New con­test for Week 1129: Right in the pam­pootie

Py­opoiesis! The word is a doozy. It’s not about mat­ters poetic. It’s all about pus­tules that smell and are oozy! (How’s that for a morn­ing emetic?)

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS -

Last month’s Na­tional Spell­ing Bee, like last year’s, ended in a tie be­tween the top two kids: Mid­west­ern eighth-graders Gokul Venkat­acha­lam and Vanya Shivashankar both cor­rectly spelled ev­ery word put to them — 20 rounds’ worth — un­til the judges de­clared them both win­ners, packed up their Web­ster’s Thirds and went home.

While each speller gained na­tional fame along with $37,000 in money and prizes, their shared pur­suit al­ways brings out the crit­ics who call spell­ing bees a colos­sal waste of time and ef­fort put into mem­o­riz­ing lists of words that no­body ever uses.

No­body? That’s us! We’ll use them! This week: Write a hu­mor­ous short poem (eight lines or fewer) in­cor­po­rat­ing

one of the 50 words listed be­low, as in the ex­am­ple above by that, er, udite man of letters (usu­ally the let­ter F) Gene Wein­garten; each was used at some point in this year’s bee. The po­ems have to make sense with the words’ true mean­ings; you can’t just pre­tend they mean some­thing else. (Most of the real mean­ings aren’t brain-achers; they in­clude “horse­shoe­shaped,” “freck­les” and “a wasp nest.” A Google search for any of these words should give you the def­i­ni­tion and pro­nun­ci­a­tion on the first page of re­sults. You may use the word in a dif­fer­ent form, such as a plu­ral or a dif­fer­ent tense.

Win­ner gets the Inkin’ Me­mo­rial, the Lin­coln statue bob­ble­head that is the of­fi­cial Style In­vi­ta­tional tro­phy. Sec­ond place re­ceives, in keep­ing with this week’s literary theme, two var­ied books: “Na­ture’s Nether Re­gions,” “a tour of evo­lu­tion’s most in­ven­tive — and es­sen­tial — cre­ations: an­i­mal gen­i­talia”; and the out-of-print “The Art of the Fart,” fea­tur­ing his­tor­i­cal anec­dotes and var­i­ous other ob­ser­va­tions at­tempt­ing to stretch it out into at least a gift-size book. Do­nated by Loser Pie Snel­son.

Other run­ners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ar­dently de­sired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Hon­or­able men­tions get a lusted-af­ter Loser mag­net de­signed by Bob Staake: ei­ther “The Wit Hit the Fan” or “Hardly HarHar.” First Of­fend­ers re­ceive a smelly tree-shaped air “fresh­ener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail en­tries to losers@wash­ or, if you were born in the 19th cen­tury, fax to 202-334-4312. Dead­line is Mon­day night, June 29; re­sults pub­lished July 19 (online July 16). You may sub­mit up to 25 en­tries per con­test. In­clude “Week 1129” 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 at­vRules. The head­line for this week’s re­sults is by Jeff Con­tom­pa­sis; the hon­or­able­men­tions sub­head is by Mae Scanlan. Join the lively Style In­vi­ta­tional Devo­tees group on Face­book at­vdev. “Like” the Style In­vi­ta­tional Ink of the Day on Face­book at­day.

3THE 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 at­conv.


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