April 16, 2007


My Aunt V., creator of the word "Rovenge," has come up with another neologism:

e-social: A subset of asocial, where someone is so distracted by electronic devices that he ignores the people around him.

Inspired by watching a high-end SUV pass us one night with both flip down DVD players on for the back seat. I felt sorry for the kids, who will grow up never knowing how to fight with a siblings in the back seat.

If the e-social person is focusing exclusively on his phone, I would also suggest the term "cell-centered."

June 21, 2006

Joke 3.0.1

It only took me a week to realize that a much better name for the explainline would be "the aftermirth."

September 22, 2005


Email from my aunt:

To: Matthew Baldwin
From: Val
Subject: I invented a new word

Rovenge (rO-'venj), n: Politically motivated retribution. The White House sought rovenge against Joseph Wilson.

Can you get this into the lexicon?

Start using it, people. And as long as nominations are open, I'd like to propose a term that popped into my head this morning while coloring with The Squirrelly:

White crayon ('hwIt 'krA-"än), n: A useless person or thing you are nonetheless required to have for the sake of completeness or tradition. With his approval ratings in the 30s and members of his own party turning against him, the Bush presidency is rapidly becoming a white crayon.
I can see that one coming in useful in the office environment.

Comments are open, add your own.

March 30, 2005

What The Doctor Ordered

defective yeti has long been on the forefront of linguistic innovation, bringing you such indispensable neologisms as stuplimity, petable, and misfortunation. And whenever there is a void in the public vernacular, this website shall boldly stride forth to ... okay, blah blah blah, you get the picture.

Anyway, you know what I'm sick of saying? "Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb."

That's my drink of choice, but I'm not particular enough to distinguish between the two. So when ordering one, in a restaurant or at the drive-thru, I have to tack the two already overly-long names together with a conjunction and cough them both up at once.

Of course I could just order one or the other. But since I invariably choose the one the eatery doesn't carry (I just can't seem to remember which multi-national soft drink corporation owns which multi-national fast food chain) the cashier then has to ask "Is [the other one] okay?" and I have no choice but to give a long, exasperated sigh and say "Yes, [the other one] is okay -- duh! Jesus. And you'd better not put any pickles on my Barbarque California Falafel because I said NO pickles and that shit is nasty."

You don't have this problem with other drinks, because they all have generic names. Coke and Pepsi are "cola"; Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi are "cherry cola"; Barq's and Hires and A&W and Mug are all "root beer." Orange drinks are "orange drinks" and iced tea is "iced tea." I could even get a 7-Up or Sprite by saying "lemon-lime drink," though I'd sooner drink ink right from the squid than order either one. But at least they have a generic.

I guess it's up to me to come up with a word that encompasses this distinct subgenre of soft drink. So I asked myself, what characteristic do all these drinks have in common? A vaguely prune / bubble-gumish flavor, sure -- but what really sets them apart? Answer: they all have titles. Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Dr. Becker, Mr. Ahhh, and all the rest -- they have all earned a doctorate, or at least the right to be called by an honorific. They are all, in fact, "titled colas" -- or, as we shall be calling them henceforth -- "tytolas."

But this paradigm shift in soft drink nomenclature will only occur if everyone participates. So the next time you're shouting at a speaker at the Taco Barn's drive-thru, ask for a tytola. They may not understand what you want right away, but just keep repeating it -- they'll catch on after you've said it a dozen or two times. The tytola revolution will take time, yes. But if we all work together, we can build a better place, a world where, god willing, my son will never have to utter the phrase "Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb." And isn't that the most any parent could hope for?

April 07, 2004


I got impatient waiting for the bus yesterday, so I started to stroll to the espresso stand a block away. I wasn't really in the mood for coffee, but that wasn't the point -- and I knew I wouldn't get any anyhow.

Sure enough, the bus arrived just when I was far enough away from the stop that I had to sprint to catch it.

There really ought to be a word for this:

Misfortunation: Intentionally transforming a desirable event into an undesirable event in the hopes that your bad luck will cause it to occur.

