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Oct 23, 2022
This week’s theme
Portmanteaux

This week’s words
shrinkflation
selectorate
frizzle
Sloane Ranger
fertigation

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AWADmail Issue 1060

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

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From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: A selection of portmanteaux from our readers

Here’s a selection of portmanteaux shared by our readers this week:

On the day you begin a week of portmanteaux, my wife and I celebrate our second birthiversary -- my birthday, our anniversary. Thanks very much from both of us for this particular gift in the long line of your generous offerings.
-Phil Kann + Rowene Weems, Westport, Connecticut (phil philkann.com)

Incommunicuddle: to stay home with your loved one and with phones off.
-Tomás Butchart, Albuquerque, New Mexico (butchartt gmail.com)

Our favourite family portmanteau is skoogle: skull + google. It’s what you do when you use your own cognitive powers to recall a fact, rather than relying on Google. Hence, when watching a film and we find we can’t remember the name of the lead actor, we’ll say “No, I’m not going to look it up, I’m determined to skoogle it.” Then you wait 24 hours for the fact to finally seep into your consciousness, long after anyone cares about the answer (or you sneak into the bathroom and google it anyway).
-Allaana Bills, Moogerah, Australia (allaana skymesh.com.au)

I started using a word this weekend as I listened to a story about the Arizona governor race. It made me mad and sad, which led to smad.
-Kate Payne, Iowa (katep invisionarch.com)

Tucson loves stravenues! An angular street between a street and an avenue. Example: Cherrybell Stravenue
-John Troy Vaughn Jr, Tucson, Arizona (jtvajtv aol.com)

Synonymph: someone (like myself) who is preternaturally gifted with finding the right alternative words.
-Carol Ostrow, Albany, New York (carologoes gmail.com)

Rickle: ripple + circle. Coined by my nephew.
-Dr Aravinda Bhat, Manipal, India (aravind.ciefl gmail.com)

At least two decades ago, frustrated and troubled with the directions our US “culture” was headed (I’m here sensing an oxymoron in the presence of a portmanteau), I coined and began liberally using the word InstiGrat.
-Val Adell, Portland, Oregon (seawolf22pdx gmail.com)

In Sonoma, California, we have the portmanteau slonoma (slow and Sonoma), which refers to our lifestyle. We are a Cittaslow. Talks to the way we live.
-Avram Goldman, Sonoma, California (avram.goldman compass.com)

After the success of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, other cities have tried to rejuvenate their own crumbling infrastructure -- and reputation -- by hiring a “starchitect” to create a new focal point that will transform the city’s reputation and tourism appeal.
-Hugh Platt, Denville, New Jersey (hughplattjr aol.com)

I had a dental procedure last week and near the stitches my gums developed two raised lumps of tissue. I coined the word gumps which is lumps of gum tissue.
-James Bovis, Annapolis, Maryland (jpbovis annapolis.gov)

We use SCROTUS to refer to a combination of Scrοtυm and Potus, in honor of 45.
-Norm Samuelson, Oak Harbor, Washington (norm.samuelson gmail.com)

When my brother was small and learning to dress himself, he said he had to screwver into his jacket. Screw + maneuver -- he was an active lad!
-Constance Lindgreen, Rungsted Kyst, Denmark (connielindgreen icloud.com)

Back in the 90s I had a small coin sorting machine that worked well for maybe half an hour and quickly thereafter became quite useless. I called it a cointainer.
-Paul Sikar, Astoria, New York (psikar26 gmail.com)

Happathy: Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern due to self-serving contentment.
-Dana Speer, Portland, Oregon (danaspeer gmail.com)

I refer to the totality of slang expressions with which I’m familiar as my slaxicon.
-David Travis, Austin, Texas (dt1942 aol.com)

Slam Diego, for San Diego and baseball grand slam. The Padres advanced to the NLCS this weekend. During the season, they had a run of gland slam (bases loaded) home runs that helped them to get to the playoffs.
-Elizabeth Mayercin, San Diego, California (emsandiego aol.com)

My favorite portmanteau was actually coined by my daughter years ago. Chocologic: logic used to justify the consumption of chocolate.
-Jill Fitzpatrick, Glen Allen, Virginia (itsjfitz verizon.net)

Trumpelzebub came to mind a few years ago while seeing a reference to one’s devilish actions.
-Bob Galli, Edison, New Jersey (rcgalli optimum.net)



From: Emily Baldwin (ebfinishingthehat gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--shrinkflation

A perfect story on shrinkflation is the class-action suit filed against McCormick & Company for nonfunctional slack-fill in their pepper containers. There’s a Planet Money podcast episode about it. [Settled for $2.5 million.]

Emily Baldwin, New York, New York



From: John Kilmarx (jkilly iup.edu)
Subject: Shrinkflation - Phyletic, Gooey, and Otherwise

Here’s a classic little essay (pdf) on econo-evolutionary trends by Stephen Jay Gould (yes, that one!) in the classic (and very odd) book Junk Food from 1980.

