mardi 18 janvier 2011

Washington Post Word Contest (Part 2)

Jonathan Goldberg poursuit sa série d’articles sur le concours de mots imaginaires du Washington Post.

The Washington Post regularly invites readers to participate in its “Change a Letter, Change a Lot” contest. The idea is to take an existing word, change or add one letter and give it an entirely new meaning. Here are three entries that have appeared in the Washington Post, with my own explanations added:

5. Bozone:  The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. (The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.)  

This invented word combines two real words:  ozone and bozo. Ozone is a gas. (Its chemical formula is O3.) The ozone layer is found in the stratosphere, 13 to 40 kilometers above the earth.  Bozo is a pejorative word, referring to a stupid or incompetent person. Bozone thus refers to a layer surrounding stupid people.  (Unlike the ozone layer, which is gradually being pierced by human activity on earth, bozone, its inventor suggests, is likely to remain intact.)

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about  yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

This is a play on two words: foreplay and ploy. The former refers to erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse. The latter refers to a tactic intended to mislead someone and gain an advantage for yourself. The definition of the invented word, foreploy, combines both the element of erotic stimulation contained in foreplay and the misleading tactic or misrepresentation suggested by ploy. (To get laid is American familiar speech for the verb to have sex.)

7. Giraffiti : A very, very high act of vandalism

This word is a fusion of graffiti and giraffe. The painting of graffiti is often considered an act of vandalism. The words “very, very high” refer to the height of a giraffe.

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