Friday, December 12, 2008


Clearly unintentional spoonerisms and newly coined words are plentiful in this Great Age of Misspeak. But my followers (that sounds so like sycophants, but I assure you is not -- more my friends who are devilled by my alternating obliqueness and transparency) are requesting space on this otherwise so serious-minded blog to encourage readers to create and submit some that are both intentional and humorous. Note: Verbifying is strictly verboten (such hideous affronts to the language as the recent, "It's time to progress this country" come to mind). Some examples beyond "blog" to get you going: One of my family's favorite spoonerisms at home arose from years of squabbles among the children about whose turn it was to take on the nasty task of cleaning up after kitty. The end result: "It's your turn to clean the bat cox." Then there's the "portmanteau" word made famous by Lewis Carroll, such as "chortle," a combo of chuckle and snort. The persistent among us can actually introduce these words into the vernacular and experience great pride as they take hold. Although not my invention, I experienced delight many years ago in adding "frust" to my family's vocabulary (Definition: that annoying line of dust that you can't get into the dustpan with the brush). These well-blended words of course deserve a term of their own, hence the title of today's post. So, I challenge you to submit your suggestions by entering your brilliant spoonerisms or portmanteaus (and definitions!) as comments. An objective committee with vast linguistic knowledge and sharp wit will determine which will get posted. Due to the celebrity status of this committee, I am unable to share their names publicly. Keep in mind that whereas there is no requirement that these clever coinages be either scatological or ribald, neither is discouraged. To get you started, here is one born yesterday and deemed acceptable: Lamentainment: n. Story of one's life that is so absurdly pathetic and/or self-pitying that it makes others amused. Usage: Ron's repetitive recounting of his recent rejection provided lamentainment for his relations. (Note: Alliteration not required in definition) Related terms: Seflamentainment, exlamentainment (the former being sefexplantory and the latter close in meaning to the German Schadenfreude, but limited to the spontaneous if non-karmic laughter resulting from being privy to gossip re. the sufferings of one's ex-boy- or girlfriend, spouse, co-worker, or boss.) Reminder: to be considered, these blurds must be original and creative. Under no circumstances will you get away with either Bidenizing (yikes! I verbed!) or simple-mindedly gluing a string of words together as if you were a bureaucrat from Berlin. p.s. Please let me know if you want credit, by name or pseudonym (specified), for your submission.

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