I still remember leafing through my mother’s old “Reader’s Digest” collection as a child. One of my favourite sections was the Increase Your Word Power section which would provide a difficult English word and four alternatives from which to choose the correct meaning. This was a way to enrich your vocabulary through play and since Lorna Vassallo’s articles were not yet available to the general public it was as good a pastime as any.
Douglas Adams and John Lloyd had published “The Meaning of Liff” which was a collection of placenames adopted by the authors to describe feelings, emotions, situations and objects which are known and recognisable to all but for which the English language (in all its vastness and flexibility) had not got any terms.
I personally still lay claim to having invented the term “Wankellectual” myself. I can already see it on my tombstone… Here lies Jacques Zammit. Arrogant bastard and inventor (or coinor?) of the term Wankellectual.
Anyways… this brings me to the Washington Post Mensa Invitational Awards. The Post asked readers to take any word form the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one of the letters, and supply a new definition. These are this year’s -2005- winners ( adore number 8):
1. Cashtration (n.):
The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. 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.
Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Vandalist spray-painted very, very high.
The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
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.
13. Decafalon (n.):
The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
All talk and no action.
15. Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you
16. Arachnoleptic fit:
The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
17. Beelzebug (n.):
Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
18. Caterpallor (n.):
The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.