Mean and Done

If you’ve ever left a comment on a blog, you may very well have come across “word” verification.

On blogs hosted by Blogger, as elsewhere, the author can select an option asking
people commenting to type a seemingly random bunch of letters to prove that they’re actual humans rather than automated envoys of mischief or malevolence. This used to take the form of a single nonsense string that almost always could be a real word, but wasn’t; then, last year, the hosting service joined the ranks of websites using heinously jumbled-up, visually skewed mixes of characters. Previously the nonsense “words” tended to have vowels and consonants placed in such an order that they were pronounceable, leading me to invent definitions for them based on actual words, morphemes, and phrases they suggested.

I took to sharing those definitions in comments, when they came readily to mind, then filing them away and periodically presenting batches here on my own blog. It was an endeavor not unlike Sniglets, which Rich Hall popularized on HBO’s Not Necessarily the News and in a series of books back in the ’80s, except in reverse. I’ve laid absolutely no claim to being either the first or the best at this, but I’ve been told I’m not bad at it either, and I’m genuinely sorry that the absence of that older format of word verification has led to a near-total shutdown in new definitions.

cztory — [ztoh ree] n. A Slavic tale.

ermend — [uhr mend; ee ahr mend] v. Fix someone up in the trauma center.

archMC — [artch em see] n. Preeminent (or sly) rapper.

nonlyin — [non ly in] n. Tellin’ the truth.

Durefear™ — [door uh feer] Long-lasting frightfulness at your fingertips, new from the makers of Phobiall™!

hybrita — [hy brit uh] n. A cross-species water filter.

ginears — [jin eerz] n. Bad hearing brought on by a state of drunkenness.

podyne — [poh dyn] n. A rather pathetic unit of force.

angrater — [ahn gray tur] n. Kitchen aid for shaving Japanese red-bean paste.

copedall — [koh ped ull] v. Get everyone moving on a tandem cycle in unison.

nestini — [ness tee nee] n. Cocktail made from vermouth and twigs.

In my previous post of these I wrote that the next one would probably be the final one for the foreseeable future. Here we are and so it will.

The above will be added to my dedicated page collecting around 400 definitions and... well, no longer counting, but fun while it lasted.

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