PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR JEAN SORENSEN

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
1304 All the muse that's fit to print Present a "what if" scenario and explain its effect. H
1272 The hex files: creative curses Come up with a creative curse. H
1162 An 8-year Re-Onion Write a fictional Onion-type headline. H
1099 Questionable journalism Take a sentence (or most of a sentence) that appears in an article in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com dated Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 (in print, any article from those days' papers), and make up a question that the sentence could answer. H
1027 Built for two Give humorous related names for any pair of features in a given building, organization, etc. H
992 Mittsterpiece Theatre Suppose public-TV shows, past or present, were turned out onto the open market to make a living on commercial TV. Tell us what would happen. H
794 Ripped Off From the Headlines Send us some Onion-type headlines. H H
743 Picture This Write a caption for any of these Bob Staake cartoons. H
725 Beggars For Description Describe, without being boring, a cartoon to fit any of the provided captions. 2 H
668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. I
644 Winter Limp Picks Brighten up the Winter Olympics with some new events and rule. Alternatively, you can suggest a commercial or ad campaign that could be tied in with the Winter Games or one of its sports. H
615 Airy Persiflage Write some jokes you'd like to hear in an airport announcement. H
608 Comeback Next Week Come up with original snide retorts to various rude questions or comments. H H
604 Fun for the Roses Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. The name of the foal must be no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H
601 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote in response to one of the provided Editor's Query topics. 2 I
599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. H
597 Eccchsibits Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital. H
592 We Got Gamy Offer us a concise idea for a Super Bowl commercial, or some innovative halftime entertainment, or some inappropriate sponsors, or some ideas for improving the game itself. H
577 Teledubbies Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it. H H
575 T Hee Hee Come up with new ideas for both front and back of the Loser T-shirts. H
574 Boor Us Silly Come up with some unwise attempts at humor--one either likely to backfire or to create other unpleasant consequences. H H
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. H
563 Take Two Take any two of the provided items and explain how they resemble or differ from each other. 2 H
560 The 97.5-Meter Dash Suggest some time- and cost-saving measures so the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will open on time. H
559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. 3 H
550 Spring Cleaning Suggest creative uses for things you've already used, or never will use, or other disposable household thingies, singly or in combination. 1 H
538 Try, Try Again Enter any previous Invitational. Your entry must be substantially different from the original winners. H
531 Your Cynic Duties Come up with a saying that sound as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. H
527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. H
516 Err Apparent Come up with unwise things to say in any of the provided circumstances. H H H H
513 It's Delete We Can Do Come up with very bad subject lines for spam e-mail--lines that will guarantee instant deletion, sight unseen. H I
509 Be a Real Card Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion. H
504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." 3 H H H H H H
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? 1
461 Punch Us Again Take any comic from the daily Washington Post during the next week and make it better by changing the contents of the final word balloon. H
451 Make Your Pix Which two of the provided cartoons are related, and how? 4
442 Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. H
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
439 No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. H
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. H H
429 Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. H H
426 Captions Courageous Take any photograph of illustration from today's Washington Post and give it a more interesting caption. H H
423 Roling With Laughter Take a character from one movie, use him or her to replace a character in a second movie, and then explain how this change would affect the second movie. H
421 Picture This These objects are not what they seem to be, at first glance. They are something else entirely. What are they? H
419 Don't Spare the Rodney Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect. 3 H H H
414 No Rest for the Query Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down. H H
413 Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. H
411 X's and Oaths Take any oath, pledge, declaration or slogan and update it. H H H W
410 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
409 Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. H
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. H 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
404 Balloonacy Create a comic strip of one to four panels. For your dialogue or thought balloons, you may choose from the provided menu. You may invent one line of your own. 1 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. H
400 Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. 3 H H 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
398 Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. H
396 April Foals Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. H
395 Devilishly Clever Describe someone's special little corner of Hell. 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. H
392 Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comics strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, 1
391 Spinning Out of Control Take an headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction. 3
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. H
388 Pitches in the Dirt Come up with a sales pitch to get any surplus product off the shelves. 3
387 By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. H U
386 The Game of Clue What are some clues that someone might be any of the provided characterizations? H
383 A Kinder, Gender Nation Take an noun and give us a reason or two why it should be either masculine or feminine. H H H
382 Pickup Schticks Write inept pickup lines, by either sex, to either sex. H
380 The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. H
379 Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. H
377 Week MMDCXLIV Provide a headline (and, if necessary, the first line of the text) for any article that will appear in The Washington Post on this day in the year 2050. H H
376 Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. H
374 Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. H H
372 Trial Balloons Fill in the balloons. 4 H H
371 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 4 H
357 Coming to a Bad End Take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. H H
353 Patently Silly What do these devices do? H W
350 Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. H
345 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 5
339 Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. 1
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. 2 H
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. H
321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoon and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. H H
313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. H I
311 A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture. H H H H
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H
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. I
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. H
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. H
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. 2 H H H H
298 THE RIGHT STUFF Write a sentence, or phrase, or entire passage, using only your right hand on the keyboard. This means who may use no keys to the left of N, H, Y and 7. 2 H
297 FREE FOR OIL Take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic. H I
293 THE VERSE OF AMERICA Take any story in today's Washington Post and create a poem or song by stringing together various phrases from that story. Each phrase must be a least two words long. E H
