Daily Ratspression™: cetaceanacide

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

cetaceanacide    noun    \ sea `tay shun a side

  1. the deliberate and mostly unexplained fatal self-beaching of sea mammals such as whales and dolphins (alternative term: “beachacide”).

Origin: cetacean + suicide

Example: “To help prevent further cetaceanacide, we are to remember this mnemonic: “We … ir … d = We … are (ir) … dangerous (d) to those dumb, dirty dolphins.”

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “A Weird Way to Save Dolphins” (August 2, 2015).

Dolphintursiops

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Daily Ratspression™: capitalsmeze

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

capitalsmeze    noun    \ `kap ih tull smees

  1. Slang spoken by persuasive, gregarious, unprincipled individuals, often with bridges to sell, who believe in the private or corporation ownership of capital goods, that investments should be determined by private decision rather than by state control, and that prices, production, and the distribution of goods should be determined mainly in a free market.

Origin: capital + schmooze + sleaze

Example: “Translated to capitalismeze, the author outsources his book writing to someone in the Philippines.”

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “A Bad Case of Bathtub Envy” (July 25, 2015).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

For Those Who Need More Holidays

The other night at Full Metal Trivia at Mary Ellen’s, several of the questions were about Festivus, including on what date does Festivus occur? We didn’t know the date, or any of the other answers for that matter. As it turns out, Festivus is today, December 23. The holiday, or perhaps anti-holiday is a better term, is a secular one created by the father of a Seinfeld writer as “an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.” If you celebrate Festivus, today you will be having a Festivus dinner after gathering around the Festivus pole (an unadorned aluminum rod), airing grievances, performing feats of strength, and discussing Festivus “miracles,” that is, easily explainable events. (If you need a detailed illustration of Festivus, watch “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld.)

seinfeld-festivus-for-the-rest-ugly-sweater-front1

You might not be surprised to learn that the idea of making up holidays appeals to me and this seems to be the perfect opportunity for me to combine it with my own favorite practice of making up words. In the spirit of something or other, all my made-up words/holidays will rhyme (sort of) with “Festivus.”

  • Sleptivus – This day marks the celebration of sleeping in and is observed by, well, sleeping in. Doing this properly means not getting up before noon. Sleptivus occurs on the Friday before the spring vernal equinox, which just happens to coincide coincidentally with World Sleep Day. Sleptivus also adapts the slogan from WSD, which in 2018 will be “Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy life.” The Sleptivus version of this is “Conk Out to Conch In.” (Note that the infinitive “to conch” is the KWestSpeak equivalent of “chill out.”)
  • Kleptivus – This day marks a day of remembrance and contrition for walking out of a retail establishment and discovering there is something in your pocket (or stuffed down your pants) that you somehow neglected to buy. To atone for this mistake, on Kleptivus, those guilty of this sin of omission visit a retail establishment, select and pay for an item, and then return the item to the shelf or rack and leave the store without it. (Data show that on this day, most stores experience “expandage” instead of “shrinkage.” Researchers have not a clue yet as to why this happens since Kleptivus, for reasons you might understand, is not an advertised or promoted holiday.) Kleptivus is celebrated on November 16, the date in 1861 on which The Lancet published its signature article “Kleptomania.”
  • Bingetivus – This holiday takes place on August 29, the day in 1997 when Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded Netflix. As you might surmise, from 12:00:01 a.m. on August 29 to 12:00:00 a.m. on August 30, Bingetivants stream the programming of their choice without pause except for the occasional bathroom break and trips to the kitchen to replenish drinks and junk food. Also, as you might surmise, stimulants are popular on this day—ranging from coffee to Red Bull to, in extreme cases and usually in the waning stages of bingewatching, mild electric shock.
  • Skeptivus – This day celebrates the expression of skepticism—better known as the belief that any true knowledge is impossible or that all knowledge is uncertain. Skeptivants proclaim and avow their doubt or incredulity regarding pretty much everything. To support this claim, they recommend that anti-skeptics apply “The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich” to anything and everything and view the results. Skeptivus occurs quotidianly, that is, for Skeptivants, every day is Skeptivus. They do double-down in their skeptivusing, however, on December 21, the day of demise, although some have yet to be convinced of this, for Doubting Thomas.

