Portmanteau: When Used For Ill, Not Good

portmanteau

Portmanteau

A portmanteau is typically a pretty good time. Some can be pretty fun to say and they’re almost always fun to create. There’s just something about taking two words and cramming them together so hard that a few of letters from each respective word just shoot out to the side never to be heard from again.

Sexting, jazzercise, slanguage, Bennifer are all great examples of portmanteaus. With the exception of the last one, all are a guilt free good time to say. That last one however reminds me of dark times. People should never know that much about Ben Affleck or Jennifer Lopez, or was it Garner? I can’t remember.

Occasionally the power of creating a portmanteau becomes too much to responsibly handle. When that happens the portmanteau may not have the best environment to grow up in. Sometimes a portmanteau goes bad. Grows a ponytail and refuses to maintain it’s eyebrows. Basically, it becomes Steven Seagal. Subsequently, much like Steven Segal, it also quits being fun.

Portmanteau, I Want Your Gun And Your Badge On My Desk!

Also, like Steven Seagal – who is the constant good cop who’s gone above the law- when portmanteaus go bad, we need to demand they turn in their gun and badge. While Portmanteaus don’t actually carry guns, there is a metaphor here. For portmanteaus, their gun is that pop they provide when said. The way the tongue and mouth seem to move a bit differently and the brain calls you on it.

As for the badge, a little known fact is portmanteaus all come with a certificate that the creator can display on their wall with pride. A greater known fact is that people who create portmanteaus never have anyone over to see said certificate. Not just for the occasion of seeing the certificate, just in general. It’s sad*.

Even if they did have people over, sometimes that pride wouldn’t be deserved. Occasionally, some overzealous wordsmith goes too far in the creation of a portmanteau. Perhaps they think it sounds funny. Maybe they just got tired of saying two clunky ass words together. Whatever the reason, they’ve gone above the law.

The 1947 Incident

It was 1947 and three types of people were tired of saying two clunky uncomfortable words, funeral directors, cremation folks, and government types. After boozy lunch – like the kind seen in Mad Men – they took it upon themselves to create a portmanteau so foul and opposite day of all other portmanteaus, that it was the direct antithesis of what a portmanteau should be. This one isn’t a rogue cop, it’s a gawhddamn satan spawned evil entity! Like other portmanteaus, it intrigues people to say it. Which is the cruelest part. Yet, it’s dark subject matter and more than likely poorly timed usage turns one’s sense of humor against them at a vulnerable time.

Remains + Cremation = Cremains

Cremains, you can’t help but catch the intrigue, feel that slight giggle. Even after the initial encounter. The elation in your heart as a portmanteau is used. Oh, it sounds funny and seems like it would be fun to say. At the same time, some soft spoken guy has just handed you a bucket and said, “Here are your father’s…”

That’s when one might think, “Did I hear that right?” After hearing cremains another twenty times in the next week, there will be no doubt. It’s a fucking terrible portmanteau. Cremains, turn in your gun and badge. You’re through and will never work in this town again.


Hey, on a lighter note, you may think WiFi is a portmanteau. You’re wrong!

 

*I feel that’s it’s critical to note that this entire paragraph is not true. Except for the part about not having anyone over.

One Reply to “Portmanteau: When Used For Ill, Not Good”

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