Thursday, January 7, 2010

the long awaited, much requested (not really either) rules of the combo word

Good morning, America.

Is it weird that saying that makes me feel as though I'm being untrue to The Today Show? XO Meredith.

I just llooovveee a good combo word--my own or someone else' long as they follow the rules. But the masses (two to three people) keep accusing me of changing the rules on them, so here you go, jerks. I'm writing down the rules (only two) that have always existed no matter what you people say, AND...for the first time in print (does this even count as print??), including the new rule number three, that originated outside of myself, but finally made enough sense that I added it. But it really took me a long time to be convinced. Good work, Frankums (and better work on that nickname, Mindy).

First of all, for the unknowing (no one that would ever read this, I'm sure, because I see most of you basically every other day), the combo word is two (or three, if you're awesome) words combined. Hence the name. Right? Right.

So here are the rules:

Rule 1. Saying the combo word has to be more efficient than the original two (however many) words (in length or just in tongue flowage),
Rule 2. the words combined have to either share a syllable or have a rhyming syllable that serves as the bridge to the combo, and the new and equally important rule...
Rule 3. an cool, uninvolved third party would have to recognize, without explanation (but context can be provided), which words are combined.



Go crazy.

But not yet.

For the purpose of not being accused of changsies again, let's go into too much depth.

If I love a good combo word, I sure hate a bad one. For example, calling a chicken taco a "chaco." That's maybe the worst combo word I've ever made up as an example. Let's check it against the rules.

Rule 1--Sure, it's more efficient. Two syllables saved.
Rule 2--Hell. No. You tell me which of these syllables rhyme: "tac," "o," "chick," and "en." That's right...none of them. There can be no syllable replacement, ergo no way to properly combine the words.

So it's already not a real combo word, but just for fun, let's ask a cool, uninvolved third party what "chaco" means.

Rule 3--"Um...Chad taco?"

There you have it.

So what if someone wants to get dinner this week, and asks when you're free. "Sure, sure, I have a freevening on Thursday!"

Rule 1--Yes--you just knocked a whole syllable off of "free evening." Excellent job.
Rule 2--Why yes! "Free" and the long "e" of "evening" DO rhyme. Thank you for asking!
Rule 3--"Free evening, of course." And that was his first guess. Just perfect.

As a small, but very important side note, there is one small subcategory. Don't get so mad about it...I'm not watering down the combo word. This just important. Some combo words can follow all the rules, but must be classified as a "best-in-print" combo word. You can call it a B.I.P. if you want.

Here's what I mean. "Know what I just love to get at Rubio's?"
"Fish tacos."
"Yeah, that's true. But something else."
"The delicious chicken buwheato."
"Ah...a wheat burrito. That's such a great combo word, really, but it's more of a B.I.P., wouldn't you say?"
"I sure would, dinner friend."

That convo actually happened (more or less). So why the subcategory? Because that one is just funnier when you read it.

Rule save a syllable.
Rule 2--Mos def. The "-rit-" in "burrito" rhymes the hell out of "wheat."
Rule 3--This one could be up for debate, depending on how cool your third party is, but my third party totally got it. That's what I mean, though, about the B.I.P. Because even uncool third parties get it on paper. In fact, if I was a band named B.I.P., that would be my first album title. "New from B.I.P.: Because even uncool third parties get it on paper."

But it's still a combo word.

Fin! No more rules can be added unless there's complete consensus. Stop it.


  1. LOVE IT! I now must admit to my "what jerseys are allowed at which games/stadiums/events" rules and my "what is a sport" definitions. Unfortunately, I can't summarize in 140 characters so no tweet for me!