At least he didn’t follow “take out a dollar out of your pocket” with “and give it to me.”
I’ll be happy to see a wide variety of source material with this contest, since it’s important not to tell readers the same joke 20 times over. I gave a maximum length of 75 words, but really, it’s perfectly fine to send something much shorter than that; I like to intersperse shorter entries amid the longer ones. Obviously, good, funny writing is important; don’t just jot down some ideas and expect that I’ll write it for you.
Congrefs and confusion: The results of Week 1028
Ahh, it takes so long to judge a Style Invitational “joint legislation” contest, but heck, it’s still a lot of fun. I loved the idea — also from the lately prolific Mr. Carnahan — of using the First U.S. Congress (1789-91) as a way to link it to Independence Day; the contest was posted July 3.
The immediate questions that popped up — would I require that the names’ actual pronunciation be used, and how much research would this require? — turned out not to be a major issue. On the Style Invitational Devotees page I offered a few pronunciations that I could find by Googling phrases like “boudinot congress pronounced” or by looking the guy up in Wikipedia. But I added that I would be more flexible than usual on pronunciations, especially for the more obscure names. It’s not quite the same as mispronouncing the name of a current member of Congress. But it did conveniently turn out that Rep. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey went with “boodi-not,” according to Wikipedia. Sevier County, Tenn., is named for Rep. John Sevier and is pronounced “severe,” so we figured that he likely pronounced it that way as well. (And if not, too bad.)
As I did with the results of Week 1005, the last time we did the joint legislation contest, I’ve run a parallel set of results online, with a translation or explanation accompanying each entry that was at all challenging. Personally, I don’t think the entries I gave ink to are very hard to get. But I concede that it’s much easier for me to read these combinations than for Joe Invite Reader on the Street — because I have read, literally, tens of thousands of these things. I shared only my first four choices with my predecessor, the Czar of the Style Invitational — who , in his time, judged thousands of these bills himself — and he replied, “Boy, these are not easy,” and didn’t figure out “heart leaking” (and hence the Trayvon Martin allusion) in the fourth-place entry. So that made it an easy decision to run the answers.