October 09, 2007

beware the jabberwock!

When, oh when, will shop owners realize that not every blending (or portmanteau word) has the charm of slithy?*


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Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"That's enough to begin with", Humpty Dumpty interrupted: "there are plenty of hard words there. 'Brillig' means four o'clock in the afternoon--the time when you begin broiling things for dinner."

"That'll do very well", said Alice: "and 'slithy'?"

"Well, 'slithy' means 'lithe and slimy'. 'Lithe' is the same as 'active'. You see it's like a portmanteau--there are two meanings packed up into one word."

[Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass]

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