August 4 2008
Do you know that feeling you get when you’re watching/listening to/reading the news and something simultaneously makes you laugh and fills you with sorrow? A mix of the horrible and the hilarious? Like when ignorant people in positions of power say stupid things that affect thousands of people? Like pretty much every story on the Daily Show for the past 8 years? We need a word for that.
One of the best ways to create a new word, while at the same time making it understandable to people who’ve never heard it before, is to just mash two words together, and that’s what I’m going to do here.
Let’s consult the mighty Thesaurus:
amusing, comical, entertaining, funny, humorous, jocular, jovial, ludicrous, merry
abhorrent, abominable, appalling, atrocious, awful, cruel, despicable, detestable, dire, dreadful, excruciating, execrable, fearful, formidable, ghastly, gruesome, grim, grisly, gruesome, harrowing, heinous, hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrific, loathsome, mean, nasty, nefarious, obnoxious, repulsive, revolting, shocking, terrible, ugly, unbearable, ungodly, unpleasant, unspeakable, vile
Ok, that’s enough. Let’s see…some of them don’t really apply, or don’t fit our purposes, or aren’t very well-known. So, I’ll just narrow the list a bit.
comical, funny, humorous, ludicrous
appalling, atrocious, awful, heinous, revolting, terrible, unbearable
There. Not a whole lot to work with, I must say. Hmm…this is going to be harder than I thought. Well, let’s try mashing some words together and see what happens.
hilorrible, horrarious, atrocihumorous, horrihumorous, revoltical, terricomical, humorawfulus, horrifunny, funawful, heinorous, hilariterrible, appallicrous
My spellchecker just put a great big red line under every single one of those words (including "spellchecker"). Oh, if only it knew the meaning of the word "futility".
You know, this is really hard. None of those words seem to be very good at performing the required task. In fact, they’re all just cumbersome.
This seems like a project I’ll have to put off until a later date. Until then, maybe somebody can come up with some superior solutions to the problem. Or maybe there’s already a word for this phenomenon that I’ve overlooked, or have never heard before.
To be continued…