Style Invitational Week 976: Join now — it’s our build-a-neologism contest


(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
June 14, 2012

Lap-do: One way to deal with a hairy belly.

Here’s a neologism contest we used to run all the time but haven’t done in years. It used to be called “Hyphen the Terrible,” back before millions of people started reading The Post online, where lines don’t end in hyphens. This is the 21st-century version. This week: Combine the beginning and end of any two words or names in this week’s Style Invitational and Style Conversational columns to make a new term, and define it, as in the example above, which combines parts of “lapse” and “outdo.” Each part must have at least two letters including a vowel; you may use the ending of a word as your beginning and vice versa, but not two ends or two beginnings. The Conversational will be online by June 15 at wapo.st/conv976.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins the charming “Pat the Politician,” a 2004 parody of the baby touch-book “Pat the Bunny”; in this one, you can pull Nixon’s nose, read Bush’s lips and touch Clinton’s underpants. Donated by Roy Ashley.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt (we’re phasing these out), a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 25; results published July 15 (online July 13). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 976” 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/StyleInv. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “Next week” line is by Jeff Contompasis.. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.

Report from Week 972

in which we listed 16 “trending topics” from a few weeks ago and asked you to explain how any two were alike or different: Many Losers noted that both Michael Phelps and John Edwards were associated with the breast stroke.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

Michael Phelps and Bristol Palin: Each got into trouble after doing some dope. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

2. Winner of the papier-mache surfing skeleton:
John Edwards and Serena Williams: Both play a game in which love means nothing.
(Edward Gordon, Austin)

3. Beethoven: Roll over. John Edwards: Heel. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

4. “Desperate Housewives” has a cast of many good-looking, complicated, disturbed, egotistical characters who cheat, lie and cover up lies. John Edwards: Cast of one. (Janice Haas, Bethesda, Md., a First Offender)

Subordinate conjunctions: Honorable mentions

Michael Phelps can outdo any guy in the pool, while the Desperate Housewives are out to do any guy in the pool. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Beethoven, stone deaf, created serious music; Howard Stern, tone deaf, creates Sirius mucus. (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.)

Michael Phelps and Desperate Housewives: The latter are famous for world-record meddling. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City; Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Mark Zuckerberg created billions out of thin air; JP Morgan Chase created thin air out of billions. (William C. Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

Bristol Palin is unlike John Edwards: She has a famous mother; he is one. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Beethoven and Howard Stern: Beethoven has produced fewer works titled “Butt Bongo Fiesta.” (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

Beethoven and John Edwards: One was a likable dog. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Bristol Palin and a jellyfish: Each is a challenging dance partner. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Mother’s Day and “Game of Thrones”: One you get breakfast in bed; with the other you get breakfast inbred. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)

iPod and jellyfish: When you get in the water, you don’t want to find either one in your swimsuit. (Beverley Sharp)

Michael Phelps generates fast times in pools; Howard Stern generates a pastime for fools. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Yemen is known for her Red Sea, whereas John Edwards is known for his scarlet A. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.; Christopher Lamora)

Robert Pattinson: vampire. “Desperate Housewives”: vamp ire. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Mother’s Day: Send a card to your mom. Bristol Palin: A mom who gets carded. (Larry Yungk)

Jellyfish and JPMorgan Chase: Contact with either causes irritation, and both might sting you when you are not paying attention. But the jellyfish is more transparent. (Daniel McMahon, Hyattsville, Md., a First Offender)

JPMorgan Chase lost $2 billion in derivatives. Mark Zuckerberg lost $2 billion in his couch. (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)

Same-sex marriages, John Edwards: Edwards leads 1-0 in the number of traditional marriages destroyed. (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)

Robert Pattinson vs. JPMorgan Chase: Pattinson just pretends to be a bloodsucker. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.; Kevin Dopart)

Michael Phelps: Laps. John Edwards: Lapses. (Brendan Beary; Christopher Lamora)

“Desperate Housewives” and JPMorgan Chase? There's apparently no accounting for either. (Brendan Beary)

Robert Pattinson and John Edwards: Both have characters that suck. (Dave Ferry, Key West, Fla.)

Beethoven vs. Howard Stern: One held the baton while conducting “Eroica,” the other while reading erotica. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Both JPMorgan Chase and Mark Zuckerberg have lost billions of dollars recently, but Zuckerberg should be okay: He married a doctor. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

Still running — deadline Monday night — is the Week 975 “Sixth Myth” contest. See wapo.st/inv975.

Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational (published Fridays), where the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at losers@washpost.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.

Next Week: A Real Triple Crown, or Threeplaying the Ponies

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