||Blasted alphabetical contests . . .
||Coin a three-word phrase whose words begin with A, B and C -- in any order -- and describe it.
||You're only as rich as you fee
||What are some really bad ideas for various businesses to make a few more bucks?
||Re-arrange all the words in the title of a movie, and describe the resulting work.
||Combine the beginning and end of any two words or names in this week's Style Invitational or Style Conversational columns to make a new term, and define it.
||Change a movie title by one letter (or number, if the title includes a number) and describe the new film.
||No Googlenopes left
||Come up with a humorous Googlenope.
||Look This Up in Your Funk & Wagnalls
||Supply the pair of terms listed at the top of a page of any print dictionary to indicate the first and last listings on the page, and define that hyphenated term.
||3 H |
||Take a Letter -- Again
||Take a word, term or name that begins with A, B, C or D; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word.
||Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it.
||Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art.
||Around Things Moving
||Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about.
||Hard to Overstate
||Propose ways to make modern life just a little bit harder than it needs to be.
||Come up with a terrible bit of miscasting in a movie or TV show, past or present, real or imagined.
||No Can Do
||Write signs of incompetence.
||THE "STY"LE INVITATIONAL
||Choose any word and emphasize a single part of it, as though you were saying the word out loud with "air quotes" around the key part. Then redefine the word. You cannot alter the spelling of the word.
||1 H H H |
||ON SECOND THOUGHT
||Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason.
||Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington.
||Take any photo caption or headline appearing anywhere in today's Post and alter its meaning by adding, deleting, or changing one letter.
MOST OF YOUR INK
Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:
"Report From Week 758"
"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."
and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.
Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.
[still working on this ...]