23 July 2010

Things I like to do when I'm bored

1. Going to my local Proto-neologisms-R-Us store and partaking of their weekly 'Buy two get one free' offer. This week, after the usual exhaustive selection process, I got the following (one of which is a new ornithological term!):

Punge [pʌhnʒ] vt. 1. to passionately create something (e.g. poetry, sculpture, musical composition) with the goal of it achieving some permanence 2. to passionately re-create something after someone (or thing) has hidden, destroyed or otherwise removed it from its original position of prominence [NB. unrelated to alternative definitions found here or here which appear to have completely distinct etymologies].

Goonger [guːndʒə] n. a stringer* who lives, seemingly with intent (or malice aforethought), in isolation in a geographical location known for producing good rarities therefore enabling them to attain fame/notoriety whilst ensuring the process of unmasking them is a difficult, long-winded and acrimonious affair. Perhaps the most famous goonger was Adam Spiteri (older half-brother of Sharleen Spiteri the recording artist, songwriter and former lead singer of Scottish rock/blues band 'Texas') who moved from his native Glasgow to Attu (the westernmost island in the Near Islands group of the Aleutian Islands) a proven hotspot for Paleartic vagrants boasting, as it does, more first and second ABA Checklist records than any other location on the American continent. Within five years of his landfall Mr. Spiteri had claimed 32 'firsts' for the ABA recording area only two of which were corroborated by other observers. His ornithological misdemeanours may have remained undiscovered but for increasingly bizarre claims (culminating in the, now infamous, Red-billed Chough episode) and the tireless work of David R. Scox, a young biostatistician with an interest in predicting unlikely avian events [NB. Again, this word is quite unrelated to the similar looking and/or sounding 'go-onger' or 'goong'].

Thrube [θruːb] n. a medicinal balm or ointment with powerful revitalising properties manufactured from the purified faeces of Mongolian Hamsters Allocricetulus curtatus fed on a restricted (some would say inhumane) diet of mint tea and toothpaste; often used by people stuck in front of their computers late at night to give them the strength to stop reading inconsequential shite on the internet and go to bed.

*Stringer [strɪŋə] n. a birder who, either maliciously or in a state of self-delusion (due to a, as yet unidentified, psychological abnormality resulting in them being full-blown ornithological fantasists), claims to have found or seen a statistically unlikely number of rare birds; on the vast majority of occasions the stringer is the only observer to witness the sightings and fails to obtain objective proof (e.g. photograph, video or sound recording) of the existence of the birds in question a failure that they put down to a. bad luck, or b. a rebellious devil-may-care attitude to accepted norms of rarity documentation.

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