Mental Floss

What's a Word That You Invented?

Brett Savage

Every Friday, we post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. Jason English is really milking this whole paternity leave thing, so he's asked me to whip up this week's questions.

1. My sister has a peculiar habit of making up words. Sometimes it's blatantly obvious (like the use of "embiggen" on The Simpsons), other times it's a strange amalgamation of known words that sounds plausible when vocalized ("combinate"—to combine and activate, presumably). Are you in the habit of inventing words? Heard any interesting made-up words lately?

2. One of my favorite things about autumn is drinking cinnamon-flavored warm apple cider. What seasonal food or beverage do you most look forward to when the autumnal equinox rolls around?

3. The other day, I found myself trailing an elderly man on the sidewalk. He was moving at a pretty good clip, until, all of a sudden, he stopped dead in his tracks and peered up at the sky. Well, I assumed it was the sky. As I passed him while he was transfixed, I heard him mumble, "Uh-oh, I'm late."

It took me a minute to realize he was checking the clock tower of a church to find the time. This is something I would never think to do. Between cell phones, iPods, digital clocks on computer screens, and any other manner of technological advancement, I almost always know the time. Are there any old-timey traditions you'll miss when they're rendered obsolete by technology?

4. My mom loves Everybody Loves Raymond. My father hates it. "I just don't see him," my father has said about Ray Romano. My girlfriend loves King of Queens; I can watch it for a half hour wondering when I'm supposed to laugh. What popular comedians or sitcoms do you just not find funny? Does your significant other gush over a program or particular form of entertainment that doesn't interest you?

[Jason returns next Friday. Have a great weekend! See all the previous Friday Happy Hour transcripts.]