Thursday, November 14, 2013

Word Play

A friend of mine sent me a Word Play list three years ago. While searching for something else, I came across it in my computer and thought I'd share it. Whether you're a writer, reader, or editor (or all three), enjoy this Play on Words.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational one year invited 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 winners:

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

• Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a-hole.

• 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.

• Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

• 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.

• 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.

• Glibido : All talk and no action.

• 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.

• Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

• Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

• Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

• Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

• Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

• Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

• Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

• Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

• Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

• Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

• Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

• Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

You can go here to see what's been submitted so far for 2013.

This one was my favorite off the 2013 list:
Transcendental vegetation: Becoming mesmerized by spinach in another person's teeth. (by Scot Estep)

Do you have any words (with definitions) you'd like to add to the list? If so, share them in the Comments.

Helen Ginger is an author, blogger, and the Coordinator of Story Circle Network's Editorial Services and writing coach. She teaches public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. In addition, her free ezine, Doing It Write, which goes out to subscribers around the globe, is now in its fourteenth year of publication. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Helen is the author of 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series, Angel Sometimes, and two of her short stories can be found in the anthology, The Corner Cafe. Her next book, Dismembering the Past, is due out in Fall 2013.



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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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