Friday, December 08, 2017

COLUMN: Levidrome


People ask me all the time, "Shane, what's the best part about being a beloved and respected and incredibly humble newspaper columnist?"

That's easy: I get to help people. (And by "people," I of course mean ME.)

If a grave injustice occurs somewhere in the world, it's my duty -- nay, my PRIVILEGE -- to inform the masses, right the wrongs, and shine a beacon of journalistic light into the darkness. And obviously, there's no injustice graver than when someone other than myself gets fame and attention for doing something I totally could have done, had I thought of it first. Or had I been as lucky. Or, in this case, had I been a precocious 6-year-old boy.

Did you guys catch the story this week about adorable little Levi? He's a precocious six-year-old boy from Canada who's gained headlines, internet fame, and perhaps even immortality this week, all because he did something any of us could do: he invented a word.

The story goes like this: little Levi had recently learned in school about palindromes -- words that spell the same thing backwards and forwards. I'd give you an example, but all I can think of at the moment is "boob," and I don't want to sink to that level. Wait, "level." That's another one right there. Those are palindromes.

And that's when little Levi turned to his dad and asked, "What do we call a word that spells a different word backwards?" You know, like how "drawer" backwards spells "reward." Or how "stressed" backwards spells "desserts." Or how "boobs" backwards spells "sboob."

Well, it turns out there's NOT a word for this language phenomenon. Ergo, Levi and his dad have launched an online campaign to create one. Everyone thinks it's adorable. Celebrities have chimed in, dictionaries have offered their support, and it's probably a done deal. The new word they have offered up for a word that spells a different word in reverse? "LEVIDROME." This is unacceptable on multiple levels.

For one, I think we can all agree that "levidrome" should be saved to name the arena we will all go to in the year 2075 to enjoy the future sport of zero-gravity ultimate cage fighting. "LLLLLLLLET'S GET READY TO LLLLEVITATE!" I don't ask for much in life, but if it's 2075 and I want to check out some good old-fashioned gravity-free combat, I should be able to march my 104-year-old sboob down to the TaxSlayer Levidrome.

But most importantly, under what qualifications does a SIX-year-old get to invent a word? By my count, this is the 653rd column I've written. I've paid my dues, time after time. I've done my sentence but committed no crimes. If anyone around here gets to invent a word, it's ME. So if Levi gets levidrome, then may I be the first to give you:

"Shane. [shayn]. Noun. The precise emotion felt when you ignore a vast to-do list but instead try to find a similar sense of accomplishment in binge-watching a full season of any show on Netflix."

You're welcome, English-speaking citizens of Earth. No longer will you be unable to express the feeling you get when you should've cleaned out the garage but at least you got through Season 2 of "Stranger Things."

Thanks to me, you now know EXACTLY how you should feel. You should feel thoroughly and completely a-shane-d of yourself.

All I need to do is start petitioning the major dictionaries of the world... which I will do immediately after this episode of "House of Cards."

And then I'll get on Twitter and try to lure celebrities to my side... which I'll get to promptly after the fifth season of "Under Arrest."

Eventually -- probably shortly after I complete Season 4 of "Orange is the New Black" -- everyone will feel ashaned of themselves and think of me. And then there will be no stop. Except that "stop" spells "pots" backwards. Stupid levidrome.

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