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The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

Post 1


The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's {2005} winners:

1. Intaxication:
Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation:
Coming back to life as a hillbilly

3. Bozone (n.):
The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy:
Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.):
The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially
impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti:
Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm:
The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who
doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte:
To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis:
Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis:
A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon:
It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad
vibes, right?

And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like a serious

12. Decafalon (n.):
The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido:
All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.):
The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.):
Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.):
The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

...... And the pick of the literature:

18. Ignoranus:
A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Greetings from Amsterdamned..

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

Post 2

The Empress

I realize that I'm responding to a four-year-old posting, but that same post has actually been circulating (and continues to circulate daily) for a dozen years!

Actually, there isn't any "Mensa Invitational," but The Washington Post does have a wonderfully clever humor contest called The Style Invitational. And two Invitational contests from 1998 are the sources of many of the neologisms in the list above. (But not all: For example, "decafalon" isn't a one-letter change from "decathlon," is it? Or "caterpallor"?)

Much better to see the the current Invitational -- every week at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. We've had more than 600 contests since the ones above! The Style Invitational is published every Saturday in The Post's Style (features) section, and every Friday afternoon at about 3:30 U.S. Eastern time. There are neologism contests regularly, but also lots of other sources of humor as well.

For example, here are the top winners of our May 7 neologism contest for single-word spoonerisms -- where the first letters of different syllables were switched:

Inpocchio: Imprisonment for lying. (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

Thirber: Someone who makes up a story about the secret life of another person. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)

Karping: "You'll never fit in that space, Harold. You're too close to the curb, Harold!" (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)
Scorohope: Believing you'll get lucky because of your sign. (Chris Lopez, Reston, Va.)

In another contest, every word had to include a block of three consecutive letters of the alphabet — backward.

Flingpong: Having your own affair to get even with a cheating spouse. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Burpon: Carbonated whiskey. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

Zyxzag: Path created during a DWI test when the cop makes you walk 20 steps while reciting the alphabet in reverse. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

See the rest of the winners and learn how to enter the current contest at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. Or you can become a fan of "Washington Post Style" on Facebook (go to facebook.com/wapostyle ) and you'll get a link to the Invitational when it's posted. I hope you become a regular reader and maybe even a regular entrant.


The Empress of The Style Invitational

The Washington Post


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The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

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