Sunday, June 10, 2007

word pairing: feckless stooge (with EULA)

Hi there. It's time again for Word Pairings. Let's get on with it, shall we.

As this word pairing is bound to cause some controversy, a few ground rules first.

  1. Word pairings and associated exampli gratia are offered "as is" without any warranty as to their performance, quality or fitness for any particular purpose. The reader assumes the entire risk as to the quality and performance of the word pairings.
  2. In no event shall I or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, development, production, or delivery of these word pairings be liable for any direct, incidental or consequential damages, such as, but not limited to, loss of anticipated profits, prestige, reputation, personal injury, sudden mutation, loss of employment, death of your dog, or any other result stemming from the use of these word pairings.
  3. Word pairings are provided for entertainment purposes only, and are not for resale.
  4. Word pairings are provided in English (American). Translation is not recommended, but could be pretty funny.
  5. In the event of an adverse event, the reader is advised to make up a phrase that sounds a lot like the word pairing, or use the one provided with the word pairing.
  6. In no event should the reader presume that the author of the word pairing would actually use the word pairing, or is thinking of anyone or anything in particular while creating the word pairing. Please refer to #3 above.


Tonight's word pairing is

Feckless stooge

(recovery phrase: reckless kludge)

One of the earliest identifiable attributions of feckless stooge goes to Hezekiah Jones on October 11, 2003 at 1:06 AM. An earlier, more illustrative use by Charles Cooper on May 16, 2003 at 4:00 AM reads:
By the mid-1990s, Kahn was gone and the [Borland] CEO's office had turned into a revolving door with one feckless stooge followed by another.

There are two points to be learned from Mssrs. Jones and Cooper:

1. Feckless stooge is a show-stopper of a word pairing.
2. It must only be used in the wee hours of the morning (see below).

The nastygram that is feckless stooge owes its power to its roots:

feck·less (adj.)
1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective.
2. Careless and irresponsible.

stooge (n.)
1. The partner in a comedy team who feeds lines to the other comedian; a straight man.
2. One who allows oneself to be used for another's profit or advantage; a puppet.
3. Slang: a stool pigeon.

Individually, feckless is a two syllable blunt instrument, and stooge carries the quaint aroma of mid-20th century comedy teams and hackneyed gangster slang.

Collectively, they need to be placed under glass and festooned with warning labels.

The paucity of identifiable written uses of feckless stooge is evidence enough to suggest this word pairing is on someone's DO NOT USE list of poisonous adjectives, along with ass hat and [REDACTED].

If you must use feckless stooge in a conversation, do so sotto voce and with the benefit of electronic voice obfuscation while wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt and standing behind a large pillar in a dark parking garage.

If you must - G-d forbid- use feckless stooge in writing, do so only on flash-paper, or in the wee hours of the morning. Such usage may be plausibly denied later as "it was really late, and I was really, really tired/drunk/stoned/channeling Boss Tweed".

Or, you could just be an a-hole and use it willy-nilly. It's really your call.

Examples to follow.

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