John Kilmarx, Indiana, Pennsylvania



Email of the Week brought to you by The Official Old’s Cool Education -- A masterpiece!” -- Tim Leatherman. Learn more!

From: Kate Cook (kborst mcn.org)
Subject: shrinkflation

How about an example of shrinkflation based on actual shrinkage? Modern lumber sizes date back to WWII. Lumber cut to 2” x 4” shrunk to 1 1/2” x 3 1/2”. With the advent of kiln drying wood, the same piece of wood shrunk less. Rather than pass the extra wood on to the consumer, the industry chose to cut the lumber slightly smaller and increase the yield per log. More here.

Kate Cook, Yorkville, California



From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: shrinkflation

An example of shrinkflation is in the first chapter of Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. After the chocolate ration is reduced from 30 grams per week to 20, the Ministry of Truth puts out the claim that it has been increased to 20 grams (its supposed previous level is not stated).

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada



From: John Craw (thecrawh gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--shrinkflation

Chip bags are filled with nitrogen, not air.

John Craw, Glenford, Ohio



From: Matthew Mattingly (mdmattin1 gmail.com)
Subject: Frizzle

My first thought was of Ms. Frizzle, of Magic Schoolbus fame. She is depicted with frizzy hair, but the connotations go beyond that, suggesting freedom, excitement, and willingness to ignore proprieties in the interest of true knowledge -- “Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!”

Matthew Mattingly, Amherst, Massachusetts



From: Anthony Gardner (arigardner hotmail.com)
Subject: Sloane Ranger

Although Peter York and -- arguably to a greater extent -- Harpers & Queen’s features editor Ann Barr brought the idea of the Sloane Ranger to the world, the term itself was coined in an editorial meeting by a sub-editor called Tina Margetts.

The meeting was a bit before my time, but I was working on H&Q with Ann Barr and Peter York when The Sloane Ranger Handbook was launched. See this interview with Ann Barr in The Daily Telegraph (permalink).

Anthony Gardner (former deputy editor of Harpers & Queen), London, UK

We have updated the entry now. Thank you.
-Anu Garg



From: David Kraus (krausman369 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Sloane Ranger

A Texas state trooper was given the assignment of just sitting in a marked cruiser along a highway known for speeding to get drivers to not go too fast. His colleagues sometimes referred to him as The Sloane Ranger.

David Kraus, Locust Grove, Virginia



From: Melody Friedenthal (friedenthalmelody gmail.com)
Subject: Sloane Ranger

It would be more accurate to say this phrase refers to “upper income” persons instead of “upper class”. Having “class” has no wealth boundaries, and lack thereof is not a signifier of decency.

Melody Friedenthal, Worcester, Massachusetts



From: Susan Woodland (susan.woodland gmail.com)
Subject: lone arranger

In the US archives world, an archivist who works alone in a small archive is responsible for every archival role -- reference, digitization, applying for grants, and in general making the collection accessible to patrons. An important part of archives work, particularly in connection with paper files, is arranging the folders in a predetermined order that makes it clear how to find what someone is looking for and in general enhances the research experience. This work is called arrangement.

Therefore, the person who does this arranging as the sole staff member is referred to as a lone arranger. At the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, a group of lone arrangers typically meets, with the enthusiasm of those desperately seeking colleagues - in spirit if not in physical location the rest of the year.

Susan Woodland, New York, New York



From: Don Fearn (pooder charter.net)
Subject: loan arranger

I remember ads from a bank that referred to its mortgage officer as a loan arranger.

Don Fearn, Rochester, Minnesota



Charmed... I'm Sure
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: shrinkflation & frizzle

Anecdotally, over the past 6 months, or so, I suspect my Cottonelle toilet tissue roll is coming up short. Alas, shrinkflation has invaded the bathroom. The same roll purchased some months ago could barely fit into my toilet paper nook. Now, it’s easy-peasy, the tissue just smoothly rolls off the new roll. Clearly, the folks at Cottonelle are selling us customers short.

Fo' Frizzle!
Our word frizzle conjured up rapper Snoop Dogg, and his go-to retort... “Fo’ shizzle!”. Translated from Snoop-speak meaning “for sure!” Snoop makes no secret that he’s been a long-standing connoisseur of marijuana. Going forward, he just might adopt our word frizzle into his rap lexicon?
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



Anagrams

 
This week’s theme: Portmanteaux
1. Shrinkflation
2. Selectorate
3. Frizzle
4. Sloane ranger
5. Fertigation
= 1. Minimise, shrank
2. That arrange to take poll
3. Sizzle
4. Toffee-nose
5. Enough fertiliser extract ‘n water
     This week’s theme is portmanteaux i.e.
1. Shrinkflation
2. Selectorate
3. Frizzle
4. Sloane Ranger
5. Fertigation
= 1. Staff: Same fee, less tuition
2. Coterie
3. Meat, gherkin in hot oil- ex kin’s R&R
4. Elegant razzler
5. Potash in water
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)
 
