Week 669: Huddled Messes

Style Invitational
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Sunday, July 2, 2006

If you are asked, "Do you advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government by force or violence?" the correct answer is "Violence."

On this week in which we celebrate the freedom of our nation, as the fireworks shoot high above the Statue of Liberty as she exhorts other nations to go ahead and keep their storied pomp but give her the wretched refuse of their teeming shores, we ask you to do your part: Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal).

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner up gets, courtesy of Michael Press of North Potomac, the genuine swim cap pictured here from the Germantown Masters swim team: Nothing like seeing a giant GERM stick its head out of the water.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called this week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail tolosers@washpost.comor by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 10. Put "Week 669" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published July 30. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. This week's contest, including the example, was suggested by Mark Eckenwiler of Washington. The revised title for next week's contest is by Bruce Alter of Fairfax Station. The Honorable Mentions name is by Ned Bent of Oak Hill.

Report From Week 665

In which we took suggestions for the 1 millionth word in the English language, which, according to the algorithms set forth by one Paul JJ Payack, is 11,032 words away as of June 30 (then again, it also was 11,032 words away on March 21). Just to be imperious, the Empress decreed that the word had to end in -ion. Some otherwise good entries turned up too often on Google, such as "comcastration," getting your cable cut off.

4 Martyration: A request for only 36 virgins in paradise. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

3 Espanation: Stupidly adding a vowel at the end of an English word to try to talk to a Spanish-speaker; e.g., "Which aisle-o has the cerealo?" (Alan Hochbaum, Atlanta)

2 The winner of the "Brechlinker," the Inker with the Barbie head:

Errudition: Comical misuse of big words. "Madam, your dress looks positively superfluous on you tonight," he said with amazing errudition. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

And the Winner of the Inker

Percycution: Giving your child a name he will hate for the rest of his life. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)


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