(Click here to skip down to the winning “Hyphen the Terrible” results from Week 1078.)
The Beagles: Had No. 1 hits with both a “A Dog Day’s Night” and “Kennel California.” (Jeff Contompasis)
The B-12’s might help with your “Love Slack.” (Julie Kempton)
Lad Gaga: So those rumors WERE true! (Jeff Contompasis)
Dave Matthews Bad: Honest rock. (David Clayton)
Just a few days ago, Pre-Loser Lisa Kelsey of Pawling, N.Y., shared on Facebook’s Style Invitational Devotees page about a little game on Twitter called (if you add spaces and a comma) Remove a Letter, Ruin a Band: to drop a letter from the name of a music group to make a funny name. The Devotees immediately expanded on the idea, and we’ll run with it as well: Alter the name of a music group or performer slightly — not necessarily by just one letter, but enough so it’s obvious what the original is — and describe it in some way, as in the examples above from the Devotees page. It’s going to be the clever description that will earn the ink.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, apropos of this contest, a bright orange cloth belt covered with weirdly misspelled titles of Rolling Stones songs, such as “Ruby Tcesday” and “Get Off Df Hycolud.” Donated — regifted, actually — by Hall of Fame Loser Elden Carnahan, who won it in Week 599 (2005). It was originally donated by Robin Diallo, who’d found it in New Delhi, though the wrapping on the belt had Chinese lettering.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate or Puns of Steel. First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 4; results published Aug. 24 (online Aug. 21). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1082” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Michael Ostapiej;the alternative headline for the “Next week’s results” line is by Jeff Contompasis. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev, and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of the Day at bit.ly/inkofday.
^ The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
Week 1078 was another installment of our age-old contest in which the Empress asked readers to find two hyphenated words or terms in the same edition of a publication, then combine the halves of them into a new term. Since Web sites don’t usually break lines to make the columns line up, online readers had far fewer hyphens to choose from; perhaps that’s why we didn’t get the deluge of entries that our neologism contests usually draw.
BEAUtiful + POLitics: Beau-pol: A charming, intelligent and thoughtful politician who, after leaks of toxic material about his life, turns out to be a disaster. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
ALbums + coLOGNE: Al-logne: Perfume that’s guaranteed to keep you from being bothered. (Kevin Dopart, vacationing in Naxos, Greece)
AMERIca + disproPORTIONATELY: Ameri-portionately: Super-sized. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
EFfort + AfGHANISTAN: Ef-ghanistan: What Americans reply when they’re asked about our longest war. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Obvi-state: To say what goes without saying. Example: “The definitition of ‘obvi-state’ is to say what goes without saying.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Liver-worst: Grain alcohol (Dayna Fellows, Bethesda, Md.)
Disas-terns: The unpaid summer help that your company will be paying for until next summer. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Man-uments: The Washington Monument, the Space Needle, the Empire State Building, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc. (Mike Gips)
Anonym-pho: One of the whores with no name. (Chris Doyle)
Anonym-pho: A Jane Do. (Kevin Dopart)
Mer-icle: A Carnival cruise without a catastrophic event. (Mike Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Crimi-rich: Ne’er-do-wealthy. (Chris Doyle)
De-pelling: What you’d be doing, fast, if your climbing rope broke. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
Bos-phemy: Admitting that, okay, Derek Jeter’s a pretty good ballplayer. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
Reli-ginia: The ultimate red state. (Kevin Dopart)
Didly-master: Jack of all trades, but . . . (Rick Haynes, Ocean City, Md.)
Optimis-hap: Inadvertently sitting on your rose-colored glasses. (Chris Doyle)
Tween-nomics: The ratio of babysitting wages to One Direction ticket prices (Pam Sweeney)
Zam-borghini: It smooths out a rink in 4.6 seconds. (Frank Osen)
Envi-Mi: The new little Kardashian dog. (Pam Sweeney)
Cy-chologists: Baseball managers during those trips to the pitcher’s mound. (Pam Sweeney)
Bacon-distance: One degree of separation. (Chris Doyle)
Pre-tween: That wonderful stage after potty-training and before eye-rolling. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)
Ex-tween: A person with the body of a teenager and the judgment of a drunken carp. (Todd DeLap)
Foot-seas: Innocent activity that could land you in deep water. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Biparti-cult: A tiny, sinister group of congressmen who believe in reaching across the aisle. (Mike Gips)
NBC-plot: TV writers’ term meaning “This story is going nowhere.” (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Mer-torney: Half-man, half-fish, all shark. (Mark Raffman, Esq., Reston, Va.)
Flounder-thing: What Tucker Carlson did on “Dancing With the Stars.” (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
Goo-getter: A baby wipe. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Alley-High: Song from the musical “Souse Pacific.” (Barbara Turner)
Num-vee: Five, to Cicero. (Christopher Lamora, Los Angeles)
Over-sures: “Hi, sweetheart, your place or mine?” (Mike Gips)
Lame-knock: To callously use the phrase “that’s so lame” instead of the more socially acceptable “that’s so mobility-challenged.” (Jeff Contompasis)
Before-size: Same as after-size, but not during-size (hopefully). (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Orga-cide: What a way to go. (Jeff Shirley)
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest for stupid questions. See bit.ly/invite1081. Next week’s results: Little Piddle Riddle or Wise Guys’ Replies Arise, our contest to supply a riddle whose answer is a rhyming phrase. See bit.ly/invitewk1079.