Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

25 Years of Wordsmith.org

Thanks to everyone for participating: contestants for taking part in the contests, judges for judging the entries, prize sponsors for sponsoring the prizes, and most of all, you, readers for being here!

Here are the winners and honorable mentions. Congrats to everyone for participating!


First Prize:

Martin Eiger, Montville, New Jersey (martineiger gmail.com)
We were facing the dread Y2K.
I went into hiding that day.
I look back, nineteen years,
At my worries and fears.
If it’s safe to come out now, I may.

Second Prizes:

Madeleine Begun Kane, Queens, New York (madkane madkane.com)
A Limerick Ode To GOP Hypocrisy:

Just imagine the sturm and the drama,
If a Dem such as Ex-Prez Obama
Retained someone to fix
All his problems with chicks.
How the GOP’d feast on such trauma!

But with Donald, who cares? No big deal!
From supporters there’s hardly a squeal.
Sleaze and lies do not matter;
No Trump-crime can shatter
Their faith, for the Donald’s THEIR heel.

Karen Armistead, Cumberland, Rhode Island (esalade ournetmail.net)
Same-sex marriage was so long denied,
But then Justice came down on Love’s side,
And a rainbow of light
Lit the White House that night.
In that moment we all had gay pride.

Honorable Mentions:

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Just a banjo, no need for a band
As the embers of justice he fanned
Folk music’s more meager
Since losing Pete Seeger
He “hammered all over this land.”
Bluenoses thought Playboy was rude
For exposing girls totally nude
But according to Hef
The gals now will be lef’
With some clothes on (I hope just a snood.)

Martin Eiger, Montville, New Jersey (martineiger gmail.com)
The September 11 attack
Was pure evil. We had to hit back.
But the trail of guilt ends
With the Saudis, our friends.
So instead, we invaded Iraq.

Phyllis Morrow, Fairbanks, Alaska (pmorrow alaska.edu)
The Brits all got ants in their pants
To build a great tunnel to France.
But now that there’s Brexit,
Theresa may hex it:
No fast train to foie gras, malchance!


First Prize:

David Tuffs, Monterey, California (davidwtuffs gmail.com)
Charlottesville Virginia = Alt-Right violence is viral
Charlottesville Virginia

Second Prizes:

Lori Wike, Salt Lake City, Utah (lori_wike yahoo.com)
A very stable genius = See rage, viably nuts
stable genius

Adie Pena, Makati, Philippines (adie.pena gmail.com)
Mac iTunes = Neat music
Mac iTunes

Honorable Mentions:

Mike Morton, Lyme, New Hampshire (mike mikemorton.com)
Stop Online Piracy Act = Potential conspiracy
Stop Online Piracy Act = Potential conspiracy

Aronas Pinchas, Tiberias, Israel (pinchasaronas yahoo.com)
Peace in the Middle East = The claim: It’s a deep need!
Peace in the Middle East = The claim Its a deep need!

Dann Toliver, Toronto, Canada (00dann gmail.com)
Word expert Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day marks silver jubilee of famed email full of lexicographic histories and uniquely fun puzzles, with amongst the best stories, divine quotes, rather iconic contributed jokes and hoary comedy
First prize is a picturesque journey to the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster, and also included is an ace quick game and a full six-volume book set, but the real prize was suddenly having the joy of the magic of words.

(My wife Erin and I worked on this together over the last month as a tribute to AWAD, our favourite daily email and a nice shared touchpoint during the day. Each half is a pangram, making this a... pananagram? Actually, each sentence is a double pangram, containing each letter of the alphabet twice. A bipananagram? Whatever it’s called, it was a lot of fun to work on, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.)

Word expert Anu Gargs A.Word.A.Day marks silver jubilee of famed email full of lexicographic histories and uniquely fun puzzles, with amongst the best stories, divine quotes, rather iconic contributed jokes and hoary comedy


First Prize:

Eric Tentarelli, Newbury, New Hampshire (tentarelli netzero.com)
Emoji having been popularized, texts acquire wacky faces. (48 letters)

Second Prizes:

Ayan Adak, Sydney, Australia (holysantiago gmail.com)
The brazen jester’s quirky plan - Forge a wall over Mexican sands! (52 letters)

Nick Norlen, Newtown, Pennsylvania (nicknorlen gmail.com)
Quirky embryologists duplicate sheep, wax juvenile with zaftig namesake. (62 letters)

