Cryptoquote Spoiler – 06/23/14

Maya Angelou

Cover of Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”   —   Maya Angelou

You are the sum total of everything you've eve...

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive. Maya Angelou (Photo credit: katerha)


(Wow!  Pretty dramatic.  I wonder what set her off?  I’m sure it’s from a very meaningful poem, but I’m not very into poetry.  Do you know what I noticed upon her death?  More and more people were pronouncing her last name as: An-juh-loe, whereas I had always pronounced it the way I had always heard it, and more the way it is spelled:  An-juh-lew.  I even looked up the pronunciation online.  One site with audio had it as “loe” and another as “lew”, but the “lew” site has since switched to “loe”.  She was born with the last name Johnson, and was married to a man named Angelos for about three years.  I read she was encouraged to take the  “more distinctive” name of Angelou, but there was no explanation of how/why that spelling, and the specific – and slightly unusual – pronunciation came to be.  I attribute it to a form of phonetic poetic license!  Be well and do good, friends.)   —   YUR

9 Responses to “Cryptoquote Spoiler – 06/23/14”

  1. 1 Writing to Freedom June 23, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for the link and related article mention. Brad

  2. 2 Art Shapiro June 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Was really surprised to find “trod” as a present tense verb.


  3. 3 haliburton76 June 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

    A good question about the pronunciation of the poet’s name. Both Wikipedia and give the “long-U” as in Lou Gehrig or Lou Diamond Phillips, but I am certain I heard her on NPR, gently pronouncing it “long-O” as in Swing Low Sweet Chariot. So I am not sure. In words of Greek or French extraction, “ou” is normally “long-U,” and it’s grating to hear people say “bo-kay” instead of “boo-kay” for a sprig of flowers.

  4. 4 unclerave June 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm


    From reading the online bios, I was not seeing much in the way of formal education. She appears to be largely a self-made woman. I think she benefited from being who she was at just the right time. A little earlier, and she likely would have been marginalized. Much later, she might not have gotten as far also. It’s harder to get far these days without some kind of formal degree, and Drudge and TMZ would have had a field day, if she were coming up today, with her history of being both a prostitute and a madam. She definitely did not have an easy life, but she benefited from being bright and charismatic – and tough minded – at a unique period in U.S. and world history.

    — YUR

  5. 5 unclerave June 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm


    Oh, yeah. The jury is already in! You are pretty much only going to hear An-juh-loe from now on. I too was going back to my French for the pronunciation that I thought I knew. Besides bouquet, have you heard some people pronounce beaucoup as “boo-koo”? Like you probably read here before, I am also offended when people pronounce rapport as “report”, and when they pronounce allude as “elude”. And, some of these people are “professionals” in the media. The ignorant mouth is always going to offend the learned ear.

    — YUR

  6. 6 Art Shapiro June 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “The ignorant mouth is always going to offend the learned ear.”

    I love it – that’s worthy of being a cryptoquote!


  7. 7 unclerave June 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    LOL! It would be a first, Art! — 🙂

  8. 8 Art Shapiro June 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    It reminds me that I have an idea for a Jumble, but don’t know how to pose it.

  9. 9 haliburton76 June 24, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Mais oui, Unc Rave, j’entends ça beaucoup! In a similar way, many people say coupon as kew-pon, and yet they would never mispronounce Coupe de Ville or coup d’état, which are all the same word. It offends the learned ear, but at least it gives us something to talk about …

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