The Word of the Day for December 21, 2007 is: passel \PASS-ul\ http://www.merriam-webster.com/images/audio.gif noun : a large number or amount Example Sentence: Knowing that there will be a passel of phone and e-mail messages to deal with, Rob is dreading going back to work after his two-week vacation. Did you know? Loss of the sound of "r" after a vowel and before another consonant in the middle of a word is common in spoken English. This linguistic idiosyncrasy has given our language a few new words, including "cuss" from "curse," "bust" from "burst," and our featured word "passel" from "parcel." The spelling "passel" originated in the 15th century, but the word's use as a collective noun for an indefinite number is a 19th-century Americanism. It was common primarily in local-color writing before getting a boost in the 1940s, when it began appearing in popular weekly magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and the Saturday Review.