Trebots @ Friday January 23rd 2004 17:21

Intrigued (and overjoyed, as always) to receive a mail from my good friend, Moses Aziz, in which he writes (my emphases):

Dear Friend.
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday... I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer . It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

I was about to mail him back offering help with his English as well as with his $18M when I checked in Webster 1913 and found two meanings that seem to have fallen into disuse: firstly, deriving from the French défiler and meaning to march off in a line, and secondly, from the etymology of our normal usage, defoulen (OE, to tread down) and defouler (OF, to trample).

Mr Aziz is obviously an important scholar, and that of itself is of course no reason to refuse his money. Reading further, I discovered the following:

I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.

Contended comes from the Old French contendre, to stretch, suggesting that what he is really saying is that his family are having problems spending the money, suggesting in turn that they will shortly be returning the (presumably substantial) balance.

Given this level of wealth, I have advised Mr Aziz that I will be able to help him and that, moreover, followthebaldie.com is being refocused to provide service-driven boutique private banking charity facilities featuring a customised third party product mix and an aggressive tax strategy. However, service at this level comes at a price considerably higher than the 15% he proposes. I would suggest 25% so that I and the rest of the street can get as high as freaking giraffes every Friday.

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