The Ecphorizer

Letters

Issue #07 (March 1982)


To the Editor and to Mr. Ken Uhland:

Who's kidding who? [Referring to Ken Uhland's notes on the Roster at the bottom of the linked page'/> There's no such area code as 008. Nor is there an area code 508. Gotcha!

Jerry D. Moore


Dear Editor:

As far as I know there is one SIG - the Huggers - that requires proctoral screening above and beyond that which is necessary to join the parent body. Is this the cutting edge of a new trend? Is it possible that SEXYG will need to establish a sort of "selective service" system? Would assigning local coordinators the additional position - as it were - of Proctor help solve the nationwide leadership recruitment problem?

Think of it: a month-long entrance exam, paid for by long lines of trembling applicants panting to be included in the inner cylinder, where prestige, power and satisfaction follow the rise to the top. Successful contenders would be awarded a secret symbol: perhaps an inch-long threaded object cunningly wrought of erectile material, worn concealed but ready for flashing -- for identification purposes, of course.

Haw long do you think it would take for a more exclusionary group to emerge from the selectees? Sort of a 699 Society? Egads, but it's lonely on the top!

Joyce Hurwitz (local SEXYG coordinator)


Dear Editor:

In reply to B. Woll's query about words beginning with deceptive letters, such as "pneumonia," let me suggest that he turn for guidance to any Welsh language dictionary.

A linguistic process which the Welsh euphemize as "lenition" causes the initial letters of Welsh words to change with the phases of the noon and even sometimes because of vibrations from passing trucks. It makes looking things up in Welsh dictionaries dodgy, to say the least.

See also P. G. Wodehouse's Leave it to Psmith whose eponymous hero explains the peculiar spelling of his surname with, "The P is silent, as in 'ptarmigan' or 'pshrimp.'"

On another subject, I always thought that Gare de l'eau was awaterfront railway station in Paris. I once wrote a paper on the derivation of "gargoyle" from "Gare de l'oeil," -- so-called to distinguish it from Gare c l'oc, which is situated in the Provence.

An Infomaniac


Dear Editor:

I'm surprised that John Cumming [in his article in Issue 6'/> didn't mention the other volumes of Brewer's reference shelf: The Historic Notebook, The Reader's Handbook, and the Dictionary of Miracles - published as a set (with the Dictionary of Phrase & Fable) in 1895 by J. B. Lippincott. The Dictionary of Miracles for example, makes a good case for the Scone stone and coronation chair really being the pillar Jacob set up after his dream about the heavenly ladder. The first entry under the letter P in The Reader's Handbook contains one of the few English alliterative poems, which begins:

"An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,
Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade..."

I'll bet not many of your readers would think to look for it in that location!

Finally, from the Historic Notebook we are informed that the First Year of Equality began in Sept. 1792. (The address Monsieur was abandoned, and Citizen substituted). I leave it to John to dig cut some more nuggets from these volumes.

Paul W. Healy, Esq.


Dear Editor,

I thoroughly enjoyed your Feb. issue;
(so pleased that I wanted to kiss you).
Stimulating and funny, it's sure worth the money;
I never ever will deliberately miss you.

Ed Mayer


Dear Editor:

JoAnn Malina's February article on "What is Worth Knowing" was delightful, and I welcome the opportunity to free myself from the necessity of further learning. However, she was incorrect on one point, and I feel it my duty to personkind to clear up her misconception that "2+2=4, always has, and always will."

I cite the well-known authority in the field, Gracie Allen. In a recent showing of an old Burns and Allen program, Ms. Allen used that vehicle to clarify this matter. "If you do it this way," she said, moving her hands up and down in a vertical path,

"then 2
  and 2
make four.

But if you do it this way (horizontally), then 2 and 2 makes twenty-two."

This is unarguable. Therefore, I rest my case.

Kay Grant 


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