Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eating "Brinner" with a "Spork"

The best thing about the English language is that it is constantly growing and changing. If you want to, you can make up a new word. If enough people like it and use it, it will actually become a new word, in the dictionary and everything. Awesome!

The worst thing about the English language is that it is constantly growing and changing. Any idiot can spout some nonsense gibberish, pretend it is a word, and if enough other idiots agree, it actually will become a word. Ridiculous!

(I'm guilty myself. In my last post I "created" the word undressedness. I don't think it is going to catch on. I am an idiot.)

What got me thinking about this is a constant barrage of Subway Sandwich commercials on the radio. They continually claim that their sandwiches are freshtastic. Freshtastic is not a word. It sounds kind of stupid to me. If the sandwiches are fresh and fantastic, just say so, don't try to make up a new word, because I'm not buying it.

This got me thinking about some of the other "words" that people have tried to create by smashing two words together. Some have been successful, some haven't. One of the best and most accepted "smashed" words is brunch. Everyone knows that brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch. And most people like brunch. (Anything that has the possibility of bacon is going to be well received by the general populace.)

The television show Scrubs introduced me to the similar word brinner, which is when you have breakfast food for dinner. And again, anything that encourages my consumption of french toast and syrup gets my full approval.

This brings me to spork, which leaves me somewhat torn. I like the word spork. It is fun to say. I like the concept of the spork, combining the best features of a spoon and a fork. But, in practice, the spork doesn't really work. The fork tines of the spork are just not long enough to actually do much good. It ends up simply being a spoon with a jagged edge. Nice try.

A homemade Spork! (Don't worry, it works about as well as the ones they give you at KFC.)

There are some "smashed" words that I have nothing but pure contempt for. Whenever anyone refers to the largest city in Georgia as Hotlanta, I literally want to punch them in the face. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it does. (I get angry just typing it: Hotlanta. I better walk away and cool down for a minute.)

(Okay, I'm back.) Similarly, I will never, never, never, never buy a truck during a sales promotion referred to as Trucktober. True, I've never bought a truck and probably never will (at this point I'm more of a mini-van kind of guy), but that doesn't mean I can't hold grudges against dealerships with Trucktober promotions.

Oddly enough, despite my disdain for Trucktober, I'm okay with the similar sounding Rocktober. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just like the rock and roll music so much that anything that promotes it is all right with me. (Because, as rock and roll legend Bryan Adams once sang, "everywhere you go, kids wanna rock!")

[Note: My editors have just informed me that Bryan Adams is not a "rock and roll legend." Rather he is, in fact, a "Canadian pop singer." Sorry for the confusion.]

Pillsbury is trying to make funfetti into a word by marketing cake and frosting with little bits of candy sprinkles (funfetti) mixed in. And once again, because it involves tasty sweet food, I'm inclined to like it.

The word "fantastic" is a popular base for "smashed" words. Besides Subway's freshtastic, there are funtastic, and craptastic, among others. And then there is fantabulous, which uses the other end of fantastic. I'm fine with all of these because I don't think any of them were created for an ad campaign. (I'm not quite as fond of scrumpdillyicious. It's trying a little too hard.)

Things might be getting a little out of control. I recently heard a snow storm referred to as a snowpocalypse. (It wasn't. Most everyone survived.)

My favorite "smashed" word, though, was something that was made up specifically for The Wife and I. When we were dating and engaged, we were very, very happy; both of us walking around with goofy grins on our faces most of the time. We were also very sappy, with lots of public displays of affection; a general sap level so sweet that even Aunt Jemima wouldn't dare bottle it. So, they started calling us shappy. And it fit perfectly, because we were shappy!

We're not as shappy anymore. We're still very happy, but four years of marriage, two kids, dirty diapers, potty-training accidents, and general lack of sleep have sapped most of the sap out of our shappiness. It's okay, though. The kids have pushed the happiness up to levels I never thought it could reach. And, every once in a while we'll tap into a vein of sap and be even shappier than we ever were before. (I get shappy just thinking about it!)

Okay, now it's your turn. Are there any "smashed" words that drive you crazy or that you really like? Let's get some comments going. Thanks!

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