Style Invitational Week 1476: Matchless humor — show us some Googlenopes
Find phrases with no hits (or Googleyups, ones that surprisingly exist). Plus fake trivia about money and finance.
By Pat Myers
February 17, 2022 at 9:57 a.m. EST
Click here to skip down to the winning fictoids about money and finance
Three Googleyups (a search revealed at least one hit). But "Please bring me airline food" was a Googlenope. (Bob Staake/Illustration for The Washington Post)
Googleyup: “Please pull my fingernails out”
Googleyup: “Please kick me in the shins”
Googleyup: “Please scream in my ear”
Googlenope: “Please bring me airline food”
(Duncan Stevens, 2018)
Googlenope: “Sexy Coke bottle glasses.” (But “Sexy Coke bottles” is a Googleyup, with two matches.)
Back in 2007, the Empress asked readers to find “Googlenopes,” short phrases that yielded no matches on a Google search. (The term “Googlenope,” coined by deposed Style Invitational Czar Gene Weingarten, currently produces 9,950 hits.) The winner, by Malcolm Fleschner: “That controversial ‘Gilligan’s Island’ episode.” We had good results again in 2010. (Winner: Mark Richardson finding Googlenopes in both “Nobody understands me like my husband” and “Nobody understands me like my wife.”)
In 2018 we added a nifty option, one that we’ll offer again: this time. This week: Find us a Googlenope — a phrase in quotation marks that generates the message “It looks like there aren’t many great matches for your search” (or you get just a few entries that don’t actually contain the phrase) — or a Googleyup, a phrase that surprisingly does have hits (mention how many). And you could contrast a Googlenope with one or more Googleyups, as in some of the entries above (“Sexy Coke bottle glasses” was by Elizabeth Molyé, who suggested a slightly different contest). If you get exactly one hit, call that a Googlewhack.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1476 (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Feb. 28; results appear March 20 in print, March 17 online.
Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives two translucent green sports-type water bottles — each labeled, in large type, “bong water.” Donated (unsullied) by Loser Kathleen Delano.
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 new lusted-after Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviteFAQ. The headline “Wags to Riches” is by Kevin Dopart; Jesse Frankovich and G. Smith both submitted the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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, Feb. 17, at wapo.st/conv1476.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago ...
Wags to riches: Financial fictoids from Week 1472
In Week 1472, The Style Invitational continued its decades-long campaign to misinform innocent newspaper readers, this time with bogus trivia about money and finance. Numerous Losers explained that the ancient practice of tasting money to test for purity led to the “bit coin.”
A little-known section of the U.S. tax code exempts citizens from paying taxes if they have bone spurs in their feet. (Bruce Carlson, Alexandria, Va.)
In an unreleased sequel to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey goes on to build himself a mansion using the money he collected in overdraft fees. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
2nd place and a weird Tokyo souvenir glitter globe:
India’s GNP grew 1.2 percent last month purely from increased call center volume from Virginians afraid of critical race theory. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)
And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
Lincoln’s picture on the $5 bill gave him such widespread name recognition that he cruised to victory in the 1860 presidential election. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
Bottom dollar: Honorable mentions
After famously declaring that “greed is good” in the movie “Wall Street,” Gordon Gekko less famously adds under his breath: “But even better is saving 15 percent on your car insurance.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Ninety-eight percent of all U.S. $20 bills have been used to pretend to snort cocaine. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)
A Susan B. Anthony dollar is 82 percent the size of the previous Eisenhower dollar. (Kara Laughlin, Leesburg, Va.; Miriam Nadel, Vienna, Va.)
According to a recent study by the Economic Research Institute, when historical inflation is counterbalanced with educational trends, your thoughts are still worth about a penny. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax, Va.)
Andrew Carnegie originally built Carnegie Hall as a vault for his riches, but he had it converted it into a concert hall when he needed something larger. (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)
Anton Rothschild, considered the maverick of the family for choosing engineering over banking, developed the first prototype space laser. (Mark Raffman)
At MIT, meteorology majors who flunk Forecasting 101 are encouraged to switch to economics. (Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.)
