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Speak humbly when signing off

December 3, 2011

Don Vaughan
Vaughan’s Vocabulary

The first of December reminds me of when daytime-only AM radio stations were popular. On the first day of each month, with the exception of July, the sign-off time changed. Throughout December, sign-off was at 4:45. Bill Tanner, the morning personality and program director for WKOR during its first six months of operation, recalled, “That was unusual for Starkville in 1968 and something unusual for us.”
Leaving the air created an appetency for the station’s return. The amiable announcer’s “Until tomorrow morning at 6, thanks for listening and good night,” followed by the "National Anthem" or "America the Beautiful" was the crowning touch to a favorable impression.
An interaction with an individual is like a sign-off. Much time may pass before we talk to the person again. I think we should speak humbly, genuinely, and edifyingly before we sign off, as it were. Hopefully, what we say and how we say it will not cause anyone not to look forward to interacting with us.
1.  friendship (FRIEND-ship)
A. the quality or state of being friendly
B. the quality or state of being friends
C. estranged relationship
D. when two people have been acquainted for a lengthy time
When was the last time you told a friend “I appreciate our friendship”? Both A and B are correct.  
2. amiable (AYE-me-uh-bul)
A. being friendly, sociable
B. being articulate and complimentary
C. achieving an aim
D. knowing precisely what to say
3. amicable (AM-uh-kuh-bul)
A. gregarious
B. legendary
C. polemical
D. characterized by or showing good will
It is easy to confuse amiable and amicable. Amiable means having or showing pleasant, good-natured qualities. Lori has an amiable disposition. Amiable also means friendly, sociable. Juan gave an amiable greeting. The gathering was amiable. Amicable means characterized or showing good will, and pertains to peaceable and agreeable, as an amicable settlement. Amiableness and amicableness are qualities that we should have. No. 2 is A; No. 3 is D.    
 4. dapper (DAP-er)
A. standoffish
B. neat and trim
C. comical
D. flirtatious
“You look dapper” or “You look dapperly” would be something good to say to someone who meets one or more of these qualifications: walks lively and briskly, looks neat and trim, is alert and lively in movement and manners, or stylishly adorned. B is one of the meanings of dapper.
5. aurevoir (or-uh-VWAR)
A. you’re a true friend
B. Thank you for being my friend.
C. hello
D. goodbye
I like using aurevoir, a French word literally meaning “till seeing again.” D is the correct response.
Last week’s mystery word is opuscule (o-PUS-kyool).
This week’s mystery word to solve would likely be used when explaining why the FCC required some stations to leave the air at sunset. The second syllable rhymes with knave and the first syllable rhymes with sigh.

Dr. Don Vaughan is a professor at East Mississippi Community College. Email him at

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