2007/12/27

Anonymous Embarrassment

To the uninitiated, A.Word.A.Day is a newsletter issued by wordsmith.org. Every week Anu Garg, the man behind the programme, handpicks five (usually unfamiliar and queer) words with a common theme and talks about their roots, usage and the like. On Sundays he mails 'A Compendium of Feedback on the Words...' revealing what a few subscribers had had to add to/feel about the past week's acquisitions.
For instance, when the word 'jerk' featured one week, nothing stood to stop V Balki from pointing its mechanical definition out.
Garg occasionally decides to have fun, and does not announce the aforesaid theme, leaving it to his readers to crack. The winners are promised prizes. Last week ran one such puzzly quintet.
These were the words:
1, anthropomorphize
2, kafkaesque
3, excursive
4, dysphagia
5, jabberwocky

Divulging the answer is necessary for me to continue. You are free to stop reading for a while if you'd like to work it out by yourself.

One may note the absence of a particular letter in the set... Thus the key to the riddle, as released in the 'Compendium of...' is Noel (notice the date on which the past Sunday fell).
The winner was a Viriginian woman who'd solved it even before the last two words were dispatched.
Well.
A certain Priyadarshini - ahem - sent an entry, believing it to be right, and hoping, as it were, to see her name in the list of correct guessers. Her answer was published in the Sunday compendium thus:

The five words of this week use up all letters of the alphabet. However, you've missed including 'L' and 'N'. But cheer up -- we all make mistakes.
-Name removed to protect the mistaken.

3 Obiter dicta:

Anonymous (Fl)ea sized brain... couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

after reading the first two words i was thinking about this book Kafka wrote "Metamorphosis"...that book was mostly jabberwocky (that is a very narrowminded view of the book i must add)....and anyone with a keen imaginary sense, and also easily "disgustable" would have had dysphagia after reading it..
anyways...noel...hum ko samajh nahi aaya....

11:09 PM  
Blogger Mohan K.V couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Ah, so that was you :-)

I have NO idea how anyone could crack that in two words...

3:59 PM  
Blogger Elvie couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

i get AWAD! i remember that week. good try, i never have a clue what the themes are...

may i also assert that you have a brilliant writing style. write a novel, let me know. i'll buy a copy.

3:23 AM  

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