Nov 25, 2015

Google mis-search --- This is heaven --- (teaser)

(We're already in Chapter 5. Godehart has been tricked into underwriting the Festival Award of $$$ 100k, which explains the whiskeys. Alice, Godehart, Alex and John sit on the terrace of Nick's restaurant, and talk, yes, what, they talk neologisms:)

“If you control the website, you control the festival, more or less,” Alex says.
“This isn’t the festival site,” I say, “It’s my site.”
“Who would know?” Alex asks.
“Anybody who needs to know about the festival. It takes a split second to discover a mis-search. People have experience,” I say.
“Mis-search.” Alex’s tongue likes the word. “A bit heavy on the ear perhaps, but useful. The most frequently committed act of our era, mis-search, an act in dire need of a term. You invented this? ... Can you google ‘mis-search’?” he adds in Alice’s direction.

Alice---who should slap Alex’s wrist now and steer the conversation back to Godehart’s predicament---Alice says:“We have him back, we have him back.” She means Alex.
“I was like this before?” Alex asks.
“Yes, on a good day.”
“Well, this isn’t a good day,” Alex answers, “google ‘mis-search’.”

Alice googles “mis-search.”

Nada. Not one mis-search on Google. “A real neologism, John,” Alex says, and slaps my shoulder. “Dude. You are worth it.”

I went through four years without a single compliment, and now, in the space of a few days, this is already my third one. Or fourth, if “dude” also counts. But there’s another hand on my shoulder and an aging hippie leaning into us from behind. “Apologies for imposing myself,” he says, “but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation, such is the nature of terrace acoustics. You found a neologism, may I inquire?”
“Yes,” Alex says.
“In real time?”
“Just now.”
“Mis-search,” Alice adds, while a forlorn Godehart orders another round of whiskey, including one for the stranger.
“May I introduce myself,” the hippie says, “My name is Zaphod Beeblebrox. I’m an editor of the Urban Dictionary, and an expert of neologisms. ‘Mis-search.’ Very nice. Compound term, common prefix. Please submit.”
“Yes, we are world’s leading site for tacky neologisms, you can submit yours to us and we publish. Last week, we had, what, we had ‘b-phone,’ and ‘spectaphile,’ and ‘mastabattical,’ and so on.”
“Mastabattical?” Alice asks.
“Yes, when you take a break from masturbating. We’re fairly masturbation-oriented. Thirty-five percent of our terms invoke or involve masturbation.”
“Do you pay?”
“No,” he says, “we are pro bono; we serve the common good, just like masturbation does. You have more neologisms in petto?”
“Yes, I do,” I say, “just last week, five or six.”
“I committed suicide last week, it must have inspired him,” Alex says with his insincere grin.
“Alex,” Alice says, “don’t say that.”
“Well, this is heaven, if I’m still alive. So I’m dead.”
“You said this is a bad day.”
“A bad day in heaven.”
“Sounds like a b-movie title,” the neologist says. “How about your other neologisms?”
I have to think. “ ‘iThing,’” I say, “a generalization for iPhones, iPads, and their ilk. ‘Public parts’ as an antonym for private parts. ‘Adult parts’ as antonym for public parts. ‘Nokia’ as an adverb, along the lines of ‘bPhone,’ I guess. ‘Armani-minimum.’”
“Armani minimum?”
“Knowing John a bit,” Alice interrupts, “I guess it’s about bulges.”
“‘Suicider,’” I add. “I know it’s terrible.” Alice grimaces accordingly.
“See, I have been inspiring,” Alex says.
Godehart downs his second whiskey.
“Suicider exists already,” the Urban man, says, “in the sense of a very strong cider. But your meaning is neo. Nobody dared, I guess.”
“How about ‘neologist’” I say, “You are a neologist.”
“Nice try,” the neologist says, “but we had the scoop in 2008.” His cell-phone rings. “Submit, submit,” he says, and disappears.

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