(Click here to skip down to the winning neologisms from our Tour de Fours contest)
Vomiting: Unplanned reexamination of recent food choices (Bradley Fisher)
Plagiarism: Previously owned prose (Stephen Dudzik)
Cowardly: Challenge-challenged (Wendy C. Leyes)
In an apparent effort to commemorate the work of both George Carlin and George Orwell, budget planners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been asked not to use seven particular terms: "transgender," "diversity," "fetus," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "evidence-based" and "science-based."
Well, they have to use some words, even if they'll be more confusing, and this probably isn't the last instance of word-banning ordered up by the executive branch. So the Loser Community is exhorted to shore up the glossary of alternatives for all kinds of Words Someone Might Not Like. This week: Come up with creative euphemisms for the words above, or for other words that might offend someone or other, as in the examples above from one of the very first Style Invitational contests, Week 10 in 1993. You might explain a particular context of how a word would be objectionable — at a different federal agency, say, or among a certain group of enthusiasts, and propose a workaround. Conversely, you can also suggest dysphemisms: terms that put the term in a worse light, such as "unwanted dreck" rather than "special value."
Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1259 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a Holiday Dinner Party Two-Pack: First, there's Mustard Marvin, a funny face that you use as a lid on a squeeze bottle of mustard — the yellow goo extrudes right out his mouth. And then there's a container of Bean Boozled jelly beans, featuring a gambler's assortment of not just peach but "barf," coconut but also "stinky socks." We didn't try them. Marvin was donated by Loser Dave Prevar, the beans by Alex Blackwood of Houston, who helps the Empress run the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook.
Other runners-up win our "You Gotta Play to Lose" Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, "I Got a B in Punmanship." Honorable mentions get one of our 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 Tuesday night, Jan. 2; results published Jan. 21 (online Jan. 18). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week's results is by Jeff Contompasis, who also suggested the dysphemism part of the contest; Jesse Frankovich wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. 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; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
The Style Conversational: The Empress's weekly online column, published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
NSTA-grams: Top SANT neologisms from Week 1255
In Week 1255, our annual Tour de Fours neologism contest, the Empress asked you to come up with a term that contained the letter block SANT, but in any order — which makes for 24 possible permutations. We got literally hundreds of Santa jokes (it was why we used SANT) and hundreds of Nats jokes, but they were remarkably varied.
Reprehensation: What our elected officials often give us. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Natsturtium: Flower that blooms from April through September, then fades quickly. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.; Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
and the Christmas Pickle; bath fizzies that spell "H-O"; and some lumps of coal:
Manstruation: Something that, if it happened, would result in three paid days off each month. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Amnasty International: The president's new name for the State Department. (Ann Martin, College Park, Md.)
Tasnamia: Country located right next to Nambia. (Duncan Stevens)
Antsy Claus: What Mrs. C. calls her husband when he's checked the list twice, rezippered his sack, checked all the reindeer hoofs, and started jingling his sleigh keys. (Harold Mantle, Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Cantstand: A vigorous exercise of disapproval. "We were watching 'Sex and the City,' but Dad started doing cantstands, so now we're watching the game." (Frank Osen)
Miles Standing: The mascot of I-66. (Barrett Swink, Gainesville, Va.)
Aghastnesses: What we seem to wake up to every new day. (Elena Helming, Longmeadow, Mass., a First Offender)
Kick in the pantsuit: What the Democrats got in the 2016 election. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
Nats all, folks!: Cry heard in Washington area early each October. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
Anonstarter: Procrastinator. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Santac: What Kris takes to settle his stomach after too many Kringles. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Stanless: The Washington Capitals' reputation for 43 years and counting. (Dave Silberstein, College Park, Md.)
Standoafish: Unsociable and stupid. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Stankh: A symbol placed on Egyptian mummies that got less than royal treatment. (Jeff Shirley; Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Postnaval drip: A retired sailor who bores you with war stories. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
SheetsAndGoogles: An online linen store. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
Cantsuit: The old baggy gray sweats for when you are unable to deal with the world so you eat ice cream and watch TV. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
Branstanding: Making a big deal about your healthful diet. (Dudley Thompson)
Repants (verb): opposite of depants. "If only he had repantsed himself more quickly, perhaps he could've avoided jail time." (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)
Tyrantsylvania: The terrifying land beneath the swamp. (Christy Tosatto, Brookeville, Md.)
Half-Vastness: What Alaskans call Texas. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)
Limplants: What's left when a boob job springs a leak. (Duncan Stevens)
Kanyé Nast: The media merger from hell. (Frank Osen)
Misspokahontas: "Did I say I was Native American?" (Jesse Frankovich)
Transanta: Kristen Kringle finally loses the beard. (Margaret L. Welsh, Oakton, Va.)
ATNs (Automated Teller Nymphs): The wee folk who pass $20 bills through the slot when you swipe your card. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Rantasaur: The codger who goes on and on about how our smartphones make us stupid. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)
Rantsom: The price teens must pay for having their dads pick them up at 3 a.m. at the police station. (Lawrence McGuire)
Tyrantasaurus Vex: An ancient species that spews venom and clings desperately with tiny hands to survive. (Jon Gearhart)
Santatize!: Don't let your chimney be the one that gets soot all over that nice red suit. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)
Pair-rants: When your mom and dad yell at you simultaneously. (Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)
Santa claws: Device to keep reluctant kids on Saint Nick's lap until the picture's taken. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)
Standex: Lycra fabric so tight you can't sit down. (Mark and Emily Schwartz, Arlington, Va., First Offenders)
Cowtans: What people wear when they outgrow caftans. (Frank Osen)
Gunderstanding: What Congress and the NRA have. (Kyle Hendrickson)
Trolled substances: Online comment sections. (Jesse Frankovich)
Ubetistan: The nickname for Nevada. (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)
Buttsand: The inevitable beach souvenir. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
Satn: The Weeknd's favorite underwear fabric. (Duncan Stevens)
And Last: Decontestants: Disincentives to participate in a competition. "Style Invitational runner-up prizes are powerful decontestants." (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md., who has, ahem, won 26 of them)
Still running — deadline Tuesday night, Dec. 26: your chance to enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from the past six months. See wapo.st/invite1258.