Tweezer: Geezers with twitter accounts

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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.

Back in the day, we in the newspaper business had a room full of proofreaders. That’s no longer the case…now in a world full of computer programs, all with spell check. But even that does not prevent a mistake from slipping through on occasion.

A few years ago I stumbled across a contest known as 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.

Among my favorites of past winners include:

Cashtration: 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 begin with.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Bozone: 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

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.

Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

And now, the most recent winners of the Mensa Invitational:

Stinkle: What you do after eating asparagus.

Leadersh*t: The result of promoting a person with no management skills to a management position, especially if that person is your idiot cousin.

Emaelstrom: A swirling state of affairs in one’s inbox that relentlessly sucks one deeper and deeper into email, with no regard for time and space.

Baggravation: When you are carrying a paper grocery bag and one of the handles rips off.

Footbull: What sports announcers say to fill air time (See also: basebull, basketbull).

Twired: Really fatigued yet jacked up.

Elephont: Really BIG type.

Epiphony: the dramatic realization that the person you are with is not who they seem to be.

And my favorite….Tweezer: Geezers who have twitter accounts.

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:

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 Publications. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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