Friday, January 26, 2007

WP's Style Invitational

Having been a bit distressed in the last couple of days, I was happy to receive this jolly piece in a forwarded email, and have decided to share because that's the kinda girl I am...

The Washington Post's "Style Invitational" once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
3. Giraffiti (n.): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
4. Sarchasm (n.): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
5. Inoculatte (v.): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
6. Hipatitis (n.): Terminal coolness.
7. Osteopornosis (n.): A degenerate disease. [This one got extra credit.]
8. Karmageddon (n.): It's, like, when everybody is giving off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the earth explodes and it's, like, a serious bummer.
9. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
10. Glibido (v.): All talk and no action.
11. Dopeler effect (n.): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
12. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
13. Beelzebug (n.): Satan, in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at 3:00 in the morning and cannot be cast out.
14. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.
And the pick of the publication:
15. Ignoranus (n.): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Something for everyone there, I feel. Except Jade Goody who would probably wonder which letter has been added, subtracted or changed in each one, of course. She may even see nothing unusual in this selection. Actually, she probably wouldn't be able to read them to start with as they have more than one syllable each.

The rest of you enjoy a good laugh.


  1. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I will go through that list again at leisure, and savour every play on words.

    But at the risk of overplaying the personal pronoun, I'd say this: each time I try to coin a new word, I google and find someone's got there before me. It began with "aggronym", and in the last week (prompted I regret to say by one of Sarah's own posts) the term " ecochondria".

    How's that for a sting in the tail ?

    But that's how we all start thinking for ourselves. By feeling ourselves side-lined, out-of-the-loop in modern parlance. Perceived rejection is probably the greatest promoter of human creativity known to man (and woman). It worked for Isaac Newton. Why not for us lesser mortals ?

  2. who is Jade Goody?

    ps: brilliant pictionary

  3. Jade Goody is a 'celebrity', famous for being a loud-mouthed, thick as two short planks bully. She was on Big Brother and then Celebrity Big Brother and undistinguished herself by her foulness and vulgarity. The sort of person you'd rather shoot yourself than spend an evening with.

  4. I should include some of these in my jottings...they are too good to ignore. Thank you!

    Meilleurs voeux!

  5. Come on Sarah, Jane Goody is your typical English lass.

  6. I changed one letter. I thought that was the idea.

  7. Well, you should have used an 'i' then. 'Jide' is probably what comes out of her mother's mouth, anyway.

    She's typical of that kind of girl, but is not your typical English lass, Roo. Let's not exaggerate toooo much!

  8. Sarah: who's this Rood individual to whom you keep referring?

    PS One's allowed to add (as well as change) a letter ....

  9. The meanings of rood:

    1. a crucifix, esp. a large one at the entrance to the choir or chancel of a medieval church, often supported on a rood beam or rood screen.
    2. a cross as used in crucifixion.
    3. a unit of length varying locally from 51/2 to 8 yards (5 to 7 m).
    4. a unit of land measure equal to 40 square rods or 1/4 acre (0.10117 hectare).
    5. a unit of 1 square rod (25.29 sq. m).
    6. Archaic. the cross on which Christ died.

  10. Roo(d) obviously doesn't recognize phunetic English when he sees it. That's the trouble with the French (or those aspire to be): they want to preserve their language in aspic, and would never dream of having phun with it. That's why all the new words are English imports.

    Forgive me. I'm demob happy (see latest post on D&D)

  11. Colin, you are obviously having fun there...

  12. Colinb The only man happy to eat a civet de hair.

  13. Tut tut. Touch of franglais, there, Orléans, assuming your starting point was civet de lièvre (jugged hare).

    I shall have to think of a suitable re-post. On second thoughts, you've just been given one (at about the same level of cringe-making awfulness).


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