Wishing You a Happy, Healthy and Humorous New Year

Wit and wisdom are virtues I admire most in people. No matter what you’re working on, a good sense of humor is always a useful addition to your toolbox. Here are a few wise and witty gems I’d like to share with you.

During the holidays, I had a jolly laugh while reading an email passed on to me. This list of wordplays comes from the “Style Invitational” contest run by the Washington Post. The contest originated in 1993 with a challenge to readers to rename the Washington Redskins, a name deemed culturally insensitive by some.  Douglas R. Miller submitted the winning entry: “The Baltimore Redskins. No, don’t move the team, just let Baltimore deal with it.

Another chuckle-inducing contest by Style Invitational challenged readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition. I laughed more than a little reading these responses:

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
Bozone : The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.
Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid. 
Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
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 bummer. 
Decafalon : The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. 
Beelzebug : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out. 
Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
In this example, readers were asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. Here are a few winners:

Coffee: The person upon whom one coughs. 
Flabbergasted: Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained. 
Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Willy-nilly: Impotent. 
Negligent: Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
Gargoyle: Olive-flavored mouthwash.
Oyster: A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms. 
Circumvent: An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Merriam-Webster Online also compiled a list of user-submitted words. Here are a few of my favorites.

Cyberchondriac: One who imagines physical ailments after reading about them on the Internet
E-cqaintance: A person known to another through online communication only
Ecotistical: Having or showing an excessively high opinion of oneself because of one's conservationist ecological practices
Drizzmal: Relating to rainy weather that causes melancholy
Nonversation: Conversation that seems meaningless or without logic

How about it dear readers? Are you up to a humor challenge from the Contractress? Here’s the idea. Let’s take a word within a word, and use the smaller word to somehow “enhance” the definition of the larger word. It’d be good to keep to a theme of home improvement and/or construction projects, but you don’t have to.

I’ll supply a first example, which you should all be familiar with, that is, if you’ve read my book, which I hope you have! The word is “CONtractor” and it means an unscrupulous contractor (i.e., one who tries to con you). Let me know what you come up with. I’m looking forward to reading your entries and I’ll publish the best in an upcoming post.

As Mark Twain wrote: Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing. Welcome 2011!

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The Contractress @
12:26AM on January 14, 2011
Today I created a new word. I think you will be amused. Newsance(n): Someone who forwards unwanted and inane information via the Internet.
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