Style Invitational Week 1284: Same difference — our compare/contrast

Plus‘z“ucch”ini’ and other snarky ‘air quotes’ definitions

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
by Pat Myers June 14 Email the author


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning “air quotes” definitions)

*The difference between the World Cup and armpit hair: This year, more
Americans will be watching their armpit hair. *

** ● *Alex Ovechkin’s smile*

*● a Roach Motel*

*● The print version of The Washington Post *

*● dust bunnies*

*● the World Cup*

*● Florida Man*

*● Kim Jong Un’s Porta-John*

*● a pound of scrapple *

*● Oscar Wilde*

*● cold, hard facts*

*● armpit hair*

*● a North Korean beach vacation *

*● a deck of 51 cards*

*● an emotional-support peacock*

*● the new Duchess of Sussex*

*● edible glitter*

● *Justify’s tail*

*● a coffee mug with a ceramic snake head inside *

“Our similarities outweigh our differences,” it’s often said by the
hopeful. For this perennial contest, the Empress will take similarities
/or/ differences, whatever’s funnier. *This week: Explain how any two of
the items in the list above are similar, different or otherwise linked,*
as in the example so handsomely illustrated by Bob Staake. One positive
note: The last time we did this contest, 14 months ago, one of the items
was “World War III.”

And that never happened!

Submit entries at the website **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an ultra-cool, if
ultra-creepy, large ceramic mug with a ceramic rattlesnake tail for a
handle, scales on the outside . . . and the rest of the snake —
culminating in a fangs-out ceramic snake head — coming right up the
inside. From Invite fan Mary Ellen Stroupe, who got it at the
Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better”
“IDiot Card.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, June 25; *results
published July 15 (online July 12). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
‘Hij‘inks’ ” was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Tom Witte; Kevin and
Brad Alexander sent the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively
Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on
Facebook at ; follow
@StyleInvite on Twitter.

*The Style Conversational *The Empress's weekly online column, published
late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results.
Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

*In*Week 1280 * we asked you to insert “air
quotes” into a word, then define it. “T‘rump’ ” had already been done,
not just in one of our own air quotes contests, but by the entire world.

4th place:

*Pr“ogress”ive: * Hillary. — D.T., Washington (Jeff Contompasis,
Ashburn, Va.)

3rd place:

What better for a sleepy morning than a rattlesnake head emerging from
your coffee cup? (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)

*Per“ha”ps:* Yeah, we should definitely do lunch sometime! (Danielle
Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

2nd place

/and the fart-noise-maker and euro-motif toilet paper:


*“Colon”ialism:* Exploiting another country till you’ve rectum. (Kathy
El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Be"lie"ve me:* When a speech begins with this phrase, you know what to
expect. (Brian Allgar, Paris)

'Not'able: Honorable mentions

*F“rat p”arty:* “Man, this cheap beer tastes weird!” (Rob Huffman,
Fredericksburg, Va.)

*“Mad”onna:* “I thought I told you to take a bath. No, it doesn’t count
if you just sit there on top of the water like that. JESUS, JUST GET IN
THE TUB!” (Danielle Nowlin)

*B“onan”za: *Discovering your father’s stash of Playboys. (Chris Doyle,
Denton, Tex.)

*Cele“brat”e:* “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” (Drew Bennett,
West Plains, Mo.)

*Hy“pot”hesis:* “Hey, dude, I was thinking, like, what if, you know,
like, wouldn’t that be awesome?” (Roy Ashley, Washington)

*Jer“USA”lem:* Foreign city with an irritating bit of America stuck in
its middle. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*M“anus”cript:* Pages of rejected novel used as toilet paper. (Robert
Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

*Peg“gy P”eterson:* “$130,000 and she’s still talking? What a rip-off!”
— D. Dennison, Washington (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

*R“oy” Moore and Har“vey” Weinstein:* Aunt Yetta warned me about guys
like that. (Elaine Lederman, Strasburg, Va.)

*Tech“nologic”al advancement:* A software update that now requires three
steps to do what used to take one. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

*Ther“mom”eter: *What you check to see if you are going to need a
sweater. (Peter Ashkenaz, Falls Church, Va., a First Offender)

*Z“ucch”ini:* Zucchini. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

*Adole“scent”:* “Honey, it’s definitely time to wash those gym clothes.”
(Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.; Rob Huffman)

*“RIP”ple effect:* Why do celebrity deaths always seem to come in
threes? (Dima Llanos, Middleton, Wis., a First Offender)

*“Lite”rature:* “Man, this new James Patterson is great!” (Rob Huffman)

*“Hide”ous:* “That vase you got me? Oh, I put it away so the kids won’t
break it.” (Danielle Nowlin)

*An“them”: *A patriotic song that “those people” won’t stand for. (Kevin

*Ba“star”d: *When you’re one, you think you get to do anything. (Jeff

*Ca“tech”ism:* Online Bible study. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

*B“ED”bug: *A problem in the sack. (Tom Witte, Montgomery, Village, Md.)

*Dec“AF”:* “This coffee is so @%!#*ing lame.” (Melissa Balmain,
Rochester, N.Y.)

*Com“putin”g: * How the Russians managed to hack the U.S. elections.
(Brian Allgar)

*H“iligh”t:* My best alternative fact. — K. Conway (Jeff Strong,
Fairfax, Va., a First Offender)

*Discr“EPA”ncies:* What auditors found in Scott Pruitt’s travel
vouchers. (Chris Doyle; Jesse Frankovich)

*E“NRA”ged:* Mad as hell that that the government wants to take your
guns away. (Chris Doyle)

*Ho“t rum p”unch:* Many folks thought it sounded good until they woke up
and realized what a big headache it caused. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria,

*Im“pot”ent: *Too high to even try. (Deanna Busick, Knoxville, Tenn.)

*L“ex”us: * She got the car. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

*Immig“ration”: * This year we’ll take a few non-swarthy Europeans . . .
(Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

*P“ass”ing lane: *The shoulder. (John Ramos, Duluth, Minn.)

*Re“tire”ment: *So much free time now! I can do any . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
. . . .”(Rob Huffman)

*S“love”nia:* What Melania left behind years ago. (Kevin Dopart)

*Yo“ga”: *“How was class? Oh, did you know there’s a hole in the back of
your pants?” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*Cy“bern”etics: *How Sen. Sanders plans to stay viable for another
presidential run. (Jesse Frankovich)

*V“ale”dictorian: *Beer pong champion. (John Hutchins)

*Sports Il“lust”rated: *The Swimsuit Issue. (Dan Helming, Maplewood, N.J.)

*T“rue”: * Describing something that, while accurate, would have been
better left unsaid (e.g., “Your sister sure looks hot in that bikini”).
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*“Ass”ociation: * “I’m with stupid.” (Luke Baker, Columbia, Md.)

*Bom“bs”hells:* Your daily White House tweetstorm. (Kathy El-Assal)

*E“norm”ous: *The average size of Middle America’s middle. (Kevin Dopart)

*Cli“mate”: *Conditions that determine whether your partner runs hot or
cold. “The cli‘mate’ in my bedroom has been chilly ever since my wife
caught me watching our neighbor sunbathing topless.” (Jon Gearhart)

*/And Last: /Sym“pat”hy:* However much the Empress might feel, it won’t
get you any ink. (Jesse Frankovich)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, June 18: our contest to use a
word from the National Spelling Bee in a short poem. See *