Wordsmithing doesn’t require hammer and anvil
Computers are better than typewriters for several reasons. When I bought a new computer last year, I discovered that everything I’ve written in the last 12 years is available, listed alphabetically.
The Washington Post used to have a contest for people who could create new words by altering one or more letters.
Here are some examples I’ve found:
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
Flabbergasted: Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
Psychiatryst: A clandestine sexual liaison with a shrink.
Monomeism: A human’s belief that he or she is a god or a goddess.
Aqueduck: A mallard that enjoys swimming in a canal.
Anonymouse: A rodent that leaves a trail but can never be found.
Awkword: One that’s difficult to pronounce while you’re trying to woo a member of the opposite sex.
Sputter: The sound a golfer makes after missing a birdie putt by an inch.
Catophony: The sound of two fighting felines at 3 a.m.
Cantankerous: The outrage you feel when $40 worth of gasoline won’t fill up your tank.
Intracktable: Mountainous region too rugged to allow construction of a high-speed rail line.
Thingy: Any item that can’t be described in any other way.
Unhampered: Dirty clothes that are still left on the floor until somebody comes along to wash them.
Counterintelligence: Any concept that one can prove — in his own mind — to be absolutely stupid. Ambitextrous: The ability to send a message on your phone with either hand while driving. But don’t do it.
Destrucktive: Massive damage done to businesses and residences by an 18-wheeler that loses its brakes while headed down a steep hill. Don’t try this unless you’re a stuntman making a movie.
Descrated: A badly mangled package that was improperly packed and is falling apart when it arrives on your front doorstep.
Obfuskater: A confused amateur trying out a new set of blades on ice.
Apocalypstick: Makeup suitable for any culminating or decisive event including a romantic breakup or the sudden and violent end of the world.
And here are some jumbled words made up from 2020 news stories:
Ukrain: A heavy downpour in an Eastern Europe nation.
Berth control: What a conductor does on a train with sleeping accommodations.
Iowa caucuss: Bleeped words following losses by candidates.
Chinese checkers: People who calculate higher prices on goods hyped by tariffs.
And then every once in a while the ancient proverbs that have help guide humans to avoid obvious mistakes need an update.
Here are some samples: The early bird gets the best parking space.
Actions speaker louder than words — a fact lost on members of Congress.
All the world loves a lover, but being unfaithful can ruin a good political or sports career.
Beauty is only skin deep and may be the result of plastic surgery.
Let sleeping dogs lie but don’t let lying dogs sleep.
April showers bring forth May babies.
A fool and his money are soon parted — which explains why so many states have lotteries.
Civility costs nothing, incivility can cost you jail time and a big fine.
Honesty is the best policy but premium rates can be raised annually.