Friday, September 14

Embiggening My Blog, One Cromulent Post At A Time

Kudos to Sarah Knupke and Cherie "Mrs. Cherizon" Jacobs! These divas (both Tribune refugees) were first to contact me about the use of the word cromulent in one of yesterday's posts.

Cromulent isn't a real word. It appeared as a joke in "Lisa the Iconoclast," a Simpsons episode that originally aired in 1996. It's used, in fact, to justify another made-up word.

In "Lisa the Iconoclast," we're told that Jebediah Springfield, the founder and namesake of the town where the Simpsons live, is famous for saying "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." Everyone in town is familiar with this expression but few people recognize that embiggens isn't a real word.

In class, as the children are watching a film about Jebediah Springfield, teacher Edna Krabapple turns to and confesses: "Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield."

Miss Hoover responds: "I don't know why. It's a perfectly cromulent word."

I love this. I abso-fucking-lutely love it! I laugh everytime I think about it.

You probably won't see either of these words the New York Times anytime soon. However, Wikipedia reports that embiggens and cromulent have appeared in physics research papers, video games, rap music and some online dictionaries.

Perhaps they are catching on.

How perfectly cromulent.

No comments: