Friday, March 31, 2006


Recently, (on Tuesday March 21 at approximately 6:30 pm e.s.t.) a random generation of letters needed to verify my entry into the world of gmail provided me (and thus, the World) with a new term: Imptit.

The meaning should be obvious but for those of you who need it:

Imptit: (noun) a person whose mischievous nature or acts of "deviltry", whether intended or accidental results in the need to call them by some epithetical name such as "tit".

NOTE: If the person or acts thereof, demand usage of a stonger epithet, then the usage of imptit may be modified by prefacing its employ with a string of the most vile, specific and descriptive profanities readily available. In such case be warned, "Imptit" must be the final word in the declarative and will, by its very nature, qualify or "soften" the entirety of the sentence to little more than a linguistic "rolling of the eyes".

NOTE 2: If this is not the desired effect, we (meaning I) suggest starting with the words "What the fuck is wrong with you, you great blistering fuckwad..." and see where that takes you.

Shortly after I, Todd (Long May We Praise His Name) McGinnis, introduced this term to the World, little Billy Poulin wrote to ask me this question:

Is calling someone a "little imptit" redundant? Does imptit imply little?

-- Bill Poulin

Adorable little scamp, isn't he?

Anyway, to answer your question Billy...

Yes, I think this constitutes fair usage.

While descriptors such as "little, minor, lesser or diminutive" or variants thereof are always present in definitions of the word "imp", I do not believe them to be, in the strictest sense, integral, to the definition.

Rather, this inclusion of an imp's (supposed) physical stature is, I believe, a throwback to a time when people lived in a world where they were (or at least considered that they were) more likely to actually encounter supernatural creatures of all kinds. Thus, the inclusion of generalizations as to the physical stature and appearance of such beings was seen to be helpful in the identification of beings which might choose to "visit" from the realms of "faerie".

These days however, no one believes a word of it.

More to the point, as everyone knows, the encroachment of humanity into groves, dells, dales, and hollows of pretty much every variety throughout the industrial revolution and on through the 20th century more or less annihilated the natural habitat of the imp.

Fortunately, as beings of "faerie", the imp's capacity to exist in non-corporeal states served them well and they now reside almost exclusively in Windows-based software and in the minds of pimply-faced teenage boys who somehow think that writing a virus is in any way going to get them laid.

Therefore Bill, as the "little" aspect of impishness is no longer, strictly speaking, either necessary --let alone 'politically correct'-- I think it is safe to conclude that the potentially percieved redundancy inherit to the expression "little imptit" is not sufficiently grounded in current usage to undermine the effect of such employment of the term.

Needless to say, the superficial "seeming" redundancy also lends the term a wealth of options for both intention in the (largely metaphorical) hands of an advanced speaker.

Children, politicians and other beings of diminished mental capacity should not attempt these kinds of advanced linguisitic parlour tricks unless they have a firm grounding in the audio-only recorded works of Monty Python or have read my essay entitled:

"So... You're An Imbecile"
You Were Born After 1974 Which, Odds Are, Amounts To The Same Thing.
(Not That It's Your Fault Really. By The Time You Realized You Were Being Indoctrinated Into The Church Of Moron It Was Too Late. Your Neural Pathways Were Pretty Much A Mess Of Connections With All Roads Leading To Fast-Food, Video-Games, Pornography And The Sort Of Oblivious Narcissism That Makes You A Danger To The Very Concept Of "Social"... As In: Shut The HELL UP!!! And Turn Off That GOD DAMN CELL PHONE!!! You're In A Movie Theatre You Ignorant F*CK!!!" )

by Todd (Long May We Praise His Name) McGinnis

So there you go Billy. Hope this was helpful. Happy "little imptit"-ing!

P.S. I haven't written the essay yet. I'm still working on the chapter titles so I'm afraid a lot of you are S.O.O.L. there too.


Blogger Billp said...

By calling me "little" are you implying that I'm an imptit?



8:29 AM  
Blogger tga said...

I have three diverse points to make about the Great Imptit Debate...

1/ The word "imp", although making reference to some mischievous deviltry, is just fun to say, thereby suggesting a derisive attitude toward the specific mischievous deviltry in question. "Tit", used as a non-physiological term, ironically, is the equivalent of "boob" when referring to a person of less-than-standard ability, coordination or competence. "Little", obviously, is a comment on size or relative value. To call someone a "little imptit" says that this person is not only an imptit but is also beneath your notice. This is the perfect response to the pesky grandstanding imptit. "Hey, look at me. I'm an imptit." "Yes, but you're a little imptit."

2/ I have a copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary here beside my computer because, well, just because. A quick reference to page 499 finds not one but two definitions of the word "imp". The first is, of course, the definition that Todd (Loves The Sound Of His Own Voice) McGinnis used as the basis for defining "imptit". The second definition is a transitive verb... "add feathers to (wings of a falcon) so as to improve its flight; (arch) enlarge, add by grafting." This through me off for a moment till I decided to ignore all the falcon feather stuff and focus on the archaic definition. Then it all became so clear. For example, Pamela Anderson has imptits (and not little imptits, either).

3/ Varying definitions got my mind moving down varying pathways and I went back to Bill's original query. The alliterative effect of the second part of his question, specifically. I played around a bit with pronunciation and accents and I realized that Bill had inadvertently created a new adjective. That's simply imply. (It rhymes.)


4:04 PM  
Blogger Billp said...

I've been accused of doing many thing, but seldom have I been accused of behaving imply.



9:51 AM  
Blogger tga said...

Sure you have. You just haven't been listening, you imply little imptit.


7:05 AM  
Blogger TMcG said...

Good points tg(talks more than anyone in world except me and thinks no one has noticed because so much of his blather consists of what he calls "jokes")a.

However, upon further consideration, to answer billp's question... if I'm "imp-lying" then I must be NOT saying you're an imptit.

I may however, have been "imp-telling the truth".


7:31 AM  

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