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Second-Born Jennifer Grabs the Crown

by Bob Levey

She established her credentials about 15 seconds after I told her that she had won. "I was the second child," said Jennifer Lutz. So she knew all about having a baby book that's skinnier than an older sibling's.

Jennifer now knows how Victory Lane feels, too. She stands as the winner of our April neologism contest.

The monthly challenge, to which Jennifer and about 3,000 fellow word-maker-uppers responded, was:

The first child born into most families ends up with a meticulously kept and thorough baby photo book. Siblings that follow never do as well. This phenomenon is called...

Jennifer's winning answer:

Photigue.

That struck me as a crisp, neat marriage of "photo" and "fatigue." I put it in the "serious contenders" file the second I saw it. It sat atop that pile a few hours later, once the reading was all done.

It's good that Jennifer is as early a riser as she is a clever neologist. Her "photigue" was dispatched by e-mail at 9:25:14 a.m. on April 7, the day the contest opened for business. Seven identical entries arrived later in the month, and one (from Max Handelsman) arrived at 10:02:03 on April 7.

Give that alarm clock a little Geritol and try again, Max. Same to Clarence M. Johnson, of Beltsville, Walter I. Weinschenk, Dorothy Marschak, Sheri L. Gordon, of Woodbridge, Virginia Hume and Nick Flokos, of McLean.

Our winner is an economic consultant who specializes in international trade. She was born in Bethesda and spent most of her childhood in Rockville before heading to the University of Michigan (bachelor's degree) and Ohio University (master's). She now lives in Northwest Washington.

Although she's an economist by training, "the dictionary sits right on my desk," Jennifer said during her victory lunch at Galileo. You won't find "photigue" in that word-choked book, but you should. Nice one!

Almosts and Nearlies for April:

Snapathy: Former champion Marlene Cohen, of Columbia, Joseph Ferry, of Erdenheim, Pa., P. J. Siegel, of Greenbelt, Laura Baker, of Jefferson, Md., and Zora Margolis.

Photogeniture: John J. Crowley, then dozens more just like his.

Primophotogeniture: Keith Hoodock, of Purcellville, and Devin Winton.

Photocynicism: Former champ John O'Byrne, of Dublin, Ireland.

Ne'er-Do-As-Well: Bruce Powers.

Rugrationing: Alan D. Lichtman, of North Bethesda.

Photothinsesis: Francesca Biagini, of Annapolis, first, 37 more later in the month.

Photosibthesis: Eric Harbeson, Len Greenberg, of Sterling, and Bonnie Worcester, of Centreville.

Noto Photo: Fran Butch, of Great Falls.

Phothography: Sidney Secular, of Silver Spring.

Sibling Archivalry: Nancy Snyder, of Bowie.

Siblimation: Michael J. Fisher.

Kodaksclusivity: Michael O. Miller, of Rockville.

Receding Heir Line: Cathy DiToto, of Waldorf, and Aaron P. Maurer.

Polarvoid: The team of Laurie Slaper (Frederick, Md.) and Jennie Haluska (Silver Spring).

Ko-decrease: Martin Childers.

Nephotism: Deborah Feigenson, of College Park.

Snapshort: Lisa Madigan Tate.

Scrapped Book: Nancy Gast Romps, of Falls Church, and Madi Green, of Arlington.

Kodaxhaustion: Carole Ashkenaze.

Snapdraggin': Ralph Dannheiser, of Silver Spring.

Famnesia: The Riverdale Park husband-wife team of Mike Hummel and Susan Levy.

Albumination: Former champ Susan Mayer, of Kigali, Rwanda.

SnaFuji: Jeff Siperly.

Inheirtia: Kathi Ann Brown, of Charlottesville.

And Derepiction: Former champ Tom Witte, of Gaithersburg, and Greg Dobbins, of Arlington.

Very strong, troops. Let's see if strength can be summoned in May. Here's this month's challenge:

You're a man who's checking out of the grocery store. You can't resist picking up one of those junky checkout-aisle magazines that always have sex-related cover stories. As you're reading "How to Drive Her Wild in Four Easy Lessons," the checkout clerk (a woman) asks in a friendly way, "So what's that you're reading?" Your embarrassment is called... (Click to see winning entries)

First prize is not a lifetime subscription to Junk Illustrated. It's a free lunch, at a restaurant of the winner's choice, in or sensibly near Washington.

Contest rules: You may enter as often as you like, on one piece of paper or several. Joint entries are welcome. So are entries submitted by fax (202-334-5150) or e-mail (leveyb@washpost.com). Entries must bear day and evening phone numbers, including area code(s). All entries become my property. Entries will not be accepted by phone or returned. In case of duplicate winning entries, I'll choose the one I receive first.

Please mail entries to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071. Entries for the May contest must be received by May 31.

© 2000 Bob Levey (leveyb@washpost.com).
This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.


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