“Truthiness.” “Grippy.” Those are just two of my favorite Colbert coinings. The man has a talent for creating words that make us wonder how we ever got along without them.
Well, I have one of my own, Stephen: Cutiful. It describes my dog, Juniper. OK, here she is with our other dog, Molly, who just passed away three weeks ago.
Classic beauties, aren’t they? In fact, whenever we walked in public, “beautiful” was the adjective I heard most often. (“BIG!” and “furry” tied for second.)
But look closer. Where Molly maintains that dark, malamute beauty, under scrutiny Juni dissolves into a sea of CUTE:
Why is this? Is it something basic, like fluffiness?
Or is it something more sophisticated, like the ratio of eye size: face size? (OK, I admit I stole that idea from the late biologist Stephen J. Gould.)
Or is it something else entirely? Something I’m missing? Help me figure this out! Give me your best explanation of what makes fluff-bucket Juniper “cutiful.” OR…give me your own favorite made-up word!