Almost All Things Considered

The All Things Considered newsmagazine on National Public Radio recently had a piece on "word fugitives", words for those concepts, actions, feelings or objects for which there isn't -- quite -- a proper word yet in the English language. Words which ought to exist, which ought to be right on the tip of your tongue, words for which you find yourself haplessly searching (hence "word fugitives").

ATC ran a contest along with the piece, asking listeners to submit their invented terms for the following phenomenon: Those times when you feel a sneeze coming on, and coming on, and coming on, and then it doesn't happen.

Well, I listened to that radio challenge during my daily commute, and thought that the best answer to the contest was so friggin' obvious that there was no sense in submitting it, since dozens of other listeners would have already beaten me to the website.

Yesterday, the winners of the contest were announced. Not only was the winner ("sniffhanger") NOT my word of choice, but my word didn't even APPEAR in the list of most frequent entries.

Unbelievable. How could this possibly be? Obviously, an unfinished sneeze has to be...

a s'not.

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