Blog Review: WordPlay CafÃ© Neologisms Contest
What do you call a baseball player who keeps adjusting his
batting glove for the 28th time, backing in and out of the
batters box, checking his grip, etc.?
The ump’s ire? Maybe Ruth? A lumbercheck?
Any of the above new terms for one of the more fidgety boys of summer is known as a neologism. Who would have thought one of the more serious vocabulary words I’ve ever heard could be so fun?
Dictionaries define a neologism as a recently created word, sometimes resulting from a combination of words. Since inspiration and insanity are close cousins, it’s not surprising that The American Heritage Dictionary also incorporates this little ditty into their definitions of neologism: “The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.”
But you don’t have to be crazy to come up with neologisms. Just ask illustrator Michael Kline, who has made a successful career out of mangling words. He’s the illustrator of many children’s magazine articles and 25 books, including WordPlay CafÃ©, which teaches children to have fun with language. He also authors and illustrates the WordPlay CafÃ© Neologisms Contest Blog, which runs a weekly contest that encourages people to come up with their own neologisms to match his illustrations.
The results of people’s manglings are quite clever. Here are last week’s winners:
What do you call it when you forget to attach
a file to an important e-mail?
1st place: Mailnutrition
2nd place: Filefaux pas
3rd place: Dettachments
Honorable mention: ADD: Attachment Deficit Disorder
If you’d like to try your hand at mangling a few words, you can enter the contest (or just look at the past entries) by going to WordPlay CafÃ©. The first-place winner gets his or her choice of a copy of the WordPlay CafÃ© book, or an original, autographed sketch of the illustration on which the winning entry was based.
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