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Diabolically Arcane

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3 December, 2011

The lab has just returned the neology results, and the news is positive. Last week’s Storm was a mind-blast, where we turned our minds to gaps in the language, in the hope of coining new labels. As a general challenge, we wrestled with six preset syndromes in need of nomenclature, and then a spree to isolate and christen any another English blind spot.

The choosing was arduous, but you already guessed that. Before I single out the winners, rest assured that so many of your classy fabrications have the right stuff to remain firm friends in the popular imagination. Now then, the best:

That unnerving feeling when you step on an upward bound escalator that isn’t working = EVERESTING (Sam’s elegant fusion of height and stasis is heady. Special mentions to RobT’s gotterfammer-rung, Em’s vertinogo and KM’s pun, Feet Nix Rising]

Putting on a jacket for the first time in a while and finding money in the pocket = JACKPOCKET (Hard to ignore SK’s style, but also loved KM’s serendipping, Sam’s raindaycoat and RobT’s handkerching.]

Resenting the time the customer before you is spending with the consultant, despite the likelihood you’ll spend as much time, if not more = AGGRAWAITION (I promise to use Em’s word next time this happens. No less fond of pre-ness envy – again RobT.)

That weird hoppy-steppy thing we do to avoid someone coming the opposite direction, often mirroring the oncoming pedestrian = MIRROUETTE (Ingenious invention from the KM lexicon. Only a shade better than SK’s sidewaltzing. Chuckled too at Geoff B’s pas de d’oh, and Em’s avoi-dance, neither of which is as well geared for verb mode.)

The moment you realise your child is literate enough, thus denying you and your partner the recourse of disguising words with spelling = EX-SPELL-IARMUS (Yes Em, it is a tad hokey, but so are parents who think they can rely on orthography forever. KM’s pig Latin – ishtay – is worth a shout, as is RobT’s killer bee.)

Forgetting why you entered a room = ROOMINATING (Criseyde’s homophone has instant appeal, though the long O will need stressing for the coinage to find currency. SK’s homenesia, and Em’s to-do listing warrant a word.)

Those annoying people who insist on texting while walking in crowded streets or public areas = CRASH-TEXT DUMMIES (SK began a real buzz with this novelty – it’s gold.)

A special mention as well to Sam (X-missed – when you receive a Xmas card from someone you forgot to send one to) and entre nous, RobT’s Tararaboom-DA (the high you get when you figure out a tough DA clue…)

Voilá, that’s the lexicon. As for the tally, award 3 points for top gong, and a point for special mention, this week’s finest neologist is Em on 9, then evergreen SK on 8, with KM (6) picking up bronze. Congratulations all medallists, and kudos to RobT as well for notching five running mentions.

Something different on Tuesday, as we kick off a two-week Storm with a prize-cum-prezzie your special carrot, before we enter the usual silly-season wind-down. Thanks for the innovations. (And I’ll run the subsequent Wordplay column here over Yule.)

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