Vonnegut’s Invented Words

To celebrate Kurt Vonnegut’s lifetime of unmatched creativity and comic genius, all definitions for the week of April 16-22, will be based on invented words originally created by Kurt Vonnegut and used in his novels. Vonnegut’s invented words will be automatically included in the list of each day’s verboticisms, so that players and visitors can vote for Vonnegut’s words, if they choose.

We are also offering Vonnegut’s Words, in the form of the 1968 Hardcover Edition of Cat’s Cradle, as a victory prize for the top player of the week.

Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The image shown here, is not a photo of the actual book which the winning player will receive. The winning book has been ordered and is now being delivered to our offices. Once we receive the book we will photograph it and update this image, and then forward the book to the winner.

Yeah, I'm in heaven now.

The first definition of the week is: “A harmless untruth intended to comfort simple souls”. Vonnegut’s verboticism for this definition is “Foma”. He invented the word while writing Cat’s Cradle, published in 1963. In the book, Foma is used as a part of the lexicon for the invented religion Bokononism which he uses to satirize many common beliefs. In a later essay, Vonnegut explained Foma with this example: “Prosperity is just around the corner.” The comic for the Verbotomy definition plays with this theme by having Vonnegut state that “Yeah, I’m in heaven now”, a line which mirrors his statement to the American Humanist Association following Issac Asimov’s death in 1992. For more on this story see: Rob Buckman’s appreciation of Kurt Vonnegut, titled “Mortal Soul, Immortal Words”, published at www.globeandmail.com.

See the invented words, comic and definition here: http://www.verbotomy.com/verboticisms.php?jid=vonnegut

Of course, with Kurt Vonnegut providing the definition and an invented word to match it, our regular Verbotomy players may feel challenged by this creative giant. But fortunately, Vonnegut always encouraged others to follow him. He often spoke at schools, where provided tips for students so that one day they could “Get a job like mine”. Vonnegut loved wordplay and invention, and by playing with the words and ideas that he has put forth, we are doing our best to honor him.

Official Stuff:

The winner will be chosen based on the final stats on the Verbotomy Weekly Author Ranking for the week starting on Monday April 16, 2007.

Prize: Cat’s Cradle by KurtVonnegut Jr., 1968 Hardcover Edition. (Approximate Retail Value $66 US.)
Contest Start Date: April 16, 2007 at 4:30:00 am EDT
Contest End Date: April 22, 2007 at 11:59:59 pm EDT

For Weekly Author Ranking see:
See: http://www.verbotomy.com/verbotomists.php?week=2007-04-16

For complete contest rules and regulations please see our Verbotomy Contest Rules and Regulations.

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