Saturday, December 25, 2004

Washington Post Style Invitational

Each week, the Washington Post Style Invitational invites readers to compete at clever word games, and publishes the bon mots of the previous week.

Last week's contest asked readers to send in quips beginning "If God had wanted..." My favorite was one of the honorable mentions:

"If God had wanted the people of the world to live in peace and harmony, God should have stuck to just one name." (Michael Levy, Silver Spring, MD)

This week contestants are given a list of the last names of the newly elected members of Congress and the members they displaced and asked to come up with a bill sponsored by any combination of these people and explain the purpose of the bill. Example:

"The Tauzin-Cleaver bill to promote safety in the kitchen."

You can do better! Dive in using this week's URL.

Thanks to our friend Mike in Bellingham for reminding me about the Style Invitational! He forwarded results of the most famous of the Style Invitational, in which readers were challenged to take a word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some of their inspirations:

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. Foreploy (n): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

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 sending 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 very quickly.

12. Arachnoleptic fit (n. phrase): 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 three 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.

15. And the pick of the literature: Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

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