By now you’re likely thinking or more likely shouting at the screen, “Enough already!” which translates to “please stop now before I become violent.” I empathize completely, so much so that I will declare this day, indeed this moment, to be Enoughtivus, the official holiday for those who can’t take it anymore. The “it” can be anything of your choosing, and how you celebrate this holiday is up to you. I suggest, however, that since it is also Festivus today and you might be airing your grievances anyway, why not go that route?

Daily Ratspression™: camporredy

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

camporredy    noun    \ kamp `oar reh dee

  1. A motion picture meant to inspire intense fear, dread, or dismay that is so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out of date that it becomes, in spite of itself, a drama of light and amusing character with the requisite happy (for some) ending, e.g., any Japanese Godzilla film made from 1954 through the 1990s, e.e.g.g., Godzilla vs. Biollante or Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.

Origin: camp + horror + comedy

Example: “The original ‘camporredy‘ came out in 1954, filmed in black and white and 3D.”

800px-Famous_Actress_Who_Later_Portrayed_an_FDA_Chemist_(FDA_124)_(8205683361)

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “It’s Never Easy Being Green” (August 7, 2015).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Daily Ratspression™: brilvy

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

brilvy    noun    \ `brill vee

  1. A painful or resentful awareness of the unusual mental keenness, alertness, originality, or resourcefulness exhibited or enjoyed by another, accompanied by a desire to possess an equal or greater amount of said unusual mental keenness, alertness, originality, or resourcefulness.

Origin: brilliance + envy

Example: “I am experiencing brilvy at this very moment.”

Archimedes_bath

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “A Bad Case of Bathtub Envy” (July 25, 2015).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Image: Woodcut of Archimedes in his bathtub. Public domain.

Daily Ratspression™: brainiacatude

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

brainiacatude    noun    \ bray knee `ack ih tewd

  1. A frame of mind, mode of expression, and/or physical bearing that exudes the presence of, or a belief in the presence of, unusual and/or superior intellectual or mental capacity.

Origin: brainiac + attitude

Example: “One small step toward brainiacatude?”

Brainiac_(DC_Comics)
Brainiac, a Dude

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “Titulus Invidia” (March 6, 2016).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Image: Interior artwork from Superman: Secret Files 2009 vol. 1, 1 (October 2009  DC Comics). Art by Francis Manapul. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53709928.

Down for the Count

Last night, as I was shaking out fiber capsules from a plastic bottle, about to take them as part of my seemingly endless pursuit of regularity, I looked at my palm and saw five caps resting there preingestate. Yes, I thought, five capsules is the amount I want. But then I thought, how do I know there are five and how do I even know what five is?

The obvious answer is that someone taught me how to count and to recognize the quantity represented by the number 5. But how did that person learn…and the person before that and before that and before that ad infinitum? Like most other things human, it goes back quite far—indeed, about twenty thousand years (count ’em!) according to Steven Law’s “A Brief History of Numbers and Counting.” (Others put this number as high as thirty-five thousand years.)

It all began, as we did if you’re on the evolution team, in Africa, and it began with the Ishango bone. The IB (shown below) is a baboon’s fibula that some think to be a tally stick, that is, something used to record and document numbers. It was found in 1960 in the former Belgian Congo by archaeologists exploring a village long buried by a volcanic eruption. The bone is marked with three columns of asymmetrically grouped notches. The way the notches are grouped suggests an understanding of multiplication and division. Law writes that numbers and counting began with the number one and that the IB is “the first solid evidence of the existence of the number one, and that someone was using it to count.”

