomfield, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK

From: Steve Boyd (steve boyds.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--estivate

Perhaps it’s pedantic, but it seems to me that if an antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another, then estivate would not be the antonym of hibernate. We’d need something that meant to NOT lie dormant during winter. Not sure if there is such a word, but the closest that comes to my mind is activate.

Estivate would seem to be similar in meaning to hibernate, but describing a different time of occurrence.

Steve Boyd, Milawa, Australia

From: Jake Sigg (jakesigg earthlink.net) Subject: aestivate

To my annoyance, in botany aestivation refers to the arrangement (vernation) of the parts of a flower inside a bud; prefloration.

Jake Sigg, San Francisco, California

Email of the Week: Milk a dollar out of every dime, before it’s too late - SHOP OLD’S COOL NOW.

From: Paul Varotsis (paul varotsis.plus.com)
Subject: diurnal

Linnaeus named our species Homo diurnus, Man of the day, which may have been more appropriate than Homo sapiens that is now preferred.

Paul Varotsis, London, UK

From: Nils Andersson (Nilsphone aol.com)
Subject: Bifurcation (Re: distributary)

The world’s second largest bifurcation is in northermost Sweden, Tärendö älv (in Swedish, but Google will translate).

Nils Andersson, Anguilla

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

The anagram to the right is composed of every letter in the five words below, plus the heading:
1. estivate
2. diurnal
3. ultimogeniture
4. distributary
5. dissensus
1. hibernate in summer to survive
2. used daily, as newspaper
3. youngest child to inherit estate or title
4. river’s outflow, delta
5. disagreement, fight, high doubts

The text in the right box is an anagram of the text in the left.

Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina

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

Said Dubya, “This summer I’ll estivate,
Chop wood on my ranch, and holes excavate.
It’s time to relax
For Saddam got the axe.
That’ll teach him to misunderestimate.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Come summer I contemplate,
And engage in estivate.
In September I teach,
Till then I’m on the beach,
Close my eyes, and just vegetate.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The invective is vile and infernal;
The polemic, grotesque -- and diurnal.
Remember Al Gore?
He was kind of a bore,
But he sure looks good now! Please return, Al.
-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (oliver49 shaw.ca)

Said the preacher, “Your worship diurnal
Will save you from fire eternal.
Before Armageddon
You ought to be sheddin’
Your wealth -- give my church every kernel!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Brother Esau was first-born and that’s for sure,
and his rights to the Blessing were clear and pure.
But, the ultimate dupe
for a big bowl of soup
lost the first case of ultimogeniture.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Old dad preferred ultimogeniture
When divvying up his vast register.
And so little Sally
Got most of the tally
While we schemed how to pay off our creditors.
-Demi Brown, Sarasota, Florida (editorial pineapplepress.com)

“The last shall be first,” our Saviour hath said*
(A part of His doctrine that’s not too widespread).
But ultimogeniture
Raises the temperature:
Evil big brothers might now want you dead.
[*Matthew 20:16]
-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (oliver49 shaw.ca)

A bold distributary
tried itself to carry
back again
whence it began.
Successful? No, not very!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The Captain was notably wary,
When his ship reached a distributary,
“Quick, do not waver
Grab your lifesaver,
We have no time to tarry.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodth snet.net)

Of course, Donald’s antics incense us --
But Hillary scarcely contents us.
Sure, Trump is a curse;
But some say she’s worse.
Add two spoilers: quadruple dissensus.
-Oliver Butterfield, Kelowna, Canada (oliver49 shaw.ca)

When it comes to our household expenses
My family is fraught with dissensus.
I turn off the lights,
But it only starts fights
For they’ve all taken leave of their senses.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Now we’re havin’ pun

Asked about his Christmas trees, the farmer said, “Due to the drought I estivate some’r gonna die.”

Does Princess Diurnal lot more respect since her tragic death? Seeing that Timothy’s drink was empty, I told the barkeep, “Give ultimogeniture convenience.”

Wielding the Chicago newspaper, the wife said, “I’ll hit you with distributary much longer!”

“Dissensus takers come ‘round every ten years.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Words are not created by academics in universities and suchlike, rather it is the man in the street who does so. Dictionary compilers almost always recognise them too late and embalm them in alphabetical order, in many cases when they have lost their original meaning. -Gabriel García Márquez, novelist and journalist, Nobel laureate (1927-2014)

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