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                     *  WORD A DAY  *
                   Tuesday, July 24, 2007
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Fellow Logophiles, 

Good morning! Today I have for you the origin of the phrase 
"read between the lines." To read between the lines means 
you listen to what is implied, not what is explicitly stated. 

Early in the days of sending secret messages people would 
write in substances that would only be revealed on plain 
paper with the use of a re-agent. For instance, lemon juice 
is normally transparent on paper, but when heated (say over 
a candle flame) it becomes discolored. 

Obviously a courier delivering a blank piece of paper was a 
bit of a give-away, so the author of the message would 
write a seemingly innocuous letter in ink and then write 
the secret message in the spaces in between. The recipient 
would then have to treat the letter and read between the 
lines of the letter to get to the real message. 



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WORD:  abeyance   uh-BAY-uhn(t)s  (noun)

: Suspension; temporary cessation 

SYNONYMS: * inaction 
          * dormancy 
          * remission 

WORD WISE: Abeyance derives from Medieval French abeance, 
"expectation," from abeer, from a-, "to" (from Latin ad-) + 
baer, beer, "to gape (at)," from Late Latin batare, "to 

QUOTE: Her plans fell into abeyance when she parted from 
Franz Josef and traveled for five years. 
--Rebecca West, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon," The Atlantic, 
January 1941 



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BONUS WORD OF THE DAY:  panoptic   pan optik  (adjective)

: Taking in or showing everything in a single view 

Early 19th century. Formed from Greek panoptos, literally 
"seen by all," and panoptes, literally "all-seeing," both 
formed in turn from optos "visible." 


1)  ruffian   ruffee en  (noun) 
    : somebody who behaves in a rough, bullying, or violent 
    way, often a member of a gang of criminal thugs (dated) 

    Fifteenth century. Via French from, ultimately, Italian 
    ruffiano, of Germanic origin. 

2)  chantey   chantee, shantee  (noun) 
    : a song chanted by sailors as they work 

    Mid-19th century. Origin uncertain, perhaps an angliciz-
    ation of French chantez "sing!" 

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week: 

Should Illegal aliens be allowed to sign up for the military 
in exchange for US Citizenship?

 Please share your opinion, visit: The Question of the Week

Questions? Comments? email: word@gophercentral.com

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END OF WORD A DAY - Another F-R-E-E GopherCentral publication 
Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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