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Take Our Word For It Issue 184  Melanie Crowley
 May 20, 2003 23:01 PDT 

Take Our Word For It Issue 184

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TOWFI's back again.

**This Week's Issue**

NOTE: The links in this newsletter are good for May 20-June 3 only
(unless the next issue is delayed).

In Spotlight, we present "Opera and Manure, the Facts at Last"

In Words to the Wise, we bring you the following words/phrases:





ticked off


In Curmudgeons' Corner Curmudgeon Barb Dwyer verifies a few things

In Sez You... we hear about Sprint, jacuzzis, another separate mnemonic,
Cockney rhyming slang, rhoticism, veal years, etymology of paraguas,
stock performance, smirk's etymology, and another new word.

In Laughing Stock read one gentleman's creation story:

**Newsletter Only Etymology**

Did you know that "epitaph" is etymologically "over or upon the tomb"?
Yes, it is formed from Greek epi- "over, upon" and taphos "tomb". It
came to English from the Latin form, "epitaphium", and the Old French
form, "epitaphe".

Greek "epi-" gave us other words, like "epidemic", formed from epi- and
demos "people", so that an epidemic is a disease that is upon the
people. Epilepsy can be broken into epi- "upon" and lambanein "take hold
of", so that epilepsy is etymologically "the seizing upon" or "seizure",
seizures being the most obvious symptom of the ailment.

Epitaph entered English in the 14th century, epidemic in the 17th
century (just in time for the plague!) and epilepsy in the 16th century.

**Laughing Stock**

Please send us funny clippings or photos (text is fine, too) for use in
Laughing Stock and if we use yours, you'll get an Amazon.com gift
certificate for $10! Mike found this week's Laughing Stock so we'll put
his $10 prize back into the pot. (We're catching up on getting winners'
gift certificates e-mailed to them, by the way.)


As we are running out of prize funds (well, ALL funds!), a kind reader
has donated 6 wonderful rewards that we will give away to the highest
donors in a fundraising contest that will start in June. So get those
credit cards ready! (We also accept checks; we'll give complete
instructions regarding the "funraising" contest before it starts.) Thank
you to those who have donated recently. We've updated the donors list
(http://www.takeourword.com/help.html), and we will grandfather you into
the contest if your donation met the criteria (upon which we will
expound soon).

**Curmudgeons' Corner**

Don't stop being curmudgeonly! Send in your complaints!

**Next Issue**

We'll be back next week with a NOE, and back the following week with a
new issue of TOWFI.

Until next time,
Take Our Word For It!
Melanie and Mike

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