If the title of today’s Coffee Table Corner made you think of the Jason Mraz song, 1.) Good on you, and 2.) I totally planned it that way. I may or may not be humming along to the song right now.
I have stumbled across a few fun fake-word related titles recently, and thought they would make a great coffee table post. They’re short, accessible, and often illustrated with fun little drawings. Plus it’s great to say the made-up words out loud. It makes people think you’re a little crazy.
Because you know what? That should be a word! This book says what everyone is thinking.
Starting off as a column in The New York Times Magazine, Lizzie Skurnik’s book points out such gems as “manecdote” (the stories men tell each other), and “flaudit” (pointed insult masked by praise). It’s not uncommon to read one of these words and go “Wait, isn’t that actually a word? Already?” or to see how the word came about – its roots, its synonyms, its rhyming syllables. Skurnik is very clever, as is her book.
In the same vein is The Made-Up Words Project. Inspired by the words friends and family make up to explain a previously unexplainable phenomenon, or sparked from inside jokes, Rinee Shah lends her adorable/amazing illustrations to the hundreds of submissions she’s received since starting the project. I have a lot of favorites, but in particular: “nurdeling,” or sticking (often wiggling) one’s cold feet under someone’s butt on the couch (I think I like this one because I have perpetually cold feet and have probably disturbed a good handful of family and friends with my attempts to get them warm again). And “yamb,” or Yet Another Miscellaneous Bag. Because I have a ton of those. And do I ever have one in hand when going grocery shopping? No. So do I often buy yet another one so I don’t feel guilty sheathing my wares in plastic? YEP.
Annnnd finally…I love bad jokes. Puns. Clever riddles. I have been impressing my new coworkers with my ability to guess/intuit the answers to Laffy Taffy jokes (Why did Johnny take a ruler to bed with him? So he could measure how long he slept! Where do sick boats go? The dock!) and recently, one of my best friends said that whenever she sees or hears something having to do with “bad Dad jokes,” she thinks of me.
That probably should not be flattering, but puns make me giggle! They’re simple, and they’re pure fun. And now there’s a book that appreciates my awkward humor. Have a Little Pun features fantastic illustrations of some pretty terrible puns. An intricate seagull graced with the words “Hey Gull Friend,” a cheeky gopher face amidst “Gopher It,” and the perennial favorite: “For Fox Sake,” with a smug little fox smiling in the foreground.
I would be surprised if these coffee table beauties didn’t spark some brainstorming of your own. Maybe you’ll even submit something to The Made Up Word Project because of your new coffee table addition!