(Click here to skip down to this week’s winning neologisms from Week 1227)
Trump got elected!
The keys to this nation sit
In his tiny hand.
But will he be defeated
By the stuff he has tweeted?
It’s time again for our own variation on the ancient Japanese poetic form called tanka, which is pretty much like haiku with two more lines tacked on, for a total of five still-little lines. The Invitey twists that make it a TankaWanka: a current-events subject and — sorry, but we can’t get enough — rhyme.
This week: Write a TankaWanka about something that’s been in the news lately. The poem must consist of five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 syllables in that order. And at least two of the lines must rhyme, as in the example above by Willy Wanka, a.k.a. Gene Weingarten, The Style Invitational’s Pooet Laureate. You may add a title, perhaps quoting a news headline, if it helps the reader understand what you’re talking about.
Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1231 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy — one of the last few before we come out with a new design. Second place receives a prize we’ve given out at least twice before, one we’ve enjoyed at Loser social events, for obvious reasons: It’s the Basket Case Headband Hoop Game, in which some ping-pong-ball-size foam basketballs are tossed into a net suspended over someone’s noggin by the means of said highly dweeby Headband Hoop. Donated by Loser Nan Reiner.
Other runners-up win our new “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, June 19; results published July 9 (online July 6). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for the results is by Jesse Frankovich; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Tom Witte. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook 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.
FLORA & FAUXNA: THE NEOLOGISMS OF WEEK 1227
The neologism challenge for Week 1227 was to coin a new life form whose name — in the spirit of genetic diversity — had no two of the same letter. An animal called the turdle was described by many Losers, remarkably often as having orange fur. And of course there was the noisy, preening trumper swan.
Phickle: A food that’s sometimes sweet and sometimes sour. (Selma Ellis, Rolling Meadows, Ill.)
Oldfish: A critter that has managed to stay alive for a whole week since you brought it home from the pet store. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Ruskito: An insect that not only sucks your blood, but hacks your DNA. (Frank Mann, Washington)
D.J.T. Rex: A carnivorous biped distinguished by its diminutive forelimbs and backward vision. (Seth Tucker, Washington)
Dogirafe: The only canine that can fetch a Frisbee stuck in a tree. (Shani Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia, a First Offender)
Peonay: A flower that reacts to dog urine by emitting a mild electric charge. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)
Amorel: A fungus that could potentially burst into a mushroom cloud. (Kevin Dopart, Washington).
Begona: Flower used for breakup bouquets. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Crankodile: A pale, emaciated reptile found lurking around meth labs. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Adolfin: Mascot of the alt-right. (Frank Mann)
Flounderp: Dumbest of all the fish. Just look at it. (Nancy Della Rovere, Silver Spring, Md.)
Gunviolets: A kind of daisy that pushes up all over America. (Kevin Dopart)
Iowasp: This cicada-like insect emerges in large, noisy swarms in four-year cycles. (Kevin Dopart)
Kremling: A Russian weasel noted for its tiny paws and orange fur. (David Peckarsky, Tucson)
Mesquito: A parasite that feeds off the neighbors’ barbecues. (Duncan Stevens)
Mikajoe: A two-headed hyena that does a mating dance for three hours every morning. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)
Spiceroy: A butterfly attracted to Mid-Atlantic bushes, now on the critically endangered list. (Kevin Dopart)
U-tern: Bird that flies north for the winter. (Mark Raffman)
Vladger: Known for gobbling up its neighbors and leaving a bad smell on anyone it contacts. (Mark Raffman)
Yo’ma: A flower that despite being exceptionally unattractive, malodorous and oversized, is pollinated near-constantly. (Seth Tucker)
E. moji: A bacterium manifesting itself in poop, soft-serve ice cream, and a face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye. (Dave Matuskey, Sacramento)
Bergil: A small, furry rodent that’ll steal your heart. And your lungs. And your kidneys . . . (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Beaglu: A dog that never leaves your side. Literally. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Escrow: The avian species that best feathers its nest. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)
Felis up: A particularly aggressive species of orange tomcat. (Warren Tanabe)
Pornbush: An almost extinct species of foliage. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Ost-rich: A bird that buried its head in the sand and found oil. (John O’Byrne, Dublin)
Pseudoryx: A troublesome species of antelope, also known as fake gnus. (Kevin Dopart)
Rodnstaph: A virulent yet comforting bacterium. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Shyena: An animal that only giggles, with its paw over its mouth. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Tse fly: An African insect and principal transmitter of the somewhat-less-than-dreaded catnapping sickness. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
Umble python: A snake that only eats crow. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Fleamingo: Imagine how far this bird could jump using two legs. (Ray Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)
Wombath: The latest pet craze — because everyone likes a wombath at the end of the day. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
Funkgi: Aromatic organisms often found on unwashed feet. (Bella Portillo, Silver Spring, Md.)
Girhalf: April’s baby. (Mary Kappus, Washington)
Hefalump: A heavily wrinkled biped often seen in the company of bunnies. (David Garratt)
Masturdon: A lumbering, shaggy-haired mammal given to nocturnal bellows and preening shows of dominance. (Chris Doyle)
PACterium: Organism that dies quickly in the absence of money. (Mark Raffman)
Peach mint: Some in Congress would like to send this herb over to the White House. (James Colten, Washington, a First Offender)
Shampire: All-talk, no-action monster. “I’m going to suck so much blood. It’ll be beautiful.” (Duncan Stevens)
Sycolephant: Large animal with a long, brown nose (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.; Tom Witte)
Whombat: Fussy, annoying creature unable to adapt to a changing world. (William Kennard, Arlington)
Tydebola: A virus that sterilizes itself. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
Melonia: A fleshy fruit that lives in a symbiotic relationship with off-your-gourds. (Kevin Dopart)
Parsleigh: What Gwyneth Paltrow leaves out for Santa. (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Muhel: A rabbi who stubbornly refuses to perform circumcisions. (Roy Ashley. Washington)
Dzykfjxqugh’s brown palm civet: A small, nocturnal Asian mammal named for the renowned zoologist Thomas Dzykfjxqugh. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
Still running — deadline Monday night, June 12: our contest for short descriptions of how a Creator came up with some creations. See bit.ly/invite1230.