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Water! Give me water!

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (1 of 11), Read 199 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 1999 04:35 PM

Jack Wilson, of Wayland, Massachusetts, writes: "There seems to be no equivalent to the word 'starving' for persons who are wanting for liquid. No one 'thirsts' to death, but people do 'starve' to death. One can say 'I am hungry' or 'I am thirsty,' or can say 'I am starving,' but it is awkward to say 'I am thirsting.' 'Thirsting' seems not to be a verb, at least in popular use."



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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (2 of 11), Read 173 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 1999 10:59 PM

Actually, thirst as a verb is fairly common, in the sense of insistent craving or compelling need and as a parallel to hunger; i.e., hungered for recognition, thirsted for power.

As for the parallel to starve, the only word that occurs to me is dehydrate, which doesn't have quite the same feel.

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (3 of 11), Read 153 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Daniel Day (gamshara@teleport.com)
Date: Monday, February 01, 1999 11:49 PM

May I suggest "I'm parched!". I didn't invent this, I vaguely remember reading/hearing it.
Daniel Day

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (4 of 11), Read 92 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Glenn Werner (brshfire@frontiernet.net)
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 11:44 PM

Well, If I nailed you to a post
On a sunny spring day.
You might be heard to say,
"I thirst."
And which is worst?
To starve to death
Or die of thirst?
The structure's really
Just reverst
You shouldn't quibble to the 'enth
But live with what's come naturally

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (5 of 11), Read 94 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, February 11, 1999 10:36 AM

Glenn, did you write that, or was it Robert Bly?

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (6 of 11), Read 95 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Glenn Werner (brshfire@frontiernet.net)
Date: Thursday, February 11, 1999 11:04 AM

If my recollection is correct I was the only one in the room.

I wonder why
I never read Bly.
Says I,
"Perhaps I'll try."

sorry 'bout that. sometimes i just gotta say it anyway.

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (7 of 11), Read 81 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Tracy Durden (tdandaa@yahoo.com)
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 01:43 AM

I thought Glenn sounded like Ogden Nash there.

How about "dessicate to death"??
;-)
td

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (8 of 11), Read 72 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Joshua McGee (jhmcgee@hotmail.com)
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 05:11 AM

I do find myself saying "I thirst," though I have been accused of sounding vaguely messianic. For emphasis, I do say "I'm parched," as a counterpart to "I'm famished."

- Joshua McGee

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (9 of 11), Read 53 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jessica Caspian (princess_caspian@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, February 18, 1999 02:00 PM

I've always said "I'm dying of thirst!"... however it doesn't quite have the romance of "I'm starving," does it? Perhaps thirstacious? or thirsticular...or...oh heck i just like funny words :o)

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (10 of 11), Read 34 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dona Palmer (palmer_de@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, February 18, 1999 11:05 PM

I believe that the word thirst is used as a verb in the Bible, probably King James version. Christ says from the cross, "I thirst." And there's the ever popular "thirsting for knowledge", especially among those of the tweenie set. So, if one can thirst for knowledge, (Picture a high school senior on the point of discorporation for lack of algebra) one should be able to thirst for water. Having said that, I recognize that thirst merely implies a need for water, not necessarily being in danger of dying from lack of it as "starve" implies.

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Topic: 9) Water! Give me water! (11 of 11), Read 23 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jason Taniguchi (jasont@ccp.ca)
Date: Friday, February 19, 1999 05:18 PM

From the Prodigal Toronto Serial Diners Collective:

We suggest the prosaic yet descriptive "dehydrated"; and we agree that we often say "I'm parched".

One Diner suggested "endrouthed", by a complicated route from the word "drought" that I seem to have mercifully been allowed by my brain to forget.

My favourite, though, is the notion that if you are dying of thirst, you should say that you are -- wait for it -- "deserted".

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Topic: Water!Give me Water! (1 of 4), Read 104 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Theresa Bernsen (bernsent@slu.edu)
Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 12:04 PM

Would "parched" be a strong enough word?

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Topic: Water!Give me Water! (2 of 4), Read 96 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Bruce Meyer (bpm@cbsnews.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 05:04 PM

There's probably no single word for "die of thirst" because that short phrase pretty much covers it. There's no perception of a need for so specific a word in the English-speaking world, as there might be, say, in a Saharan culture. And while the word "starve" may be strictly interpreted as meaning "starve to death," in fact most English-speakers use that phrase (or perhaps "died of starvation") for clarity.

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Topic: Water!Give me Water! (3 of 4), Read 97 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 05:33 PM

When you put it that way, it's good news that we don't have a word for "die of thirst," wouldn't you say?

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Topic: Water!Give me Water! (4 of 4), Read 92 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dan Dillon (ddillon1@shrike.depaul.edu)
Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 05:32 PM

Dying to death?

Curious word, starve. While there's no lexical equivalent for the condition of thirst, "starve" itself derives from the OE *steorfan*, meaning "to die" [ME sterven, Ger. sterben]. And hunger was usually the cause of death if this verb was employed. So now when it's coming up on 7:00 pm and the water isn't even boiling yet, you can think about how silly "I'm starving to death!" sounds. And you'll forget just how close to death from hunger you really are.

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Topic: thirst (1 of 1), Read 39 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: John Buckley (johnbk@lagcc.cuny.edu)
Date: Tuesday, February 09, 1999 09:46 AM

What's wrong with "I thirst"? Certainly that phrase is one of the most poignant in the New Testament-you could use "crave" if you want or even "need" though that seems a bit non-specific. Seems to me that just because the use of a word is uncommon we needn't search for a neologism that's unneeded.


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