As a change of pace this Friday, have some fun with words (from the New York Times with links to more New Yorker contests).
A blogger’s recent discovery that a 99-cent e-book version of “War and Peace” sold in Barnes and Noble’s Nook Store had replaced every instance of the ordinary English word “kindle” with the word “Nook” prompted much online tittering about the wisdom of outsourcing book digitization to a company named Superior Formatting Publishing as well as reminders of the deep roots of literary product placement. (When Jules Verne began serializing “Around the World in 80 Days” in 1872 shipping companies lobbied to be name-checked in the text.)
But for the keepers of “Questioningly,” the New Yorker’s weekly Twitter-based contest, the glitch was also an opening. Last Friday they invited readers to offer their own corporate-literary mash-ups. And now, the results are in.
The contest drew multiple entries for “Gone With the Windex,” “Slaughterhouse Five-Guys,” and “Midnight in the Olive Garden of Good and Evil,” along with at least one pitch for “One Flew Over the Condé Nast,” a reference to the New Yorker’s parent company. But ultimately the judges cast aside “Little Dorito,” “Less than Xerox,” “Remembrance of Things Pabst,” and “Pninterest” to proclaim “Bayerwulf” the winner.
“Everyone guffawed,” Ben Greenman, the contest organizer, said in an e-mail. “Some almost spit-took. I guess the compactness of it pleased people and also the absurdity of the collision — Old English heroic poem meets tiny aspirin tablets.”
And wait, there’s more!