Butchering words for fun
Published 9:16 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I’ve been accused over my life as a journalist of a ton of misprints.
Unfortunately, it happens to all of us involved in a world of words. Trust me, I’ve butchered more than one word in my lifetime and if my publisher will afford me the opportunity to remain employed, it will happen again.
It use to be we in the newspaper business had a room full of proofreaders. That’s no longer the case…now we live in a world full of computer programs, all with spell check. But even that does not prevent a mistake from slipping through on occasion.
While researching information online last week for a story I was working on, I ran across the Mensa Invitational. It’s an annual event hosted by the Washington Post. They invite readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are the recent winners:
Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
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.
Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
Karmageddon: 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.
Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
And the winners are:
Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.
Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.
Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-332-7207.