Four weeks ago, the Empress asked the Greater Loser Community to come up with new terms in which a digraph — a two-letter single-sound block — was replaced with another digraph. But she neglected to specify that both letters in that pair be changed, although that was the real intention of the contest.
In today’s Week 1303 results, all the neologisms have a two-letter change, but it wouldn’t be fair — to contestants or readers — to ignore those clever words that replaced “sh” with “sn,” or “tr” with “br.” So we’ll ask for that specifically. This week: Replace one letter in an existing word, name or multi-word phrase with one different letter (in the same place in the word) and define or describe the result, as in the Week 1303 entries above that would have been among this week’s honorable mentions. (Heck, I’ll even award them Loser magnets.) If you entered Week 1303 with such a word, feel free to use it again for Week 1307.
So after all these Invite neologism contests, how do you know if your word hasn’t already gotten ink for someone else? Now, thanks to 566-time Loser Elden Carnahan, you can quickly search through the text of all 1,306 previous Style Invitational contests in one big low-tech document. See it at wapo.st/invite-archive ; you can also reach it on the Losers’ website, nrars.org.
Submit entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1307 .
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the Christmas Carol Kazoo, a three-inch-square box that evidently contains one very little kazoo, plus song cards that are sure to make “Jingle Bells” even more annoying (“Jingle Beeps”?). Donated by Christina Courtney.
AND for third- and fourth-place Losers, back by Loserly demand: We’re on our last few “I Got a B in Punmanship” Grossery Bags, so we return to our classic “Whole Fools” logo — designed by Bob Staake based on an ink-winning idea by Tom Witte — on a wholefoodsy natural-tone cloth bag (new style this time). The Loser Mug (“You Gotta Play to Lose”) remains the other option.
Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better” or “IDiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Dec. 3; results published Dec. 23 (online Thursday, Dec. 20). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Di- Laughing” was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Kevin Dopart; Tom Witte wrote this week’s honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees 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 discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter this week's contest, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
DI- LAUGHING: WINNING 2-FOR-2 NEOLOGISMS
In Week 1303, the Empress asked the Losers to create new words by replacing a two-letter block called a digraph with another digraph. Within nanoseconds after the contest was posted, much confusion and debate erupted over what qualified as a digraph, causing the E to accept pretty much any two consecutive letters, except blocks that retained one of the original letters (see this week’s new contest).
Tweedo: A brand of coarse woolen swimwear with the unfortunate tendency to shrink when wet. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Schoolhouse Roth!: A fun and educational TV show about early retirement planning. (Frances Hirai-Clark, Columbia, Md.)
And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
George W. Burp: Runner-up, Most Uncouth President contest. (Tom Gleason, Lawrence, Kan., a First Offender)
Nahlogisms: Honorable mentions
Trimflam: “I swear, a friend of my sister’s lost 25 pounds a week just by vaping dried tapeworms.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Fritter: Social media platform where you waste your entire day. (Frank Mann, Washington)
Snitter: Antisocial media. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Twitzkrieg: “Early this morning he launched yet another Twitzkrieg of outrageous insults.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
The Rolling Stoics: They can’t get no satisfaction, but they’re okay with that. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Whine flu: The sniffles. “My husband was bedridden for three days with the whine flu.” (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Bluetorch: What the GOP got burned with in the midterms. (Margaret Welsh, Oakton, Va.)
Bragmire: “While opening his present, Glen realized he’d gotten himself into a real bragmire by claiming to be an experienced rattlesnake-handler.” (Frank Osen)
Choke on the Water: The story of the 2016 Cleveland Indians. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
Coasmella: Nickname for the Gilroy Garlic Festival. (May Jampathom, Oakhurst, N.J.)
Commander in grief: One more role he’s incapable of filling. (Chris Doyle)
Department of the Ulterior: If you can’t drain the swamp, make it official. (Gary Crockett)
Donald Truth: We wish. (Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)
Easter Bully: Steals candy, blames Hillary. (Jeff Swallen, Richmond, Va.)
“. . . and the parse you rode in on!” How to finish telling off a pedant. (Gary Crockett)
Dropsticks: Me eating in a Chinese restaurant. (Chris Doyle)
Grampoo: Bubbe’s blue rinse. (Jeff Contompasis)
Flocrastinate: To “hold it” while you play just one more round of Words With Friends. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
Fraustrophobia: Fear of one’s mother-in-law. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Freudonym: A code name psychiatrists use in their notes. “Angry Orange suffers from delusions of grandeur . . .” (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
Gastroentomologist: The doctor to visit if you have butterflies in your stomach. (Michael Rosen, New York)
To Insanity and Beyond! The catchphrase of Buzz Lightyear’s brother Donald. (Gary Crockett)
Kiltie porn: Upskirt pics from the Scottish Highland Games. (Chris Doyle)
Gefillo fish: Worst. Baklava. Ever. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
Get to weird base: Engage with orifices you didn’t know existed. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Global walling: A brilliant plan to keep all that illegal warm air from sneaking into our country. (Roy Ashley, Washington)
Goulack: Hungarian vegan stew. (Jeff Contompasis)
Mooreography: A sequence of moves used with teenage girls. (Kevin Dopart)
Phartup: A bad venture capital project: “Gerald’s worst phartup was the self-driving baby stroller.” (Frank Osen)
Prose but no cigar: What to give the reader in your carpool. (Greg Dobbins, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Reagan Optional Airport: How longtime Washington residents view the current name of DCA. (John Kupiec, Fairfax)
Second-string halfbath: A creek and a bucket. (Frances Hirai-Clark)
Shove compartment: A better name for that thing in your car that’s jampacked with everything but gloves. (Jesse Frankovich)
Stainless stool: An advancement that would make washing cloth diapers a breeze. (Jesse Frankovich)
Stychology: Subtle attempts to persuade your teenager to clean his room. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Valley of the Dorks: The California region that opted for “Silicon” instead. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
Vlad School: Preferred alma mater of new State Department appointees. (Chris Doyle)
The Stove Invitational: Each week the Autocrat selects a dish, and readers submit terrible recipes for that dish. (Gary Crockett)
Still running — deadline Monday night, Dec. 3: our contest for song parodies set to holiday tunes. See wapo.st/invite1306.
DON’T MISS AN INVITE! Sign up here to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete with links to the columns.