PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR NIELS HOVEN

This is what you've done, each Week. I arrange the rows in reverse chronological order, because there are some Losers, and they know who they are, who check up on my points-awarding every Week.

But I would just like to reiterate that such checking up is not a problem for me. I have said many times that each Loser's enlightened self-interest is my best QA.

If you wish to see what your ink was, refer to the Master Contest List or search All Invitational Text. Remember that Types I, P, some H, and sometimes A are seen "above the Report" -- that is, if they are listed here for Week 7777, for example, they will be found in text files or images of Week 7777. Everything else will be found in a "Report" section of a file two, three, or four weeks later; 7781 in this Example.

If you see any error, please let me know, elden.carnahan@gmail.com.

Key to Ink Types:

WKTITLESYNOPSISINK TYPES
1076 Dactyly fractyly Send us some double dactyls that conform to Gene Weingarten's rules. H
1071 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination at bit.ly/3letterabs and say how they are alike or different. H H
589 Hyphen the Terrible (New Edition!) Combine the beginning of any multi-syllabic word in this week's Invitational with the end of any other multi-syllabic word in this column (or in this week's Web supplement) to coin a new word, and then define it. H
588 Gadget If You Can Tell us what these nifty, indispensable items are. H
586 God's Will (and Won't) Complete either of the following: "If God hadn't wanted us to ----, God wouldn’t have ----"; "If God had wanted us to ----, God would have ----." H
553 Picture This Tell us what's going on in one or more of the provided cartoons. H
549 Show Us Your Best Quantities Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them. H X
451 Make Your Pix Which two of the provided cartoons are related, and how? H H
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
405 The "Sty"le Invitational Take any word--this may include people or places--put a portion of it in "air quotes" and redefine it. You may not alter the spelling. H H
402 Spitting the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H
401 A Matter of Degree Describe a sign of some modest change in a situation and pair it with a sign of an extreme change in that same situation. 2 H
399 IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. H
397 Sins of Omission Omit a letter or letters from a real-life sign to create a name for a new business, comically different from the original. Describe the new business or include a slogan that explains it. H
394 Life in the Blurbs Come up with a blurb used to sell a real or imagined book or movie that would be likely to have the opposite of the intended effect. 4
393 Things Could Be Verse Take any story in today's Washington Post and rewrite it into a rhyming poem of no more than eight lines. H
392 Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comic strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, H
337 DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Take a quality you wish to quantify and devise the perfect icon to measure it. Then give us an example of the extremes. 2
336 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. H
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. 2
334 The New Style Invitational: Six Choices for Czar Vote for one of six possible editors of the Style Invitation, from among the current Czar and five worthy competitors. H
315 FERMENTING TROUBLE Write a rhyming poem, eight lines maximum, on the subject of cheese or any of the provided items. W
307 IF YOU BOYCOTT THIS TASK / YOU WON'T WIN THE FLASK Come up with rhyming couplets to warn us about the perils of modern life. H
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. H
304 TIME OF THE SIGNS Come up with appropriate signage to appear outside any business or retail establishment in the Washington area, including government offices. H
301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? H
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. I
290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. H
289 PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAM Submit entries to any previous contest, ideas you might have thought of after the contest deadline had passed. H H
288 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these pictures? H
287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. E H H
284 ASK BACKWARDS MCLXVII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
283 UH-OH Come up with "uh-oh" lines, statements that occur in the middle of a seemingly benign speech or conversation, suddenly alerting the listener that he is about to hear some bad news. H H
282 TAKING SNIDES Take any story anywhere in today's Post and append to it a single snide observation, concerning either the headline or the text of the story. H H H
279 TREACLE-DOWN THEORY Come up with a treacly and deeply moving piece of crap. It must somehow mine joy and goopy inspiration from the vicissitudes of life. It must also rhyme. W
277 LIFE IN THE BLURBS Come up a simple plot summary to help attract the modern audience to any classic work of fiction. It must be literally true and defensible. 4
274 THE DROLL OF A LIFETIME Be the New Yorker comics editor, and explain to readers of The Washington Post why the provided jokes are charmingly witty. H
271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a soufflé when you poke it a little A
270 PALINODE--HAVE PUN, WILL TRAVEL Write a "palinode", retracting something said in an earlier poem. Your poem must be four lines long and contain at least one rhyme. H
269 SIGNS, AND THE TIMES Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it. H
262 CAMPAIGN FOR ONE Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience. 2 H I
259 SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY? Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange. H
258 IT'S A BIRD. IT'S A PAIN. Choose one or more of the provided super powers and tell us what you would do with it. H H L
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. H
255 SCANDAL IN THE WIND Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how. H H H
253 IT'S A PITY Enter any of the provided contests. Winners will be judged entirely on the basis of how pitiful an attempt at humor the entry is. H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" H
246 OUR OWN DEVICES What do these contraptions do? Tell us in 50 words or fewer. 1 R
244 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Coin new words, and provide a definition, by combining the first half of a hyphenated word for any story in today's Post with the second half of another hyphenated word in the same story. H
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H
236 CALLING THE TOON. What is happening here? H
232 PRIMAL URGES Update, for the millennium, the old "A is for Apple" reading primer. An entry must include the four letters in one of these blocks: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-Z. H
224 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS What is wrong with these pictures? H
217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. H

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"

or

"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 ...]