Style Invitational Week 1236: Portmanteaux faux — give us a fake
‘combination’ of words

Plus the winning captions for Bob Staake’s cartoons

(Cartoons by Bob Staake/for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

July 13


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning cartoon captions from
Week 1232.)

*AMEN: A combination of “abominable” and “yes-men.” Example: “Do you
love our president? Let’s hear an Amen!”*

*DEGREE: Combines “degrading” and “twee.” “So what was it like to defend
your dissertation in front of Professor Pomposity?” “Totally the third
degree.” *

You'll have the pool all to yourself with this prize emoji-motif raft.


This week’s contest, suggested by classics scholar /and / 87-time Loser
Ann Martin, combines a couple of the Invitational’s frequent contest
themes: It incorporates the idea of a portmanteau word, a word that’s
coined by combining two other words, along with our beloved practice of
promulgating totally bogus explanations. *This week: Explain —
inaccurately but amusingly — how a real word is a combination of two or
more words, *with an illustrative sentence, as in the examples above, or
some other funny way.

Submit entries at this website: **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Inkin’ Memorial,

* the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy — one of the last few before we come out with a new design.
Second place receives, actually in season for once, a *raft-size
triangular brown pool float* — in this case, we should call it a floater
— depicting the now-famous poop emoji
The triangle’s long sides are almost five feet long. Donated by Hall of
Fame Loser Jeff Contompasis.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”

Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
“Magnum Dopus.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, July 24; results
published Aug. 13 (online Aug. 10). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results is by Jeff Contompasis; the honorable-mentions
subhead is by Chris Doyle. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on
Facebook at / ./ “Like” Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at / /

*The Style Conversational *The Empress’s weekly online column discusses
each new contest and set of results. Especially for song parody guidance
this week, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

In *Week 1232 *the Empress asked you, as she
does two or three times a year, to write one or more captions for
cartoons by Style Invitational Artist 4 Ever Bob Staake.

4th place

/Picture D:/ *The office’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” was hampered
by a very small budget.* (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

3rd place

/Picture B: / *“I told you your sister would just die if we announced
our engagement!”* (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

2nd place and the “Free Tommy Chong” T-shirt from 2003:

/Picture C:/ *“For our lovely American visitors, tonight’s special is
“Pot de Chambre.”* (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

/Picture D:/ *“Good grief, Doris! Ailes and O’Reilly are gone, okay? Now
get those sweet cheeks down here and pour us some coffee already.”*
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Droopy draws: honorable mentions


*Sal emphatically “explained” to Officer Pupp that “free press” does NOT
refer to the sale price*. (Larry McClemons, Annandale, Va.)

*“Don’t blame me, Officer McGregor; I told you it was hard-hitting
coverage.”* (David Ballard, Reston. Va.; Bill Lieberman, Ellicott City, Md.)

*You’re looking for a ‘cop on the beat’ deal? How about a ‘beat on the
cop’?”* (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

*“A cop on duty should not be toking a giant blunt!”* (Jeff Contompasis,
Ashburn, Va.)

*Astronomers marveled at the discovery of two very large planets, one
shaped like a policeman and the other a newsstand, in the vicinity of
Saturn*. (Mark Raffman)

*An example of one of those “Noxious Emissions Widely Spewed” stands
that have been popping up since the election.* (Bill Lieberman)

/And Last:/ *“I don’t care how long you’ve been asleep, Officer van
Winkle, here in 2017 the Sunday Washington Post costs $3.50 a pop, and
it still runs The Style Invitational.”* (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)


** *“Dang, I shouldn’t have advertised for undertakers on”*
(James Scarborough, McLean, Va., a First Offender)

*“My orders are to recover the monolith we placed on your world eons
ago, not an Ikea bookcase.” *(Jeff Contompasis)

*“Mom! You know I only eat living bodies . . .”* (Rob Huffman)

*“No way, Helen! It says I get all the coffins right here in our
prenup.” *(Jesse Frankovich)

*“Not so fast, Mom. We shouldn’t play Giant Jenga until we’ve read the
instructions.”* (Jesse Frankovich)

*“On Jupiter, we require a written contract for the sale of half a Kit
Kat bar.”* (Mark Raffman)

*“Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . Where in the script does it say I have a love
scene with Carol Channing?*” (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

*“No, Org ask you bring me BEER!”* (Jesse Frankovich)

*All that Granny could think about on encountering the lizardlike,
one-eyed, spike-tailed undertaker was: Why does he have nipples?* (Mark


*“. . . and the fly is gluten-free.”* (Marni Penning Coleman, Falls
Church, Va.)

*“Actually, he’s doing the 100-centimeter individual medley.”* (Jason
Russo, Annandale, Va.)

*“Out of respect, you should wait for these two to finish mating.”*
(Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

*Gaspard’s strong accent led many diners to reject their complimentary
bowls of the chef’s Special Golden Chowder. *(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*“Permit me to stir it with my umbrella.”* (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg,

*“I think your first course just ate the second.” * (Frank Mann,

*“Just close your eyes and imagine they’re noodles.” * (Jesse Frankovich)

*To the diners’ dismay, Google translate confirmed that “soupe avec
élan” could mean either “soup with zest” OR “soup with moose.”* (Jeff


*Fine, Ms. Jenkins, you win. Come down and we’ll allow you to make
seventy-EIGHT percent of what we do.* (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.;
Jason Russo)

*“Calm down, Marge. When I said ‘foursome,’ I meant golf.*” (Warren
Tanabe, Annapolis)

*“Please, madam! You’re the only person left in Pennsylvania who hasn’t
heard of Bill Cosby. Please come back to Philadelphia with us for the
retrial.” (*Bill Lieberman)

*When the traps baited with $100 bills didn’t work, Mrs. Johnson
realized grimly that her kitchen was not infested with ordinary lawyers,
but rather with LOBBYISTS.* (John Hutchins)

*Unfortunately, one of the characters on Lizzie’s Loser magnets
resembled the CEO of the firm. *(Dave Prevar)

*Still running — deadline is also Monday, July 24: our song parody
contest for lyrics about science and technology. See
. *