Two from Out

September 20, 2014

Yesterday, it was The Advocate; today, it’s another LPI publication, Out (or OUT) magazine, again with two pieces of interest for this blog in the latest (October 2014) issue: one on straightsplaining, one on gay bookstores.

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Two from The Advocate

September 19, 2014

In the latest (Oct./Nov. 2014) issue of The Advocate (the glossy newsmagazine targeting an lgbt audience), two items with some linguistic interest: an ad campaign from Burger King choosing wording to frame its ads for this audience; and an instance of the first X to …, with a domain X that at first seems preposterously particular but turns out to be possibly useful after all.

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lady parts

September 18, 2014

Today’s Zits:

(#1)

Jeremy and his buddy Pierce, and the slang euphemism lady parts.

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The uses of etymology

September 18, 2014

From The Economist, 9/13/14, a letter, p. 22, from Mark Watson of Galway, Ireland:

I have lived in France for the past three months and each day I heard François Hollande in the media talking about “croissance”. I assumed he was invoking citizens to support their local bakery, until I realized he was speaking about growth. My observation is that in France croissance can happen between 10am and 12 noon, and again after 2pm but no later than 7 pm…

That is, Watson understands the noun croissance to mean something like ‘supplying croissants‘, those yummy rolls. There’s a nice etymological story here.

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Today’s phallic ad

September 17, 2014

Passed on by Arne Adolfsen on Facebook, who found it on the Dangerous Minds Facebook page:

A masterpiece of phallic material, starting with the classic banana. But this is surely a paste-up job, with the frame taken from an actual Kellogg’s ad and the outrageous image pasted in. Kellogg’s ads have often been playful, but not this playful.

Smoke signals

September 17, 2014

Today’s Bizarro:

Piraro has contemplated smoke signals on other occasions, in particular in the cartoon in my 6/3/12 posting “Balloons”, with two sets of Indians at a distance from one another. A pair, with one saying “Smoke signals. Can’t quite read ‘em.” And another Indian, about the speech balloon for the first speaker: “Who are those guys with the balloon?”

Mexican independence

September 16, 2014

A Mexican acquaintance reminded me that today is Mexican Independence Day (commemorating September 16th, 1810), and I was moved to an appreciation of the Mexican flag:

The flag of Mexico (Spanish: Bandera de México) is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country’s War of Independence, and subsequent First Mexican Empire.

… The central emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of the Aztec empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island… A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed several times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. (link)

A fine flag: the customary few bands or stripes of color, making it easy to recognize (though not necessarily easy to distinguish from other national flags); plus the dramatic coat-of-arms scene in the center, involving the eagle, the serpent, and the nopales.

to shallow

September 16, 2014

From the 9/6 New Scientist, in a letter from Bruce Denness (p. 28):

The tank shallowed towards one corner so that deep-water waves … began to break as they approached the shallow corner.

That’s the inchoative verb to shallow ‘to become, get shallow(er)’ — a direct verbing (or zero conversion) of the adjective shallow. I’m not agin verbings (unlike a number of peevers, who are driven into rages by them), and this one serves a real purpose, but it was new to me. It’s also venerable, and has even made it into NOAD2.

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How do you spell /fæp/?

September 16, 2014

The story so far concerns three items pronounced /fæp/:

(fæp-1) an exclamation of annoyance, similar to drat!

(fæp-2) an onomatopetic expression, representing the sound of vigorous male masturbation

(fæp-3) a verb meaning ‘to masturbate vigorously’ (of a man)

(The first is discussed here, the others on 9/10 here, where the second is taken to be the source of the third, and on 9/11 here, about the second.)

How do we spell these items? As far as I can tell, the first has only the simplest available spelling, FAP, but the sexual items show variation between FAP and FAPP. What to make of this?

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Every year, the same for Orange

September 15, 2014

That’s the title of this Awkward Yeti comic from 12/11/13:

CAT with HAT, WALL with BALL, and LOG with DOG, while ORANGE stands alone. It’s the celebrated “nothing rhymes with ORANGE” trope.

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