By DON VAUGHAN
I listen to â€śThe Puzzleâ€ť on National Public Radio almost every Sunday morning at 7:40 a.m. On June 17 Will Shortz announced, â€śIn honor of Rachel [Martin, Weekend Editionâ€™s anchor], who is about to go on maternity leave, every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with B, ending in Y and having an AB inside, although not necessarily consecutively.â€ť An anesthesiologist from Missouri, the one selected to play the puzzle, could not think of the answer to â€śHerman Melville story, _____, the Scrivener.â€ť
Martin was flabbergasted that she was able to fill in the blank. â€śBartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street,â€ť is a short story that was published in 1853. Thanks Martin and Shortz for bringing it to my attention. Iâ€™m giving it a good read, enjoying it, and pulling some words from it for this weekâ€™s quiz in Vaughanâ€™s Vocabulary.
1. scrivener (SCRIV-nur)
A. one who writes out deeds, letters, etcetera
C. writer of short stories
D. publisher Â Â Â Â
2. indecorous (in-DECK-er-uhs)
A. violating generally accepted standards of good taste or propriety
Shortz added a syllable to scrivener. â€śSCRIV-nurâ€ť is how to say it. A is the answer. The pronunciation â€śin-di-CORE-usâ€ť is acceptable, but saying it that way can be mistaken for â€śin the chorus.â€ť All four apply to No. 2.Â
3. imprimis (em-PRY-mis)
A. in the first place
B. not practical
C. to write
D. to allocate
4. orbicular (or-BIC-yuh-ler)
B. circular or spherical
5. pursy (PUR-see)
A. corpulent or fat
B. slim and trim
No. 3, imprimis, is A. In my Sunday sermon I plan to use the word â€śimprimisâ€ť right before I give the first of four main points. No. 4, orbicular is B. No. 5, pursy, is A.
Last weekâ€™s mystery word is primrose.
This weekâ€™s mystery word to solve means profitable. Its second syllable has the sound of the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet.
Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D. in Mass Communication, is a professor at East Miss. Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.View more articles in: