New contest for Week 1236: Portmanteaux faux
AMEN: A combination of “abominable” and “yesmen.” Example: “Do you love our president? Let’s hear an Amen!” DEGREE: Combines “degrading” and “twee.” “So what was it like to defend your dissertation in front of Professor Pomposity?” “Totally the third degree.”
This week’s contest, suggested by classics scholar and 87time Loser Ann Martin, combines a couple of the Invitational’s frequent contest themes: It incorporates the idea of a portmanteau word, a word that’s coined by combining two other words, along with our beloved practice of promulgating totally bogus explanations. This week: Explain — inaccurately but amusingly — how a
real word is a combination of two or more words, with an illustrative sentence, as in the examples above, or some other funny way. Submit entries at this website: wapo.st/enterinvite1236 (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, actually in season for once, a raftsize
triangular brown pool float — in this case, we should call it a floater — depicting the nowfamous poop emoji. The triangle’s long sides are almost five feet long. Donated by Hall of Fame Loser Jeff Contompasis. 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 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, July 24; results published Aug. 13 (online Aug. 10). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jeff Contompasis; the honorablementions subhead is by Chris Doyle. 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 for song parody guidance this week, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.