Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Washington Post...

At one point in the not-so-distant past, I lived in Washington, DC. While I was there I got into the habit of reading The Washington Post either online or whenever I stumbled across a copy of the physical paper at one of the 1.7 billion Starbucks in the DC-Metro area (seriously, why do you need a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks? Can anyone explain that to me?).

Anyway, the other day, while talking to a friend on the phone, I referenced an OP/ED piece that I had read in The Washington Post back when I lived in DC. I really liked this particular editorial - mainly for its witty use of language. Since I think about it so often, I decided that I'd try to find a copy of it in the paper's online archives.

The topic of the OP/ED piece - even the article itself - it's not important to this post. The search for it, however, is somewhat significant. Why, you ask? Well, during my online hunt for a copy of the ancient editorial, I stumbled upon the following:

Report from week 278:

  • Fifth Runner-Up: Foreploy: any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Fourth Runner-Up: Fortissimoe: the musical moment produced when someone serially slaps the faces of the first-violin section. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

  • Third Runner-Up: Tatyr: a lecherous Mr. Potato Head. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Second Runner-Up: Doltergeist: a spirit that decides to haunt someplace stupid, such as your septic tank. (David Genser, Arlington)

  • First Runner-Up: Giraffiti: vandalism spray-painted very, very high, such as the famous "Surrender Dorothy" on the Beltway overpass. (Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

And the winner of the two-foot-high baby bottle:
  • Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Necronancy: communication with the late Ernie Bushmiller. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Contratemps: the resentment permanent workers feel toward the fill-in workers. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

  • Coiterie: a very, very close-knit group.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Whitetater: a political hot potato.(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

  • Impotience: eager anticipation by men awaiting their Viagra prescription. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Elepants: too-tight jeans on broad-beamed people. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

  • Lollapalooka: someone who has taken one too many turns in the mosh pit. (Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

  • Auto-da-feh: the extermination of heretics via drowning in a vat of pus. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Stupfather: Woody Allen. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

  • DIOS: the one true operating system.(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Inoculatte: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Thripp: a bug. (Bee Perrin, Washington)

  • Hipatitis: terminal coolness. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Writer's tramp: a woman who practices poetic licentiousness. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Goodzilla: a giant lizard that puts out forest fires by stamping on them. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Taterfamilias: the head of the Potato Head family. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Guillozine: a magazine for executioners.(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

  • Osteopornosis: a degenerate disease.(Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Adulatery: cheating on one's wife with a much younger woman who holds you in awe.(Joseph Romm, Washington)

  • Suckotash: a dish consisting of corn, lima beans and tofu. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

  • Emasculathe: a tool for castration.(Steve Fahey, Kensington)

  • Sata: a mythical being who brings toys to bad children. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Burglesque: a poorly planned break-in.(See: Watergate) (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

  • 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. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

  • Genitaliar: an image-enhancing object that can be carried in a man's front pocket.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

  • Glibido: all talk and no action. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Antifun gal: a prude. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

  • Vaseball: a game of catch played by children in the living room. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

  • Eunouch: the pain of castration.(Jonathan Paul, Garrett park)

  • Hindkerchief: really expensive toilet paper; toilet paper at Buckingham Palace.(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

  • Deifenestration: to throw all talk of God out the window. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

  • Hozone: the area around 14th Street.(Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

  • Acme: a generic skin disease. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Hindprint: indentation made by a couch potato. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

  • Intaxication: euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Newtspaper: the Washington Times. (Fil Feit, Annandale)

  • Nazigator: an overbearing member of your carpool. (Elizabeth Monte, Fairfax)

  • Synapple: a perfect beverage to accompany brain food. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

  • Socceur: the proper spelling of the sport for the next four years, alas. (Kevin Eade, Columbia)

  • And Lust: an unseemly craving for this position in the column. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Next Week: Treacle-Down Theory

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Several months ago (September? October?), I received a forward from a friend or relative that implied that most of the words listed above were actually the end result of a contest that The Washington Post holds annually. I had never heard of such a contest, so I disregarded the forward as "funny, but false".

Then, I stumbled upon the "Report from week 278" while looking for the OP/ED piece, and it dawned on me that there was some truth behind that stupid forward I had received six or seven months ago. The words had actually come from The Washington Post! True, they were not coined for the sake of some yearly challenge issued by the paper, but the source was still the same (even if words, themselves, are eight years old!).

Anyway, I just found it fascinating that I accidentally discovered the truth behind an email forward. That has definitely never happened to me before. It was even more interesting that I stumbled upon the truth without even looking for it.

This leads me to my next question:

Why doesn't that EVER happen when you want it to?

Case in point: I've yet to find the stupid OP/ED piece that I set out for.




Amstaff Mom said...

I think this was my favorite, although there were many others.

Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

I think I read something like this in Reader's Digest before.

RR said...

Like AM, I've read this somewhere before, but that doesn't make it any less amusing. My favorites were sarchasm and the Dopeler effect.