800px-Os_d'Ishango_IRSNB

He goes on to note that counting didn’t really come into vogue until cities formed in Sumer (part of ancient Babylonia) around 4,000 BC and commerce got going. People needed to keep track of their goods and the trades involving them. As orchestrated by the city parents (although they were probably literally city fathers back then), folks used tokens to represent their tangible goods rather than, say, carrying around five live chickens everywhere they went. When they traded a chicken (or ate it for dinner), they gave over or gave up a token. Thus, addition and subtraction happened and with them, voila!, arithmetic. The ancient Egyptians next became the first to invent symbols to represent numbers—one million, for example, appeared as a prisoner begging for forgiveness (and a shorter sentence perhaps?). Then came the ancient Greeks and the mathematical ball really got rolling. It went over the cliff when the Indians (not the Arabs) came up with the concept of zero, which “transformed counting and mathematics” because it gave us “the ability to make numbers infinitely large and infinitely small.”

None of this explains where our counting ability comes from, though. One neuropsychologist, Brian Butterfield, thinks we have an innate sense of number hard-wired in our brains (see “The mathematical brain – how children learn to count“). He describes a small region behind the left ear as “the number module”: “in the same way we perceive the ‘greenness’ of a leaf we can also perceive the “twoness” or “threeness” of a group of objects.” We learn the names and symbols for numbers later. Kids as young as twelve months have a sense of sets of things. Then, by three to five, children can recognize the number of things in a set, say four apples, without having to count them individually and then our math skills (well, most peoples’ math skills) keep developing from there, governed in later stages by one’s education level and career path.

Sadly, I still seem to be at the pre-three-year-old math stage as I tend to count my fiber capsules individually when I’m taking my daily dose. At least I’m spared the ignominy of having to point to each one as I do this. And I now have an idea of how to make some long-overdue progress in the tallying department. Tonight, before I shake the caps into my palm, I will scratch vigorously behind my left ear to stimulate the number module. This will either help me recognize the desired set of five immediately—the hoped-for result—or, and this is the more likely outcome I’m afraid, cause me to forget what I was doing entirely.

 

Image: The Ishango bone on exhibition at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. By Ben2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3166443

Daily Ratspression™: bondermance

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

bondermance    noun    \`bahn dur manse

  1. novel or film that depicts a romantic love affair with an uncharacteristic amount of restraint.

Origin: bondage + romance

Example: “Tom and guests were nattering on about Fifty Shades of Grey, the “bondage erotica romance,” or “bondermance,” that has sold twenty million copies and has, apparently, everyone talking.”

Male_submissive_art
You only hurt the one you love?

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “Grey Natter” (July 12, 2012).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and extremely ridiculous hope that these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Daily Ratspression™: bonainastorm

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

bonainastorm    noun    \boh `nayne ah storm

  1. a sudden inspiration or bright idea that yields an unexpectedly large profit.
  2. a harebrained idea that yields an unexpectedly large profit.
  3. a violent mental transient derangement that yields an unexpectedly large profit.

Origin: bonanza + brainstorm

Example: “I’ve just had what may be a bonainastorm.”

Play-Doh_Original_Canister
Oh! Doh!

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “The Parental Unit of All Invention: Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know” (September 16, 2015).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and also extremely ridiculous hope that all of these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

Image: Play-Doh Retro Canister. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21336066.

Daily Ratspression™: bogglesome

Today’s “word” from RatBlurt’s Ridictionary™: For When “Normal” Words Fail You.

bogglesome    adjective    \`bog gull sum

  1. Gobsmacking, that is, completely dumbfounding or shocking in a troubling or annoying way.

Example: “The visualization is extremely bogglesome.”

Page_50_illustration_in_More_English_Fairy_Tales
Bogglesome, is it not?

To view the entire blog where this word first appeared, see “Hue Are You” (March 8, 2013).

While the format of these “words” for the day mimics that of dictionaries, unless you have been reading my blog RatBlurt™, you won’t find these terms anywhere—at least not yet. It is my fervent and also extremely ridiculous hope that all of these terms will one day grace the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. So, if the source of these fictords [fictitious words] is a dictionary, which it is not, it would be a ridiculous dictionary, hence the made-up name “Ridictionary™” [ridiculous dictionary].

(Image: Illustration of The Hedley Kow, John D. Batten. Public Domain.)