solving the puzzle of life one entry at a time
May. 25th, 2011
It's been far too long since I did one of these. This time around, I thought it'd be a good idea to vent some frustration [which I still have in spades] by sharing some of the catchphrases I tend to spout when I want to add some light-heartedness to when things go sour (as is my usual response):
- go to Lose: For when the pain seems to cycle endlessly. This comes from the boardgame This Game Is Bonkers!, which provides each player with a card at the start of the game (one guess what it reads) that serves as a magic bullet to end someone's turn (and that's the sort of game where it's easy to get stuck in a loop that guarantees victory otherwise).
- give em back es three cents and tell em to go to Hell: For when something is in need of dismissal. This is the punchline of a joke I first encountered in GAMES Magazine decades ago, as part of an article on what makes jokes funny. Fittingly enough, the joke isn't funny, and certainly isn't worth repeating here, but out of its original context (or perhaps because its original context is so lame) the punchline itself has proven to often be hilarious.
- I hate you, Shapeasaurus.: For when I'm faced with something I'd rather not deal with. A relatively recent addition to my repertoire, it comes from the excellent videogame Raskulls. I don't want to spoil it - the game is well worth playing through, and has moments even funnier than the one I'm referencing (including one exchange that is quite possibly the absolute funniest ever in any videogame, and I've seen a LOT of videogames).
- Ah, shoot - a door! I didn't plan on this!: For when something obvious has been overlooked. This of course comes from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 heckling of Mitchell, arguably the funniest thing ever aired on television. Fun fact: I was recently playing The Game of Things when as the judge I pulled the card "Things that might keep you out of Heaven"; my bluff was "Ah, shoot - a gate! I didn't plan on this!". It got the biggest laugh, and is so far the only time I've played where the initial reading of responses in a round was preempted by the first accuser being so certain of an attribution that e made es guess before hearing them all. It was glorious. "Oh, it's a scyyythe." is the phrase for when the overlooked is not quite so obvious; that of course hails from the final episode of Blackadder II, which is also arguably the funniest thing ever aired on television.
- Oh, and that's a bad miss.: For small generic failures. This is a running gag of David Mitchell's snooker-commentator-character Ted Wilkes in the first season of That Mitchell and Webb Look. You had to be there. "HENNIMOOOOORE!" from the third season also has potential to become often quoted by me for not-so-small failures.
- Damn you, Nicolas.: For when a sacrifice is required. This one actually isn't light-hearted at all. This is the final line of the television series Forever Knight. Naturally, I refuse to spoil anything about it.
- forgot to not suck: For lapses in skill. This one I just plain made up.
I'm sure my friends could remind me of any I may have missed. - ZM
Oct. 20th, 2005
As perhaps many of you have noticed, I sort of have my own way with the English language. I've spent the time to study it from a grammatical-structure point of view - not unlike how programmers would study a computer language - and I feel I have a very good grasp of the way it works: its nuances, its subtleties, its internal logic. As a result, when given an option, I choose the construction that I believe best fits that logic. For example, I tend to mix United States and United Kingdom versions of English, using whatever I think works better. I put all my non-quoted punctuation outside of quotation marks, but keep the U.S. single-/double-quote convention. Actually, I believe punctuation shouldn't be left to performing double duty, so when I'm quoting something that naturally calls for a period at its end, and my own sentence also ends there, I add another period outside the quotes.
But that's not quite what I'm here to type about. With the curious view I have of the language and the way it's used, I often find myself in the position of coining new words and/or redefining old ones, so that I can accurately express what I'm trying to say. You may have already noticed my gender-neutral pronouns; I had to devise the name of my fear; I invented the phrase "orthogonally radiant" for a set of puzzle instructions and just assumed readers would figure it out. I also find myself frequently privy to a bevy of inside jokes, which also spawn their own curious verbiage. Well, I figured it would be a decent idea to provide a glossary to explicate this varied terminology, especially since it gives me an excuse to use it here in the future and have something to point to if I'm misinterpreted:
- bite the wax tadpole: Fail; fare poorly. The origin of that phrase is no secret, so I won't repeat it here. I find it hilariously euphemistic; as a 29½-year-old hopeful virgin with only one manner of sexual experience involving a partner [Denotation], the whole shift from "this bites" to "this sucks" in the late nineties didn't sit well with me, and using this phrase instead is my protest. Please, think of the nerds that never got the chance!
- Bullshit!: Bestowed as a badge of honor upon those displaying great skill. There's a story behind this one. I was in Ryan Family Amusements one day a few years ago, going to play Zero Gunner; for those of you who haven't been there, it's a two-floor video arcade. The second-floor area is fairly small. Zero Gunner was on the second floor, and at the time there were only two others on that floor, the two playing each other at Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. It was shortly after I reached the boss of the second stage that I heard "Bullshit." behind me, from the direction of the other game. A few seconds later, right after dodging a massive wave of bullets from the enemy boss, I hear an even louder "BULLshit!". I figured something fascinating was going on over there, and perhaps I would have asked about it later, except that after the next wave of fire passes by my chopper harmlessly, I hear "BULLSHIT!!" again. I guessed it couldn't have been a coincidence, and sure enough it wasn't: after finishing off the boss shortly thereafter, I turned around to discover that one of the two men had been watching me all that time. "How did you dodge all that?", he asked me. ...I told that story to a few people, but one of them was barryr. Silly me. I still haven't heard the end of it. But then, I still find it funny, so...
- buttwumpus: I get asked about this one a lot, but I've never really provided much of a definition. It's more readily described than defined. I'm not even sure where I originally got the term - I think I may have invented it. I've certainly warped its usage to my ends if nothing else. Anyway, a buttwumpus is a person or other anthropomorphizable entity for which if a behavorial study were to take place, it could be concluded that sitting on es ass and not doing a bloody thing would be es primary motivation. Maybe you know someone like this - always around the social circle, but never participating. I'm not talking about the excessively shy or clinically depressed - I'm talking about those with no excuse other than laziness. They think anything and everything fun takes too much effort - that sums it up quite nicely. Buttwumpuses - or is it 'buttwumpi'? - have a unique term all their own: "Naahaidohwanna.", which is always spoken as its own sentence and indeed often as its own syllable. They have been known to frequent coffee houses, park benches, and university gaming club offices.
Those are just a few terms that promptly come to mind; it is mere coincidence that they all start with 'b'. I will likely reinvoke this topic later, which may or may not proceed in alphabetical order. The comments box is officially open - perhaps those who know me personally can remind me of some other terms I can define later; perhaps all of you can think of some of your own you'd like to share with the class. - ZM
P.S.: My next puzzle, Block Party, should be arriving some random time this weekend.