Style Invitational Week 1437: One-offs — a ‘typo’ neologism contest
Change a word by 1 adjacent letter on the keyboard. Plus inking ‘Questionable Journalism.’
Image without a caption
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
May 20, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. EDT

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(Click here to skip down to the Questionable Journalism winners)

Hurrito: A pre-made, pre-hardened breakfast wrap. (Bob Staake)

Streeptococcus: The acting bug. (Susan Geariety)

Goodzilla: A giant lizard that puts out forest fires by stamping on them. (Sandra Hull)

Sayonada: So long, and thanks for nothing. (Mae Scanlan)

Jaws and foot in one handy "stress reliever"! This week’s squeezy 2nd prize.
Jaws and foot in one handy "stress reliever"! This week’s squeezy 2nd prize.
We’re back with yet another variation on The Style Invitational’s stock in trade: the change-one-letter neologism contest. This week’s contest was suggested to the Empress by Gabe Goldberg (who last appeared in the Invite when he suggested a contest in 1994):
You’re a fat-fingered typist: Change a word, name or phrase by either adding or substituting one letter that’s adjacent (in any direction) to the original one on a regular QWERTY keyboard, or by doubling the correct letter, as in the examples above from various previous neologism contests (plus Bob Staake’s own example).

So you might
(a) substitute a H for an B, as in “hurrito” above; or
(b) add an E next to an R, as in “Streeptococcus”; or
(c) repeat a letter that’s already there, as in “Streeptococcus” and “Goodzilla.”

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, May 31; results appear June 20 in print, June 17 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a cute little squeeze toy of a shark that is more or less ingesting and egesting a human leg as you squeeze. This is the Official Squeeze Toy of the Internal Revenue Service. Well, that’s what they’re saying. Donated by Dave Prevar.

Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “No ’Bility” or “Punderachiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week’s results is by Jon Ketzner; Chris Doyle wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday afternoon, May 20, at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Who, what, where, when, why and ha: Questionable Journalism ink
Week 1433 was the latest of our Questionable Journalism contests, in which readers chose any sentence from a current publication (most chose The Post) and wrote a question that it might answer.

4th place:
A. “Sometimes he would stand in the sitting room . . .”
Q. How do we know Walter Mondale was a rebel at heart? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

3rd place:
A. “There’s something about digging in the dirt, turning it, smelling it.”
Q. What do you like best about being a reporter for the National Enquirer? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

2nd place
and the book with out-of-print Seuss stories:
A. In Oklahoma, you have mesoscale convective systems, supercell storms, and big complexes that produce a lot of lightning.”
Q. Why does the wind come sweepin’ down the plain? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
A. That was Frances McDormand having explosive diarrhea in a plastic bucket on a van.
Q. What was the worst act on "Celebrity America's Got Talent"? (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

Blanks for asking: Honorable mentions
A. Seated in a yellow plastic laundry basket attached to two thick ropes, I was lowered into the earth. The light got dimmer, the temperature colder.
Q. So how was your performance review? (John Kammer, Fairfax, Va.)

A. I just got into my car and drove around for two hours.
Q. How did you win the Indy 500? (Frank Mann, Washington)

A. This is how misogynistic culture is conceptualized, created, cultivated and codified.
Q. How does Fox News human resources begin its new-employee training session? (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

A. “There is a lot of pressure on moving all the big players certainly to go faster than they were planning.”
Q. Why is there a live bull on the running track? (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

A. It’s different and dignified, but it just doesn’t work on many levels.
Q. What do you think of Pat Boone’s cover version of “WAP”? (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

A. “The poster was taped to two PVC pipes that were stuck inside construction cones.”
Q. What punishment did Mark Zuckerberg suggest for inappropriate Facebook comments? (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)

A. “I hadn’t seen that kind of positivity in a while. It was really cool.”
Q. Why were you rubbing balloons all over the cat? (Frank Osen)

A. “It really has to come from within.”
Q. What lesson does the crew in the “Alien” spaceship learn the hard way? (Steve Honley, Washington)

A. “She built a fortress of pillows and blankets in the guest bedroom.”
Q. How did Mike Lindell’s wife signal that their marriage was rocky? (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

A. A man from Idaho balanced a garden hoe on his nose for nearly two hours.
Q. What happens in Boise when WiFi and cable go out ? (Stu Segal, Charlotte)

A. How about the guy with the gut?
Q. Emma is sick — who can we get to play the pregnant woman in tonight’s performance? (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Md.)