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. H
290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. 3 H H H I
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 H H
288 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these pictures? H
286 CLINTOONS Make your own Clintoon, a comic strip consisting of any or all of the provided drawings. H
285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. H H
284 ASK BACKWARDS MCLXVII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H 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
281 CALCULATE THE ODDS Tell us which of the two provided items does not belong with the other two, and why. H
280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. I
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. H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. 4
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. E
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
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of thing that will never happen. 2
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 H
267 THE CONCEPT CONCEPT Come up with a situation for a "People Unclear on the Concept" cartoon. Describe the situation and supply any necessary dialogue. 1
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. H H H
257 LET US PLAY Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects. H
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. 2
255 SCANDAL IN THE WIND Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how. H H
254 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer. 5 H
249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. I
245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. H
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
242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. H
241 CAN YOU BEAT THIS? Come up with headlines describing the defeat of one pro team by another. H H H
240 ADDING INSULT Come up with elegant insults directed at any famous person, living or dead, such as the real encomiums above. 2 H
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H H
234 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Complete any of the provided jokes as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead. 5 H
233 SEEKING PARODY Take any paragraph appearing on Page A1 of today's Washington Post, and rewrite it in the style of any famous writer. H
228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. I
226 GOING WITHOUT Complete some variation of the expression "An A without a B is like a C without a D." H
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. H H
222 TRIP DEUCES Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. 4
217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. H
216 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Pair up any two of the 400-plus horses who have qualified for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their foal, in a maximum of 18 characters, including spaces. H H H
215 SON OF A PITCH Write lavish blurbs in 50 words or fewer so some sucker will want to pay a lot of money for the provided items. H
210 RANDOM MEMO Supply embarrassing "While You Were Out" phone messages that might be left for famous people, in plain sight, while they are away from their desks. H H H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest question a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. H H
203 CAN IT GET MUCH VERSE? Create Very Bad Poetry, containing banalities masquerading as profundities, overstretch metaphors, etc. Special attention should be paid to dreadful syntax and painful rhyme H
202 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Interpret any of the provided computer emoticons, or "smileys." E
196 YOU MUST BE MAD Come up with a contemporary Scene We'd Like to See. 1
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. H
194 ADVICE SQUAD Answer any of the provided questions unwisely. I
193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. H I
188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. H
186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? H
182 CAN YOU STOP THIS? Come up with a conversation stopper, a line likely to end all further discourse, perhaps even empty a room. H H H
181 YOU CAN TAKE IT TO DEBUNK Take a common slogan or saying and prove it wrong with at least one example. H H L
173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. H H H H
172 POEDTRY An entire poetic form, making its global debut in the Style Invitational. The first line must contain only six words of one syllable each; the second line, three words of two syllables each; the third line, two words of three syllables each, and the final line a single word of six syllables. At least two lines must rhyme. The general subject matter should be mundane. 3 H
171 ON SECOND THOUGHT Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason. 4 H
169 DIFF'RENT JOKES Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H
168 LICENSE TO CARRY A PUN Come up with original jokes like those provided. H
167 CRAPSEY Resurrect the "cinquain," a long-deceased poetic form, poems so ickily precocious and pretentious they make haiku look like Kipling. There are five lines, the first containing two syllables, the second containing four syllables, the third six, the fourth eight and the last, with grave finality and thunderous drama, only two. Your subject matter must be suitable for the 1990s. I
163 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the list of all 1996 Triple Crown nominees, couple up any two of them, and propose an appropriate name for their hypothetical foal. The foal's name must fit in no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H H
162 MAY WE HAVE YOUR PRETENSION, PLEASE? Come up with the most pretentious original sentence possible. H
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. H H
158 SO SUE US Come up with frivolous lawsuits. H
156 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word. H W
147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept with a word to define, it pairs it with a perfectly good by underutilized words that just loafs around on maps and street signs. E
146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." H
145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. 2
144 JUST REBUS ALONE Come up with a rebus, a phrase or sentence composed of letters, pictures, and symbols. Your entry must contain at least two pictures or illustrations from today's Washington Post. E L
140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. H
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. I
138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. H
137 VELVIS LIVES Come up with a title and/or art gallery blurb for this velvet Elvis painting. E
135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. I
132 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS. What should our loser's T-shirt say on the back? Your goal is to somehow capture the spirit of the contest. 3
131 DROODLEYSQUAT Come up with "droodles," simple geometric drawings with funny explanations. H
128 LIKE, DUH Come up with snappy answers to stupid questions. H
123 WHY IS POOP FUNNY? Come up with creative answers to any of the five questions above that might be asked by a 5-year-old. I
117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. H I
116 WRITE PURE POETRY Write a complete sentence using only the letters contained on the top row of a typewriter. Alternatively, you can use the letters of the first four lines of the standard eye chart. 5
111 ASK BACKWARDS V Here are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H H H
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. 1
108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. H
102 HELP! I'M A PRISONER IN THIS CONTEST Come up with fortune cookie messages that you would love to see, but never will. 1
100 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Retell any of these jokes as they would be told by some celebrity, living or dead. H
98 YOUR CHEATIN' ART Come up with titles for country music songs featuring any one or more of the following themes: cheatin', thievin', drinkin', truckin', lovin' or dogs. H
91 ASK BACKWARD IV You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. H H
83 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey? H
81 HEADS, YOU LOSE Take any two or more headlines anywhere in today's Washington Post, and combine them to make a funnier headline. H
78 SEEKING SMART MORONS Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas. H
75 CURSES! Come up with modern maledictions in the wise and entertaining Yiddish tradition. 1 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 ...]