||Choose any sentence (not a headline!) in an article or ad in The Washington Post or another publication dated April 22 through May 3, and write a question it might humorously answer.
||H H |
||Rocky of ages, or Badenov for you?
||State any historical event -- right up to 2021 -- in the provided "A, or B" format.
||Mess with our (or others') heads
||Reinterpret an actual headline (or a major part of it) by adding a bank head, or subtitle.
||We Bee back -- a neologism contest
||From any of the 30 provided Spelling Bee letter sets, coin a new term or phrase and describe it humorously. You must use the first letter in the set (anywhere in the word) plus any or all of the others, as often as you like.
||LIST BUT NOT LEAST
||Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects.
||Come up with more Newt Gingrich philosophy to explain the differences between men and women, Democrats and Republicans, dogs and cats, whatever needs explaining.
||BILL US NOW
||Come up with funny legislation based on the names of the 102 freshman congresspersons.
||Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here.
||In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say?
||Tell us what Neil Armstrong should have said upon stepping onto the moon's surface, instead of what he did, the greatest gaffe in the history of Historic Sayings.
||GIVE US A SIGN
||Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope.
||NOT WRONG. JUST INCORRECT.
||What's next on the political correctness agenda?
||WAY OUTSIDE THE LINES
||Name a new crayon color for the 1990s, with a description.
||FATAL ART ATTACK
||In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message."
||THE RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD
||Interpret any of the provided ink blots.
||IT'S THE EPONYMY, STUPID
||Coin an eponym, a word or figure of speech based on the name of a famous person. You must define the word, and, if you wish, use it in a sentence.
||A RECYCLED IDEA THAT WAS NONE TOO GOOD TO BEGIN WITH
||Alter a well-known phrase or name by deleting, adding or changing only one letter, and then supply a definition for what results.
||PUNCH US IN THE EAR
||Give us a motto for The Washington Post.
||H H |
||Complete any of the provided jokes in 75 words or fewer.
||1 H |
||Modernize collective nouns (as in a "pride" of lions or an "exaltation" of larks), inventing snide new names for groups of things.
||A WEEK THAT WILL LIVE IN EUPHEMY
||Write us a funny euphemism.
||THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW
||Invent a creative piece of legislation based on skillfully juxtaposed names of actual U.S. senators and representatives.
||This week, a gripe-fest about modernity and other irritations. Complete this sentence: "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we ... "
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 ...]