Known for its unique currency, Yap Island in Micronesia also boasts the world’s largest parking meters. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
The stone coins of Yap Island, Micronesia, can be 12 feet in diameter. (Iurii Kazakov/Shutterstock)
Before the Civil War, dollar bills were printed on ultra-durable buckskin; hence the term bucks. But eventually the government substituted the widely available cowhide, resulting in the terms “cash cow” and “moola.” (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Botanists have discovered that money is not only the root of all evil, but also its hypocotyl, petiole and axillary bud. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Folks, the eye on the back of the dollar bill contains a microchip that tracks your movements and reports back to the deep state! The only way to protect yourself is to send all of your dollars to me for proper destruction! — DJT, Florida (John Hutchins; Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)
If all of Jeff Bezos’s wealth were converted into a stack of $100 bills, the stack would be higher than his rocket can fly. But not higher than Elon’s can. (Gary Crockett, who says this is actually true! See Gary’s reasoning in this week’s Style Conversational, posted late Feb. 17)
In 2018 Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed legislation to break up big banks but promised they could still be friends. (Robert Deigh, Burke, Va. a First Offender)
In a surprise bipartisan gesture, a congressional caucus from six Southern states has agreed to promote the Harriet Tubman $20 bill, provided that the opposite side depicts slaves happily working in the fields. (Kel Nagel, Salisbury, Md.)
In an oft-neglected historical footnote, the Financial Panic of 1837 was finally brought under control by the Financial Xanax of 1838. (Marty Gold, Arlington, Va.)
In January, New Yorker George C. Parker received a record $93 million for an NFT of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
The original “money-grubbers” earned their living selling squirming insect larvae impaled on sticks for snacks. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
In most states, the highest-paid government employee is a college football coach, while the lowest-paid government employee is a college football player. Oh wait, these are supposed to be untrue. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)
Irony alert! In the aftermath of World War I, it took a breadbox full of German marks to buy a wheelbarrow. (G. Smith, Fairfax, Va.)
JFK had two fives and seven Lincoln pennies in his pocket on Nov. 22, 1963. And just as eerily, Abraham Lincoln entered Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, carrying a Kennedy half-dollar. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about America’s favorite treasury secretary wouldn’t have reached Broadway without some tweaks. First, investors thought “Mnuchin” would just look silly up on the marquee … (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
On $1 bills issued from 2017 to 2020, if you hold one up to a bright light, the “ST” in “TRUST” changes to “MP.” (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
President Biden plans to add Tom Brady to the Federal Reserve Board, given his experience in reducing inflation. (Gary Crockett; Sam Mertens, Silver Spring; Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
Residents of Park Place and Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., are required by local ordinance to wear top hats and carry bags of money everywhere they go. (Duncan Stevens)
The Braille signage on drive-up ATMs says, “Sighted people are so gullible.” (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)
The Dutch “tulip bubble” collapse of 1637 resulted in the worst economic crash until the Spanish “spatula bubble” burst in 1811. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is paid daily in freshly minted $100 bills. (Drew Bennett, Rogers, Ark.)
When the U.S. Mint announced that it would issue a Sacagawea dollar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren immediately offered to pose for it. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
While the financier E.F. Hutton was said to run his company with an iron hand, he did not command the same respect at home: None of his children or grandchildren ever listened when he talked. (Jon Ketzner)
Joey Ramone’s ode to Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo is well known, but few have heard his love song to his other financial heartthrob:
Janet Yellen, Janet Yellen,
Let me be your Andrew Mellon,
Here on Wall Street, I’m your guy,
'Cause my interest rate is high,
Girl, you’ve really got me kvellin',
Janet Yellen, Janet Yellen. (Mark Raffman)
Still running — deadline also Feb. 28: Come up with a song or cheer for the newly named Washington Commanders (or another D.C. institution). See wapo.st/invite1475.
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