Competition

New word order

24 August 2013

9:00 AM

24 August 2013

9:00 AM

In Competition 2811 you were invited to take an existing word and alter it by a) adding a letter; b) changing a letter; and c) deleting a letter; and to supply definitions for all three new words.
 
First of all, apologies for any unintentional ambiguity in the brief. Most of you got it but a few complained that my instructions weren’t as clear as they might have been. The idea was to revert to the original word at each stage of the exercise.
 
This challenge goes down a storm over at the Washington Post, which regularly throws down the gauntlet to followers of its magnificent ‘Style Invitational’ contest. It proved equally popular this side of the pond and the entries came flooding in.
 
Alison Zucker impressed with Litterature: free newspapers abandoned on public transport as did Peter Goulding with Frostitute: a person who performs sexual favours for money above the Arctic Circle. I also liked Derek Morgan’s Fausterity: a cutback in government funding for grand opera and Juliet Blaxland’s hippocraic: the jollity surrounding any event involving horses.
 
The winners earn £15 each except for Frank McDonald and Basil Ransome-Davies, who take £30.

Villanelle; Sestina
The villainelle’s a poem that tells a tale
Of rogues and robbers and of life in jail.
The Willanelle’s a parody on the bard
That mocks his sonnet stuff, which isn’t hard.
The illanelle is verse to make you vomit
And Eliot made a lot of money from it.
The seastina is something Masefield wrote
On quinquireme and galleon, barge and boat.
The sextina’s a love poem whose agenda
Has everything to do with the pudenda.
The estina, first written in Montmartre,
Is based on being, being based on Sartre.
Frank McDonald
Facebook
 
Farcebook: Facebook
Fakebook: Facebook
Acebook: Pride and Prejudice
Interlude
Pinterlude: protracted pause
Interdude: hip mortician
Interude: trolling
Basil Ransome-Davies
 
Transubstantiation
Transpubstantiation: The miraculous conversion of a week’s wages into pints of Guinness
Iransubstantiation: An attempt, by any high-ranking western official, to justify yet another shift in Middle East policy
Tansubstantiation: Replacing one’s pasty complexion with something darker from spray bottle
The defence secretary’s failed attempts at Iransubstantiation, coupled with the sad orange results of his tansubstantiation, led inevitably to transpubstantiation.
Melissa Balmain
 
Nonsense
Nounsense: Acuity in using names of persons, places, and things
Nunsense: Perception of piety
Nosense: What most politicians have
Mae Scanlan
 
Propriety
Proprivety: in favour of hedges
Poopriety: cleaning up the mess left by one’s dog
Propiety: goody-goody
Derek Robinson
 
Psychopath
Psychopatch: ‘quick fix’ mental health programme, e.g., cognitive therapy
Psychobath: brainwashing, mental waterboarding or ‘re-education’ of dissidents
Psychopat: seriously deranged Brit living abroad
G.M. Davis
 
Wrinkle
Wrinklet: (n.) small wrinkle
Trinkle (v.) to trade in trinkets
Rinkle (n.) unobtrusive ring-tone
W.J. Webster
 
Deadline
Dreadline: The very first sign that a woman’s facial skin is not 100 per cent smooth.
Deadwine: All the slops in the glasses left over from a party (esp. of teenagers) poured into a container, for the purpose of starting the next party with ‘punch’.
Dadline: A 24-hour Helpline for fathers (esp. of teenagers)
Jayne Osborn
 
Malcontent
Maltcontent: the number of malts contained in a bottle of Scotch whiskey. E.g.: Glenfiddich has a maltcontent of one.
Falcontent: the canvas hood, often pointed and sloped like a tent, placed over the head of a predatory bird in captivity (rare)
Alcontent: mild sense of euphoria brought about by the consumption of alcoholic beverages
Robert Schechter

No. 2814: genesis

We all occasionally have good ideas in unlikely circumstances. You are invited to describe those in which a great writer might have stumbled upon an idea that he or she would later put to good use (150 words maximum). Please email entries, where possible, to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 4 September.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

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