Mensa Invitational contest results

There’s a bit of a mystery attached to this post. I received it in an email from a colleague, labeled “Ottawa Citizen Mensa Invitational”. In fact, it doesn’t appear to originate with the Ottawa Citizen, but it’s still entertaining.

It’s a word game. The rules are:  take any word from the dictionary; alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter; and supply a new definition.

For example, graffiti becomes giraffiti:  Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

My favourites:

  • Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  • Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
  • Decafalon (n.): 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.
  • Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  • Glibido: All talk and no action.
  • Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
  • Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  • Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person
    who doesn’t get it.

And my personal favourite:

  • Karmageddon: It’s when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it’s a serious bummer.

What’s the mystery? Via this blog, I learned that the contest is usually attributed to the Washington Post instead of the Ottawa Citizen.

And the Post never hosted a “Mensa Invitational”, though it did host a similar contest in 1998:

With mystifying regularity, we continue to receive … unsolicited entries to what’s sometimes called the “Mensa Invitational,” and most recently “Change a Letter, Change a Lot”: The results of Week 271 [the 1998 contest] have continued to orbit in cyberspace for almost 10 years, picking up forwarders’ own efforts along the way.

The Post supplies more worthy entries, even though contestants were limited to words beginning with E, F, G, or H:

  • Epigramp: A maxim that brands the speaker as an old codger: “If God had wanted women to wear pants . . .” (Brendan Beary)
  • Eruditz: A philosophy professor who can’t figure out how to work the copying machine. (John Kupiec, Fairfax) (Perhaps that should be, theology professor)
  • FAQu: The response to frequently asked stupid questions. (Ira Allen, Bethesda)
  • Flimflame: To commit arson for the insurance money. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)
  • Hasta la visa, baby: Gov. Schwarzenegger’s immigration reform slogan. (Cheryl Davis, Arlington)
  • Hiltoon: A girl who has become a caricature of herself. (Tom Witte)
  • Randiose: Given to excessive embellishment of one’s sexual appetite and conquests. (Tom Witte)
  • Testiculate: To conspicuously readjust one’s package. (Tom Greening)
  • Whomicide: Murdering the King’s English. (Chris Doyle, sent from Bangkok)

There are a lot of clever people out there!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aaron
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:53:38

    Yes, the WaPo style invitational has come up with some great contests over the years, including that one. I think I even entered that one way back when, though my entry didn’t make the cut (you can google my name and style invitational to see one where I was co-honorable mention, but the contest where I was first runner-up doesn’t seem to be posted in cyberspace).


  2. Brian Perks
    Nov 20, 2009 @ 06:40:27

    Prolitical: The act of voting for a bill without actually reading it; the act of following blindly what your party leaders tell you; the art of ass kissing. “Gary Peters was prolitical for H.R. 3962.”


  3. billarends
    Nov 20, 2009 @ 08:57:35

    Pleadership: The act of attempting to lead by incessant whining. Elizabeth May is extraordinarily good at Pleadership


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