A. Now, a year after this pandemic began, there are masks everywhere — on door handles and in drawers.
Q. What explains the recent drop in sales of pantyliners? (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

A. Scientists are using it to study depression, anxiety and fear.
Q. Do you think anyone ever rereads Trump’s inaugural address? (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)

A. Some of them are shovel-ready. Some of them are almost shovel-ready.
Q. Delegate Norton, what do you think of GOP arguments against D.C. statehood? (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

A. “I’d run through a brick wall for Coach.”
Q. Do you miss air travel since the pandemic started? (Mark Raffman, Reston)

A. A modern car can easily have more than 3,000 chips.
Q. Why do you often hear a crunching noise when you adjust the seat in a minivan? (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

A. “The withdrawal is set to begin on Friday and will be completed by May 1.”
Q. What’s the timeline for the final stage of the nonagenarians’ marriage consummation? (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

A. “There’s nothing wrong with this feature, but it’s not extraordinary.”
Q. What comment are you liable to receive if your profile photo is an extreme close-up of your nose? (George Thompson, Springfield, Va.)

A. “This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative. A moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities.”
Q. How did 10-year-old Bill Clinton ask his mother for lunch money? (Kevin Mettinger, Warrenton, Va.)

A. I have an old astronaut costume I’m thinking about dusting off.
Q. Really, you still haven’t gone wedding dress shopping? (Hannah Seidel, Alexandria, Va.)

A. Pour the egg mixture over the greens, covering them evenly.
Q. How were the protesters planning to disrupt the Masters tournament? (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

A. The Alphabet board authorized the company to repurchase as much as an additional $50 billion worth of its Class C capital stock.
Q. They really used a Ouija to make major business decisions? Like what? (Richard Lorentz, Woodland Hills, Calif.)

A. The administration will propose nationwide standards for tailpipe emissions in mid-July.
Q. Is it true they’re planning to limit beans in school lunches? (John Kammer)

A. Washington’s last option is to trade down.
Q. Any idea how the State Department will deal with the duvet and comforter shortage? (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

A. I shouldn’t have to be afraid to express myself.
Q. Why do you care that you’re not allowed to use USPS as a transportation option? (Stu Segal)

A. That dude was wrong.
Q. What’s an example of the new “plain English” emphasis in appellate court rulings? (Duncan Stevens)

A. Cue up some ABBA and get ready to dance, because clogs are back!
Q. How did Swedish plumbers respond to news of Stockholm’s fatberg? (Frank Osen)

A. “The United States isn’t waiting.”
Q. What does Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield say when she cuts in line at the U.N. cafeteria? (Kevin Mettinger)

A. “It’s a big area we have to clear, and it’s probably going to take more resources.”
Q. What did the esthetician say about waxing Your Mama’s back? (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

A. Japanese interiors can often feel a little warmer and less clinical than their Scandinavian counterpart.
Q. Why are there more proctologists in Tokyo than Copenhagen? (Frank Osen)

A. “Survivors include his wife, Nancy; five children; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.”
Q. What happened after the acrobat tried to top the Wallendas’ famous tightrope pyramid stunt? (Roy Ashley, Washington)

A. I know I have a lot still stored in me.
Q. Why did you give just a one-star rating for that discount laxative? (Kevin Dopart)

And Last:A. Number two wins it.
Q. What is the main complaint among the more priggish Losers about competing in the Invitational? (Kevin Dopart)

And Even Laster: A. “We are aware of the humor.”
Q. “Does The Style Invitational make you laugh, Your Majesty?” (Gary Crockett)

And Lastest of All: A. The fact is, publishers have always made highly selective judgments about who they print and who they don’t.
Q. What is definitely not true if this entry gets ink? (Mark Raffman)

Two contests still running — deadline for both is Monday night, May 24:
— Make a diorama or other funny artwork including at least one cicada or casing. See
— Offer a new plot for a real movie title.

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