 
This week’s theme: Portmanteaux
1. Shrinkflation
2. Selectorate
3. Frizzle
4. Sloane ranger
5. Fertigation
= 1. Market extra air, short on chips
2. Slant’s fine, then?
3. Sauté
4. Genteel look for magazine
5. Wet fertilizer
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Limericks

Shrinkflation

I first noticed at breakfast one morn’:
Fifty grams Mister Kellogg had shorn.
This shrinkflation device
Hadn’t altered the price --
It’s the breach of my trust that I mourn.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

A hοοkεr, for her occupation,
Lost weight; and she caused a sensation.
She still charged the same rate
And her business got great.
The successful result of shrinkflation.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Shrinkflation’s the name of the game.
Though the price is precisely the same,
the container has shrunk.
How could we have sunk
to this level? It’s truly a shame!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

This packaging fails to impress;
I pay a lot more and get less.
I really feel cheated,
Deceived and mistreated --
Shrinkflation has caused me distress.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Its name I’d unhappily sought
Shrinkflation! What have the times wrought?
Snacks that once postponed dinner
Are making me thinner!
There’s less! But the cost has shrunk naught!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

You will see it all over this nation.
In the stores there are signs of shrinkflation.
Though the package weighs less,
It does cost the same, Yes!
Which does lead to all shoppers’ frustration.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The consulting firm’s pitch for shrinkflation
Made the CEO dance with elation.
Then an underling said,
“Why not bigger instead?”
He was sent to HR for castration.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Selectorate

Liz Truss a selectorate chose,
And now, as most everyone knows,
She’s lost Britain’s trust,
Resigned as she must
Just after her six weeks of woes.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Our nation was once the protectorate
Of a Protestant white male selectorate.
And Repubs still insist
With a shout and raised fist,
“Those with wealth should have power commensurate!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Frizzle

“You must frizzle my bacon,” says he,
“Or it’s grumpy and vexed I shall be.”
In these words, a young wife
Sees the shape of her life:
Crisped, and curled at the edges. “Ah, me!”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Says she, “When I can, I refrain
from going outdoors in the rain.
In the least little drizzle,
my hair starts to frizzle.
It drives me completely insane!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

There were sparks and a sound like a sizzle.
(Or perhaps you could call it a frizzle.)
My poor home repair
Had led to this scare --
All the lights in the house out did fizzle.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When mornings are humid with drizzle,
My plans for a good hair day fizzle.
In my mirror despair,
As I look at my hair,
To see how it starts to just frizzle.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Michelangelo picked up his chisel,
And thought, “David’s hair I will frizzle.”
He furthermore felt,
“If he’s handsome and svelte,
It’ll make Florence tourism sizzle.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Sloane Ranger

She appeared with a hearty “What ho!”
(This is Sloane Ranger speak for “Hello!”)
With her upper crust chic
Bought at Harrod’s boutique,
She’s the absolute thing, don’t you know.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Newcomer approaches. Says he,
“Your garb is quite stylish, I see.”
Says she to the stranger,
“Since I’m a Sloane Ranger,
I’m dressing appropriately!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Sloane Rangers with style and panache
Are hoping to make a big splash.
They’ll draw your attention,
And, oh, did I mention?
To do this, they need lots of cash.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“You’re not what I’d call a Sloane Ranger;
Folks like you have to sleep in the manger,”
Said the innkeeper. Mary
Replied, looking scary,
“You’re putting your soul, sir, in danger.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Fertigation

Warn his neighbors, “Expect litigation
re: the stench from your vast vegetation.
We cannot endure
the smell of manure!
Perhaps you should try fertigation?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The farmer who used fertigation
Could probably feed the whole nation.
“Though the smell is intense,
This new method makes sense --
I’m pleased with the whole operation.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Does your lawn look like hell and damnation?
The answer, my friend: fertigation!”
Said the ad. “Greener grass
Than the Joneses amass!
It’s what makes us a truly great nation!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns

“With more and more therapists getting into the game, I can’t even pay my bills anymore,” moaned the psychiatrist about shrinkflation.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“When it comes to running the country, I’m the one you’d better selectorate might remain a democracy!” warned Donald.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Don’t vorry about ze toaster, leibchen,” said the visibly drunk appliance repairman. “Frizzle fix it!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“If she don’t pay back dis-sloane ranger a decent funeral,” said the Mafia don to his lieutenants.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Actor Clayton Moore felt typecastasloane Ranger.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I’ll pay extra fertigation-earest de door,” said the American visiting a Japanese tea house.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



A Fool's Errand
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: A Fool’s Errand

On Oct 13, the Jan 6 Select House Investigative Committee wrapped up their final hearing with a subpoena issued to Trump. That Trump will willingly comply with this subpoena and testify is highly unlikely. One saving grace is that the DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation into Trump’s direct link to the Capitol insurrection will be able to lean into the findings of the House Committee.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand. -Emily Kimbrough, author and broadcaster (23 Oct 1899-1989)

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