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Susan Thorpe writes "In his article 'Denser Yet, And Yet Less Dense' in the August 2004 issue, Rex Gooch confuses the reader by comparing the weights of single words with the weights of phrases. My article 'Lighter and Heavier' in the August 2003 issue contains the [restriction] '... but I do not admit phrases'. In spite of this, Rex says '... for length 25, I found about 130 examples heavier than hers'. Presumably if any of these had been single words Rex would have given them as examples. Surely the designation 3-hydroxy-4-methoxytoluquinone is not a word! Certainly the few single words which Rex lists are improvements, for example the 3-letter ZYZ and YZY, but almost all of his 'words' are phrases and therefore not eligible to be considered for improvements. Perhaps it would have been better to call them lightweight and heavyweight terms, as used by Darryl Francis in 'Heavyweight Terms' in the August 1996 issue."

Jim Puder notes that in the August Colloquy Anil speculated that a word ladder between a state and its capital might be possible. He proposes BOISE-bouse-douse-Druse-drupe-drape-crapecrate-prate-prase-prise-arise -anise-anile-avile-avale-avals-ovals-odals-Idahs-Idahs-IDAHO. Idah is listed as a variant of Ida in various baby-name books, and the other words are all in Webster's Third. Outside of the US, an easy ladder is LIMA-lime-lire-tire-tare-tart-part-pert-PERU.

Hugo Brandt Corstius is astonished by the number of Dutch words in some articles of the August Word Ways. On p 184, SNATERING should have been SNATERIG. Many Dutch adjectives ending in -erig have an anagram ending -iger, but SNATERIG is not one of them. Dan Tilque adds AAIMRT (Amrita MA) and AEGINR (Igerna CA, NY) to "Twin Places and Other Top Anagrams".

Jim Puder writes "In her article 'Vowel Patterns in the OED' in May, Susan Thorpe used ABIOTICALLY as her exemplar for the palindromical vowel pattern aioia. An apt alternative might have been the OED's PALINDROMICAL."

Will Nediger says "One of my musical dictionaries lists both gusla (or gusle) and gusli, both ancient stringed instruments, the former Slavonic an the latter Russian. It says they are unrelated but unfortunately doesn't give origins. If their etymologies are different, they could be added to Anil's list of coincidental selfish-synonymy. This is remarkable because of its specificity."

Should John Kerry become president, Darryl Francis footnotes "Transdeleted and Transadded Presidents" in the February 2004 issue with heronry (Webster's Third) as a transdeletion and Joseph Rudyard Kipling as a transaddition of JOHN KERRY. Shoreberry (Webster's Second) is a transdeletion of JOHN FORBES KERRY.

Don Hauptman says that restaurateurs are accustomed to Mr. Brooks' frequent complaints. As retribution, they sometimes remove his food. But because this is illegal, they fear being arrested for endangering the Mel fare of a whiner.

The August 2001 Word Ways lists 10 Agamemnon words, and the February 2004 issue adds 60 more. A 71st example has surfaced in Berent and Evans' More Weird Words: APAETESIS, the act of angrily putting aside a matter for later discussion.

Anil adds to his August 2004 Colloquy comment on "Alphametically Truthful Equations" by pointing out that there are several half-equations that correctly count the number of letters in the number name: TWO + FIVE = 7, THREE + SEVEN = 10, TWO + FOUR + FIVE = 11, THREE + FIVE + FIVE = 13. There is also the triply equal subtraction ONE + THREE--ZERO = FOUR =4.

Darryl Francis has found one more transaddition for "States and Capitals in Combintion" in the May Word Ways: Columbus Ohio is contained in subdichotomously (4 extra letters). If one adds 2 letters to Salem Oregon one gets General Motors!

Dan Tilque found on the Internet ( a 62-letter pangrammatic window, as part of a capsule review of an underground rap artist named j-live: "... outstandi|ng 'positive' flows over quietly exquisite jazz-based tracks, actually, the m|use is eclectic ...". Had the writer omitted the word actually, this would have been a 54-letter window!

Eric Albert writes "In the article 'Coincidental Self-Synonymy' by Anil, I believe that the word 'forlorn' (and possibly the word 'hope') in the phrase 'forlorn hope' is an example of self-synonymy (see the etymology of this phrase in the dictionary): (1) a body of men selected to perform a perilous service (from Dutch verloren hoop, a lost band or troop), and (2) a vain or faint hope (from Middle English forlesen, to lose utterly)."

Chris Cole has posted at a comprehensive discussion of the famous -gry puzzle: its history, proposed "solutions", and a list of 130-gry words assembled from various Word Ways articles.

Jeff Grant writes "I really enjoyed Jim Puder's 'Some Sentential Palindromic Five-Squares' [in the February issue]. There weren't any in the 'leave Ellen alone, venom enemy' class, but it does give some hope that one may exist. I haven't tried before, so I sat down and had a go. Came up with a few examples, but I rather like this quirky one: 'Asset' Steve sexes evets, Tessa! Evets are newts (Chambers Dict) which are notoriously difficult to sex. While evet-sexing isn't as well-known as toad-sexing or chicken-sexing, an expert would certainly be considered an 'asset'."

A recent comic strip "Kathy" footnotes Ross West's "Unspeakably Absurd" article in the February issue. In it, Kathy is challenged to use the "M" word (marriage) and the "B" word (baby) in the same sentence. Her solution: "Bring me a Macadamia fudge nut Brownie."
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Publication:Word Ways
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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