Week 380 (XLVII) : The New-Name Offense

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 17, 2000

Old name: Styrofoam

New name: Tofu-tile

Old Name: Cellulite

New name: Gluteflab

Old name: Sneeze

New name: Shnitz

This week's contest was suggested by Stephen Dudzik of Silver Spring, who notes that Beaver College in Pennsylvania has recently changed its name to Arcadia College (for reasons that, in the interests of good taste, we do not wish to even speculum about). The only point we want to make is that some places or things are very much in need of a name change--either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. Propose some changes, as in the examples above. First- prize winner gets The World's Only One-Size Fits All Shoe, an extremely dense product that appears to be vacuum-packed in a very tight space, and that we are afraid to open for fear of the accidental amputation of a nose or finger. It is worth $15.

First runner-up wins the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. The Uncle's Pick wins the shockingly ugly "The Uncle Loves Me" T-shirt. Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312, or by e-mail to, or by U.S. mail to The Style Invitational, Week XLVII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 24. All entries must include the week number of the contest and your name, postal address and a daytime or evening telephone number. E-mail entries must include the week number in the subject field. Contests will be judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Editors reserve the right to edit entries for taste or content. Results will be published in four weeks. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes.


in which we asked you to compose a very very unwise first line to a college application. High school senior Beth Baniszewski, from Columbia, reports that her actual college application letter contains the following line: "Last spring I received my most cherished honor to date, the Rookie of the Year plaque given by the obsessive followers of the Washington Post's Style Invitational humor contest." We wish Beth a terrific academic career at the Eugene C. Thudsplatter College of Cosmetology and Refrigerator Maintenance.

Fourth Runner-Up: When I told my friends I was applying to Lehigh, they were, like, no way, and I was, like, yes way. And they were, like, way cool. And I was, like . . . (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Third Runner-Up: My mother has probably already written to you, spreading her lies . . . (David Genser, Arlington)

Second Runner-Up: I am a vegetarian and all I demand is that any vegetable I eat be pureed or finely chopped so it in no way resembles its original self before it was murdered. I am sure your dining hall . . . (Judith E. Cottrill, Bronx, N.Y.)

First Runner-Up: Four years of fees at your institution comes to about $78,000; you just bill my father and mail me half the money. He'll never find out. Trust me, this deal is sweeeeeet. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

And the winner of the Marilyn Monroe wall clock:

My plan for college is:

S -- start with the basics

C -- comprehensive approach

H -- Help fellow man

O -- Organize knowledge

L -- Leisure time

E -- Eat properly

R -- Respect for diversity.

(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Honorable Mentions

Most people don't realize that there actually is more than one way to skin a cat . . . (Laura McGinniss, Madison, N.J.; Jason Kirwan, Washington)

First off, coach said there wasn't going to be no writing . . . (David Genser, Arlington)

If I have accidentally sealed this envelope with cash inside, well, finder's keepers! (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

I'm 49, newly divorced, eager to start a new life and new career, and teach that sonova . . . (Judith E. Cottrill, Bronx)

I'm grounded until I complete this application. So here goes . . . (Mike Genz, La Plata)

[College name] is my first choice since it is perfectly suited to my interests and abilities. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

Because my girlfriend is applying to your school (actually, she is not really my girlfriend yet, since I have not spoken to her, but I know everything she does) I have decided . . . (Russell Beland, Springfield)

I was born in February 1983 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, then the next few years are kind of a blank, then I was enrolled in nursery school . . . (Jim Eppard, Germantown)

To demonstrate my love for your school, I have spray-painted your logo on my town's water tower. (Mel Loftus, Holmen, Wis.)

Dear Harvard: I am six foot seven and I way 285 pounds and I'll knock any linebacker gets in my way right on his ass if you let me in. (Michael Levy, Silver Spring)

I study the English since two annuals, so can right the many pages insuing with no difficult. (Thomas Drucker, Carlisle, Pa.)

I do not take drugs, drink, smoke, read pornography, eat fatty foods, watch TV, speak, bathe . . . (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Siddhartha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Martin Luther--I love 'em all! (Fred S. Souk, Reston)

Nothing makes me crazy like people who walk dogs in public. (Richard Davis, New York)

College is probably the last place they'll look for me, so . . . (Larry Phillips, Falls Church)

As the enclosed transcripts demonstrate from my previous semesters at Harvard, Colgate, Strayer College, the DeVry Institute . . . (Mike Elliott, Oberlin, Ohio)

Stardate 590217. Dear Starfleet Academy . . . (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

Dear Morty: I am sending you this e-mail while taking a break from filling out State U's online application form, which was obviously designed by idiots . . . (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

Please accept my apology for the pencil smudges. I can't find a pen . . . (Jean Sorenson, Herndon)

I was born on a dark and stormy night after my mom was in labor for 25 hours and she bled all over and she looked like raw meat or some huge gaping wound like on a battlefield from a cannonball where you see all the severed tubes sticking out and . . . (Melissa Yorks, Gaithersburg)

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to write some impressive sounding crap that you pompous fatheads probably won't even read past the first few words . . . (Carolyn Dikranis, Clifton; Colette Zanin, Greenbelt)

Attending your fine institution would give me the opportunity to mix socially with such diverse groups as homosexuals, African- Americans, Jews, and others not normally encountered in respectable society. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

To Admissions Committee, Bob Jones University: People are always asking me, "Hey, LaKeisha, why are you such a devoted Wiccan?" and I say . . . (Noah Meyerson, Washington)

Out stand application my make to something do should I that know I. (Colette Zanin, Greenbelt)

The Uncle's Pick:

My IQ is not only a perfect square, it is the perfect square of a perfect square, and in fact is the perfect square of a perfect square of a perfect square . . . (Joseph Romm, Washington)

The Uncle Explains: The applicant's IQ must be 256, which is 2 times 2 times 4 times 16. This is not particularly funny, but math is important.

Next Week: MMDCLIV


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