Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Failsonry ?


Failsonry ? This word appears to exist only in Josh Marshall’s tweet and subsequent retweets. Any idea what he meant to type? Or if he meant failsonry, what he means by it?

*

January 11: Some smart OCA readers figured it out, or at least I think so. “Intergenerational failsonry” seems to be meant to suggest the International Order of Freemasonry. Thanks, Fresca and Chris, for seeing a masonry and Masonry connection. And thanks to everyone who suggested a meaning. The full story is in the comments.

A Google search for trump and freesmasonry suggests to me that Josh Marshall might have done better to skip the pun.

[Josh Marshall is the editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo.]

comments: 20

misterbagman said...

I'm going to guess Mr. Marshall was trying to make a funny new word based on Fred Trump's having funded son Donald's original business ventures and bailed him out of subsequent failures. Fail+son+[ry]. But you'd have to go to Mr. Marshall for confirmation of my suspicion.

Michael Leddy said...

That makes sense. But do you think he’s intending a pun on a familiar word? Intergenerational failsonry as opposed to intergenerational something-else?

misterbagman said...

Hard to say. It's kind of a pleonasm if he doesn't have anything else in mind. The word does recall other pejoratives: Felony, fallacy, flagrancy, malfeasance, farrago perhaps defalcation (in decreasing order of alliterative resemblance). Fellatio? Intergenerationally speaking, that one kinda grosses me out. But the idea of DJT advancing or avoiding consequences via strategically appied suction is hardly outside the realm of possibility.

Anyway... that's all I got. Which is probably just as well.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s a lot more than I’ve got, so thank you. Tweets suggest that people understand — one even praises the phrase. But me: “Huh?”

Berit said...

Seems to me that he may have built it to be directly antithetical to "mastery", but with some change(s) to keep it from looking like he misspelled/misused a word of or pertaining to "false". I do find it to be a head-scratcher, though.

Michael Leddy said...

That makes sense — the opposite of mastery. He could have said failure, or maybe covfefe.

Elaine Fine said...

A pun on failed falconry? https://darkheartedchick.deviantart.com/art/Failconry-412963153

Frex said...

"Failsonry" : failed masonry = the foundation crumbles.

(That's what occurred to me--I think because the building I live in got its brick foundation re-mortared (what do you call this?) this summer.)
--Fresca

Michael Leddy said...

Falconry and masonry, hmm. The falcon cannot hear the falconer . . . things fall apart . . . the masonry cannot hold. I think the word is repointing.

Judging by the numbers of visits to this post, a good number of people are looking for an explanation of failsonry.

misterbagman said...

Frex's proposed gloss also suggests the widely held view that the current primary viewer of the Oval Office television set is dumb as bricks.

And repointed is indeed the word for repairing the mortar holding bricks together. Your father having been in an allied trade as a tileman, Michael, you nailed it, of course.

Michael Leddy said...

Bricks though have a more natural appearance. :)

It’s life with a chimney that allowed me to pull up “repointing.”

Chris said...

I think "failed masonry" is getting close. It may be "fail" + "freemasonry" - "free." The intergenerational fraternity of "fail."

Frex said...

Ah, "repointing".
I am happy to know that, thanks, Michael and misterbagman!

I am enjoying the musings here--feels like the old days of blog comments.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, it does feel like the old days. Not typical. Thank you, Josh Marshall, for confounding my small part of the hive mind and prompting this post.

I can see the -sonry as suggesting Freemasonry. But I don’t understand what the connection would be.

Berit said...

I also know it to be "repointing"—because I am and have been since age 5 (the 1980's) a big fan of PBS' This Old House!

Michael Leddy said...

:)

Chris said...

I would hazard a further guess that the "s" is meant to make "fail" plural: the intergenerational order of "fails."

Michael Leddy said...

Chris, having just found the website of the International Order of Freemasonry, I think you and Fresca figured it out. International, thus intergenerational. My choice would have been to omit this pun as too puzzling to too many readers. Then again, lacking international, I would never have been able to make this pun.

The Crow said...

Maybe Josh made up the word to see if The Donald adds it to his Twitter vocabulary, thereby making him appear to be even more buffoonic.

Michael Leddy said...

“As everyone says, there is no failsonry. It’s a hoax.”