New contest for Week 1220 O pedantry, O pedantry
Whenever a woman tells me that she loves me with all her heart, I patiently explain that the heart is an autonomic blood pump incapable of emotion, and that her statement is therefore without meaning. No woman has made that mistake with me twice. (Joseph Romm) The expression “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose” is woefully inaccurate. There is no physical barrier to picking the nose of another person. The barrier would be one of social acceptability. A more accurate statement would be “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you may not etc.” (Jamie Eckman) Those ever so helpful clarifications arrived via Style Invitational Week 330, in the summer of 1999. That contest was inspired by those less imaginative pedants who pointed out incessantly that the next century would not start on New Year’s Day 2000, but on New Year’s Day 2001. Eighteen years later, nobody cares anymore when this century started (okay, maybe you do) but surely there’s plenty to fauxquibble about that would make even confirmed acunerds (see today’s Week 1216 results) roll their eyes (but how can they roll with so much connective tissue around the iris?). This week: Give us
some humorous pedantry, as in the examples above. Don’t make them any longer than those; shorter ones are welcome. Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1220 (all lowercase). Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a tall blackandwhite ceramic travel mug with a picture of a flying saucer and the text “GET IN LOSER.” The Empress, who believes passionately in the importance of commas, interprets that line in a way perhaps not intended. Donated billions and billions of years ago by the In Loser Brendan Beary. Other runners-up win our new “Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lustedafter Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly treeshaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, April 3; results published April 23 (online April 20). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. “Wittygriddy” in the headline was sent by both Jesse Frankovich and Stuart Rogers, the honorablementions subhead by Beverley Sharp and Jeff Contompasis. 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 discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.