Honorable Mentions:

Kath Osullivan, Auckland, New Zealand (pudsyduck gmail.com)
BREXIT loved by many fans who are creating quick word puzzles just now. (58 letters)

Tasneem Mohammed, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (tasoorox gmail.com)
Massachusetts was first to execute legalized gay marriage, making loving queer couples beyond joyful. (86 letters)

Pat Tompkins, Lenexa, Kansas (tap batnet.com)
In Kuiper belt, Pluto is judged as dwarf planet, vexing the status quo by making size count. (73 letters)

Nick Norlen, Newtown, Pennsylvania (nicknorlen gmail.com)
On the brick-brown rocks slumps Rover, the hazy fog quieting the jettisoned extramartian. (74 letters)

Eric Tentarelli, Newbury, New Hampshire (tentarelli netzero.com)
Watson excels at Jeopardy!, quickly outbuzzing human favorites. (53 letters)
Xi Jinping quashes term limits, visualizing China's way forward...or backward. (63 letters)


First Prize:

Paul Angiolillo, Weston, Massachusetts (pangiolillo gmail.com)
Facerift, n. Undergoing a breach or estrangement from Facebook.
“After it came to light that unscrupulous third parties had been stealing personal information from the world’s leading social media platform, many of its users experienced a facerift.”

Second Prizes:

David Brad St.Cyr, Orangevale, California (brad2468 sbcglobal.net)
Kiddebago, n. A large extended stroller that doubles as a mini RV for children pushed by parents.
“The Kiddebago allowed the new parents to transport their triplets (and gear) through the airport with ease!”

Tiffany Young, St.Louis, Missouri (helpmewrite yahoo.com)
Token toll, n. The price a statistical anomaly -- only one -- pays in the workplace simply for being the “only”: the only woman, the only person of color, the only differently-abled, the only non-degreed, etc.
“As the first and only African-American woman in the company, Mona paid the token toll; she worked for the company for eight years--often 50-60 hours a week helping the company earn millions in profits. Sadly, even those she trained surpassed her in promotions which she applied.”

NOTES: The price is not merely a monetary price. It is the price you pay because you are so stressed and perhaps even traumatized by your workplace experiences. This price is not only paid in your professional “life”, it is also simultaneously paid in your personal life. For example, the price may be simply a courtesy interview for a promotion (you are well or even over-qualified for) in which you will never yield the position OR self doubt due to workplace experiences. In your personal life, the price may be alienation from family because you are so exhausted from your work experiences that you want to be left alone in an effort to refuel, so-to-speak for work the next work day OR persistent, unending self-doubt.

Honorable Mentions:

Charles Harrington Elster, San Diego, California (chelster juno.com)
Slimelight, n. Bad or scandalous publicity.
“The president is in the slimelight again today for his maniacal tweets.”

Peter Altschuler, Santa Monica, California (altschuler wordsworthandco.com)
Commangled, adj. Two different methods designed to make things better making them worse, instead.

Pierre-Alexandre Sicart, Rieux-Volvestre, France (pa_sicart hotmail.com)
Factisize, v.t.
1. To make fake facts.
“From ‘Barack Obama has spent over $4 million in legal fees to hide that he came to the United States as a foreign exchange student’ (Donald Trump) to ‘We send the EU £350 million a week; let’s fund our NHS instead’ (Boris Johnson’s Vote Leave battlebus), politicians have discovered they could now factisize without any fear of retribution, or even the need to ever apologize.”
Alan Freedland; In this era of post-truth politics, an unhesitating liar can be king; The Watchman (London, UK); May 13, 2019.

2. To make facts fake.
“Amidst the outcry of the scientific community, the Trump administration has decided to factisize global warming.”
Ellen Kent; Facticide: why killing facts may kill us all; The Metropolis Times (Metropolis, US); March 18, 2019.

(Over the course of my research, I found that the two fake facts I’d already chosen as examples also served as examples in Jonathan Freedland’s “Post-truth politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are no joke” article, published in the Guardian of May 13, 2016. For that reason, I decided to use the first line of his article as the title of the fictional article from which my first quotation supposedly comes from.)

Martin Sindelar, Princeton, New Jersey (msindelar ets.org)
v. To shed a fake tear for a political or other gain.
n. The tear itself.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel got choked up and later even shed couple of lachrylies, wielding a handkerchief, to make himself look human.”