The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This sixth installment is a special Mother’s Day edition! It was contributed by Pat Myers, Empress of The Washington Post Style Invitational. Enjoy!
The Amazing Nthilla
The Style Invitational, The Washington Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, draws witty, funny entrants from all over the English-speaking world, including the mother of The Daily Ant editor-in-chief. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard much lately from Judy Blanchard, but for a few years she was an Invitational phenom, “getting ink” 107 times.
And one of those times was for one of the “Invite’s” many neologism contests, in which you coin a new word. The 2011 contest asked entrants to take a real word, then move its first letter to the end – and define the result.
Could it have been her son’s passion for ants that prompted her to come up with “Nthilla: A grain of sand”? What a nifty joke in that short definition, evoking “nth,” for ultra-, as “to the nth degree”; “scintilla,” the tiniest amount; and the grains of sand that often form anthills.
Like the ant itself, it packs so much into a wondrous little package.
By the way, The Style Invitational still comes out every week; even if you don’t do contests, the results are always fun to read. See them here, and to get a weekly email with a link to each new contest and results, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll happily add you to the list. And join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook, and they’ll anagram your name.
Pat Myers has worked at The Washington Post since 1982 and reigned as Empress of the Style
Invitational for more than 13 years. While she confesses that she is not in love with ants, she does have a Formica countertop in her kitchen.
The Daily Ant wishes all workers a very happy May Day! As a special treat, enjoy this inspired union advertisement, shared with us by Labor Correspondant Trish Kahle:
Are there ants on the moon? Comic Correspondant Matthew Hernandez shared with us an interesting take on this ancient question, by Poorly Drawn Lines:
The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This third installment is by our Fashion Correspondant Kathryn Pogin, who is also an Executive Producer of our popular Philosophy Phridays series. Enjoy!
I realize some folks might have expected me to write a Coachella-themed entry this week, but given that I’d like my work as the Daily Ant’s Fashion Correspondant to represent genuine myrmecological style, rather than Urban Outfitters with a side of Burning Man, this week we’re going to look at a rom-ant-ic ensemble that’s versatile enough to take you from brunch to the ballroom.
Ants are dominant in a large number of terrestrial ecosystems on every continent outside of Antarctica. One of several reasons for their widespread ecological success is, undoubtedly, their social colonial nature. In fact, ants could be considered metacolonial. This Saturday, spend time considering this excerpt that Fraternal Correspondant Joshua Blanchard discovered in I Contain Multitudes, by Ed Yong:
Ants live in colonies that can number in their millions, but every single ant is a colony unto itself.
EDITORS NOTE: Fraternal Correspondant Joshua Blanchard is a Ph.D. Candidate studying philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is advised by Dr. Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, who describes philosophy as a “fact-free discipline”.