Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach


A’s for the Day!

         Let’s start off the spring semester by saluting four of CVH’s finest students: Sarah
Balatbat, Roberto Rodriguez, Tiffany Tapia, and Cecilia Ymaz.
         This Fab Four competed in and completed the districtwide Academic Decathlon last
Saturday (Jan. 30). Unfortunately, it had to be held virtually because of the pandemic. Even so,
they were up to the challenge and (not surprisingly) well represented the Home of Champions
in typical Spartan fashion.
         I had the honor of judging one of the competitions. Sadly for me, I didn’t get to evaluate
any of our kids. However, it was obvious this event featured the cream of the crop of young
academians in the South Bay.
         So I am making a unilateral decision and presenting A’s for the Day in Academics and
Attitude to Cecilia, Robert, Sarah and Tiffany – Ms. Cabe, I hope that is OK.
         If not, then I’ll simply say” Hatz (sic) Off to all of them!


Name That Thing

         Almost everything you can think of has a name. And if you enjoy learning new words,
expanding your vocabulary and showing off your verbal prowess, then I have some nouns that
I’m betting most students (and teachers) are not familiar with. Disclaimer: I only knew of six of
them before a cousin in Maine shared the following list with me.
         Now, how often you will use them may be another matter. But if you like English, I think
you will find the following words interesting and educational – and a few of them amusing.
         1. The space between your eyebrows is called a glabella.
         2. The way it smells after it rains is called petrichor.
         3. The plastic or metallic coating at the end of your shoelaces is called an aglet.
         4. The occasional rumbling in your stomach is call a wamble.
         5. The cry of a newborn baby is called a vagitas.
         6. The prongs on a fork are called tines.
         7. The sheen or light you see when you close your eyes and press your hands on them
              is called phosphenes.
         8. The tiny plastic table place in the middle of a pizza box is called a box tent.
         9. The day after tomorrow is called overmorrow.
         10. Your littlest toes and fingers are called minimus.
         11. The wired cage that holds the cork in a bottle of champagne is called an agraffe.
         12. The “na na na” and “la la la,” which don’t really have any meaning in the lyrics of any
                song, are called vocables.
         13. When you combine an exclamation point with a question mark (?!), it is referred to
                as an interrobang.
         14. The space between your nostrils is called columella nasi.
         15. The armhole in clothes where the sleeves are sewn is called a armscye.
         16. The condition of finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning is called dysania.
         17. Illegible handwriting (a bane of all teachers) is called griffonage.”                                                             18. The dot over an “i” or a “j is called a tittle. It is also referred to as a superscript dot.
         19. The sickness or sick feeling you get after eating or drinking too much is called
                crapulence. Really. Look it up if you doubt me.
How many did you know?


Have Trouble Falling Asleep? Ponder These Questions

  • If the No. 2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still No. 2?
  • Why do people push harder on the remote control when they know the batteries are
    getting weak?
  • Why are actors “in” a movie, but “on” TV
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
  • Why do “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?
  • Why do British people rarely sound British when they sing?
  • At a movie theater, which armrest is yours?
  • Why are there no “B” batteries?
  • Why do people yell “heads up!” when you should duck instead?
  • Why are Arkansas and Kansas pronounced differently?
  • Your fingers have fingertips, but your toes don’t have toetips; yet, you can tiptoe, but
    not tipfinger.
  • Why is “w” called a “double U” when it is clearly a “double V.”

And finally – The word “phonetically” doesn’t even start with an F! Stuff like this is why
aliens fly right past us.

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