After Clemson Saturday’s embarrassing loss to a clearly hobbled Florida State team, I knew that I had a new mission for 2014, one which will surely earn me nothing but scorn and ridicule from my fellow Tiger fans. I had to convince the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary to add “clemsoning” to their list of new words. And so, earlier this morning I went to the OED’s official website and filled out a form, urging them to include “clemsoning” in their much-celebrated dictionary.
Here’s what I sent them:
Clemsoning is a term that first came into wide usage following the Clemson University football team’s disastrous 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia in 2012. While it normally applies to otherwise successful football teams who either blow a surefire victory or embarrass themselves in a spectacular fashion on the national stage, it has come to be used in a variety of instances, some correctly and others incorrectly.
Clemsoning is not just screwing up, it’s screwing up in a monumental way and it’s done before a rather large group of people. Also, it’s vital that the person or group “clemsoning” has the talent and general wherewithal to succeed — and does so most often.
For example, Hillary Clinton was guilty of clemsoning in the 2008 Democratic Party primary — she was not only the odds-on favorite to win because of her name, but she had the talent, drive, and team behind her to win, and yet she lost to an upstart candidate.
While it’s certainly debatable whether Napoleon “clemsoned” at Waterloo, it’s worth noting that a “clemsoning moment” is not the same thing as a “Waterloo moment.” A group or individual guilty of clemsoning inevitably bounces back, raises hopes and expectations, only to dash them in an epic fashion later on.
Later on, I provided them an example sentence:
Marco Rubio is really clemsoning the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. I mean, who the hell reaches for a drink mid-speech on TV? There goes his chances in 2016. That dude, ain’t presidential at all.
Now, I don’t know if the fine men and women of the OED will add “clemsoning,” but I hope that they will. If you agree, please contact them and let them know where you stand. If we all act together, the chances of clemsoning this thing will be next to nothing. Victory will be ours.
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