When I judge a neologism contest from my no-names-on-it printout rather than on the computer (riding in a car, waiting in line, taking a shower, etc.), I find myself marking a number of entries “BD” — it’s a great word that deserves a better definition or description. As you can see from this week’s contest, many (though not all) of the definitions are enhanced by wordplay or by a funny sentence. Remember, the point is for the whole entry to read as a joke. The joke can be a wry comment (the usual path to neologic ink) or something more offbeat and silly (like “fezenda” today), but it has to have zing to it.
As in Week 980 last summer, the last time we did such a contest, I didn’t post the original definitions, or the names of their creators; in fact, I never looked up their names. But if one or more of this week’s words are by you (though you might not have been the only person to submit the word), you’re welcome to pipe up and share your entry either in the comments field here or on the Style Invitational Devotees page. As most regular Losers know, I’ll edit the wording of an entry to tighten or enhance it (and I did with some of this week’s inking entries), but if I have the hunch that there’s an altogether better idea for the word out there somewhere, or a funny sentence to use as an example, I love the idea of offering it up to the collective wit of the Greater Loser Community, complete with a chance to win unvaluable prizes.
When I asked you to cite the two words that you were melding to create your neologism, I wasn’t sure whether I’d cite them in the answer. I decided not to, because in many cases, the words weren’t relevant to the humor, resulting in a bit of a slog to get to the joke. But I’m grateful that (most of) you took the trouble to include them, since that let me know where they came from, and that they indeed fit the rules of the contest (which this go-round were probably the loosest ever, letting you combine a beginning and an end of two words; two beginnings; two ends; or an end followed by a beginning).
One problem in combining halves of words is that the reader might be thinking of another word than the writer was. Jeff Hazle, a runner-up this week for “bubburb,” also sent in this funny idea: “Schlockalysis: that awkward moment after your friend asks you if like her Thomas Kinkade figurine collection.” The problem is that Jeff had in mind “paralysis,” but a reader would be just as likely, if not more so, to think “analysis.”
Can you enter Week 1018 with a new/tweaked definition of your own word from Week 1014? Sure. I don’t even know who wrote them, anyway.
By the way, this week’s 41 new words appear in chart form in the print paper; after our trouble with the list of horse names in Week 1016 on some mobile devices, I figured the best thing to do was to lump them in paragraph form. It’s a much shorter list, anyway.