November 24, 2003

Die, Türblitzen

You know who drives me nuts? Door rushers. You know who I mean -- everybody's seen these guys in action. I bet the Germans even have a word for them, Die Türblitzen or something. Türblitzen are the folks who stand right in front of the elevator doors while waiting for a car to arrive. And the moment the doors open they rush forward like they've been shot out a cannon.

Türblitzen always seem completely flabbergast to discover that an elevator already contains people who inexplicably want to get out -- they always sort of cry "oh!" and pull up short. But do they then get out of the way? No, they do not. Instead they just stand there dumbly, occluding half of the doorway like cholesterol in an artery, forcing disembarking passengers to squeeze around them.

Holy smokes, I hate these people.

Fortunately, I totally figured out how to solve this problem. All buildings should have a hardwired algorithm that makes elevators doors on the third floor or higher occasionally open when the car isn't there. By my reckoning, the scourge of Türblitzen would take care of itself in about a month.

Somebody please get on this.

December 18, 2002

Dunkin Do Nots
  1. In a fit of nostalgia I tracked down and listened some Kris Kross songs yesterday. DO NOT DO THIS!!!! Specifically, do not listen to this mp3 of "Jump". That song is evil infectious -- and I don't mean "infectious" in a good way, like laughter, I mean "infectious" in a bad way, like Pink Eye. You know how your cat, when he senses you're going to take him to the vet, slinks under the couch, and when you try and fish him out he keeps moving to different, remote, unreachable spots, and then, when you finally move the whole sofa away from the wall and grab him by the nape and try and pull him out, he digs his claws into the carpet so the entire extraction process is accompanied by a loud ripping noise? That is what "Jump" will do to your head. I have been singing the chorus non-stop for two days now, inserting every element of my mundane life into it as I go.
    The Queen: Don't forget to send your grandmother a Christmas card.
    Me: Grandma'll make ya: Jump! Jump!
    The Queen: Why are you doing that?
    Me: Kris Kross'll drive ya: Nuts! Nuts!
    The Queen: You'd better knock that off.
    Me: My wife is gonna: Punch! Punch!
  2. Also! DO NOT SEE WINDTALKERS!! I had the misfortune of viewing this alleged "movie" over the weekend and, lemmie tell ya, it's terrible. It's worse than terrible. It's whatever comes after terrible. It's petable. The credits said that it took two people to write the screenplay. Presumably one person sat in front of his TV watching every cheesy war movie ever made, while a second guy sat at a typewriter, and occasionally Guy One would shout to Guy Two: "Okay, here's a scene that's been in the last dozen films; write this down." I mean, this had them all: The Placid Scene Just Before The Soldiers Meet Their Doom Where They All Casually Discuss What They Are Going To Do When They "Get Out," The Scene Where The One Racist In The Platoon Who Constantly Belittles The One Minority In The Platoon Is Saved By The One Minority In The Platoon And Changes His Ways, The Scene Where Some Guy Gets Shot (actually, Windtalkers contained this particular scene approximately one infinity times). It really did a good job of conveying the horrors of war, though, as I am now under the impression that combat is the most boring activity imaginable.
  3. Also! If you read some great idea here on the yeti, and then you later discover a news article about some joker who used that same idea to make a bajillion dollars, DO NOT TELL ME!!! (I'm talking to you, Jonathan Harris). I prefer to believe (a) I am the only one who comes up with these schemes, and (b) the reason I am not a millionaire is because I am a Pisces, and certainly not due to any lack of initiative on my part. I have worked for years to hone and maintain my current state of blissful ignorance, and I don't need you screwing it up with reality.
September 09, 2002


Speaking of vocabulary, I'd like to propose a new word, one that the English lexicon desperately needs. The word is "Stuplime" (stü-'plIm),and means "Something so resoundingly stupid as to be sublime." You know, like Slamball, or the label on Prestologs that says "Warning: Flammable."

E.g.: "defective yeti: Taking Stuplimity To The Whole First Level"

Please integrate "stuplime" into your vocabulary forthwith.

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