Those of you who have been following my blog (The number is just a handful, sob, sob) may recall that one my posts was on words coined to meet the demands of the modern day.
A friend who read it has very kindly supplied me with a few interesting words. There is something common and peculiar to them: all of them have been formed by addition, subtraction or alteration of a letter to or from a word found in a standard dictionary.
Take, for instance, SARCASM. Add an H to get SARCHASM, defined as the gulf between the person who comes up with biting sarcasm and the person who doesn't get it.
Or DOPELER EFFECT which is the tendency of stupid (dopey) ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
A hoarding erected, or a poster pasted, or a slogan painted, very, very high on a wall is, you guessed it right, GIRAFFITI.
The BOZONE LAYER is formed by cronies surrounding the boss in such a way that bright ideas from others cannot penetrate that layer. (This one, unlike the ozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future!)
Remember the scriptures? Satan in the form of an insect – a bee, a bug or a mosquito - that gets into your bedroom in the night and cannot be cast out is, what else, a BEELZEBUG.
KARMAGEDDON? It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
Not exactly in the league of add-delete-or-change-one letter, is CATERPALLOR, (for, two letters have been changed), the colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
You have been told that decaffeinated coffee is good for you. Decathlon is the tough ten-event sporting contest. Forget that two letters have been changed here too, DECAFFLON is the gruelling ordeal of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
Before reading on, I have a caveat: this friend of mine is no saint and some of the coinages are a bit off-colour. Some of them may offend your sensibilities, but I cannot resist the temptation to put them in, for, if I do not, I will be denying unadulterated mirth to others. They have been arranged in ascending order of my perception of smuttiness, and therefore, gentle reader, stop when you feel that you have reached the threshold of your tolerance. Having applied for that anticipatory bail, let me proceed:
One word for all promise and no action (not necessarily of the carnal variety) by a glib talker is GLIBIDO.
Add an H to CASTRATION, to get CASHTRATION, defined as the act of acquiring an asset without resorting to a loan, as a result of which the subject is rendered financially impotent.
OSTEOPORNOSIS is defines as a degenerate disease. Need I say more?
You might know someone who knows nothing. If he is a despicable fellow to boot, what better word would describe him than IGNORANUS?
FOREPLOY is any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
If after reading this, you are tempted to remark that I suffer from VOWEL MOVEMENT (the inevitable verbal diarrhea that spews from one’s mouth when there is nothing significant to say), my day is made!
Note: My friend who supplied me with these words tells me that most of these were received as entries for a contest run by the Washington Post.