“Here,” I said, to Jack as I handed him a copy of a CD I’d been working on over the past two years -- music I provided to some poems for children by a long-ago American author. Jack had listened to it at an early stage of production, and had made some suggestions, which had been incorporated into the final product. “Thanks for your help.”
Jack said, “One good turn deserves another: here’s something for you.” He handed me a wrinkled sheet of paper, with barely readable scribblings on it.
Jack, as I’ve mentioned on several occasions, has an agile mind. He occupies it in solving the world’s problems as he sees them, and in delving into the minutiae of that same world. In a word, he’s all over the place. He’s inquisitive; he’s inventive. He’s hard to take sometimes, but never boring.
Jack explained: “Have you ever heard of ‘altered definitions’?”
I said, “No.”
Jack said, “’Altered definitions’ are based on some existing word. However, you change one letter, or add or subtract one letter, and then you supply an alternate definition for that word.”
I said, “Give me an example.”
Jack said, “You know the word ‘garbage’. I took away the first letter g, and substituted a c. You now have ‘carbage’ – the junk in your car that you somehow never get rid of.”
I began to read what Jack had written on the sheet of paper.
Now I could have made a copy of it and included it here, but Jack’s writing isn’t all that legible, and so I’ve rendered it below in a more acceptable form.
DISCOBOBULATED -- Confused to the point of idiocy by the throbbing drums at a disco.
IRRELEFANT -- Something of no interest whatsoever to a pachyderm
FRAUDLEIN -- A German girl that tricks you into marriage by saying you got her pregnant.
CRAPPOCCINO -- The kind of cappuccino you get at a greasy spoon.
WIENER SCHPITZEL -- A bad-tasting hot dog.
PSUDOKU -- It may look like a Sudoku, but really isn’t.
PANUSCRIPT -- A manuscript that doesn’t make it past the editor.
LANDSCRAPING -- Clearcutting and stripmining.
SMELODY -- A song that really stinks.
MALODY -- A song that makes you sick.
JESTIVAL -- A comedy festival
SCATFIGHT -- A fight where the projectiles consist of animal turds.
GNOMENCLATURE -- The list of names given to anthropomorphic lawn ornaments.
POPETARTS -- Little breakfast edibles that are served to the Vicar of Christ.
PLUTONIC RELATIONSHIP -- A relationship that’s way out there, and may not even be real.
HOZONE -- The area of a city where the streetwalkers can be found.
CRASS ACT -- Like “The Aristocrats”(Maybe you have to see the movie, or know the joke.)
INIMFOMERCIAL -- An infomercial about the availability of insatiable women
INUENDO -- Spanish for “Up Yours!”
SEXHAUSTION -- The aftermath…
PANTALIZING -- So enticing as to have you panting.
And finally, my favourite, SCARF TISSUE -- The excess flesh resulting from over-eating.
There you have it, Jack’s contribution to the English language. I’ll thank him, dear reader, on your behalf.
Sjef Frenken is a renaissance man: thinker, writer, translator and composer of much music. A main interest, he has many, is setting to music the poetry, written for children, during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Nimble of mind, Sjef is a youthful retiree and a great-grandfather. Mostly he's a content man, which facilitates his relentless multi-media creativity.
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