Doris Roberts

April 20, 2015

Not a morning name or (thank goodness) an obit, but a brief appreciation of the actor (as a result of seeing her featured in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent), plus some reflections on tv sitcoms.

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The swim-up bar

April 20, 2015

A Rhymes With Orange of 8/27/14, found in the May issue of Funny Times:

(#1)

Three things: on swim-up bars; on the compound swim-up bar; on understanding the cartoon.

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On the double entendre watch

April 20, 2015

Posted on Facebook by Leith Chu:

  (#1)

Oh my: the verb pork, the verb pull, the verb rub, all available with sexual senses.

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Laughter and forgetting

April 20, 2015

Today’s Zippy, set in the town of Prosaic:

With apologies to Milan Kundera, it’s the strip of laughter and forgetting: forgetting the catch-phrase, forgetting to rewire the CD remote, forgetting that Dingburg is only 12 miles away. Apparently Happy Boy interferes with memory.

(Note that there are three argument structures for forget here: forget NP, forget to VP, forget that S; remember and, for that matter, know have the same possibilities.)

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Note: ethnic names

April 19, 2015

In the NYT on the 17th an obit by Daniel Slotkin, “Ira Lewis, Actor and Playwright, Dies at 82″. Fascinating life in the theater, ending with this familial note:

Mr. Lewis, who lived in Westfield, N.J., is survived by two brothers, Marvin and Seymour.

Lovely: Ira, Marvin, and Seymour, three traditional American Jewish names. Times have changed. A couple of generations ago, such names went out of fashion, to be replaced by more generically “American” (gentile) names — for men, by a collection of Irish-derived names. So Ira, Marvin, and Seymour became Kevin, Sean, and Brady.

More Freaks

April 19, 2015

Today’s Zippy goes back to the world of Tod Browning’s Freaks:

(#1)

From “Pip and Flip Snow: the pinheads of Freaks” by J. Tithonus Pednaud on The Human Marvels site:

Best known for their heartwarming roles in the 1932 film Freaks, where they starred in scenes alongside fellow famous pinhead Schlitzie, the Snow sisters were well-known staples of the World Circus Sideshow at Coney.

Usually promoted professionally as Pip and Flip, Jenny Lee Snow and Elvira Snow were billed as Pip and Zip in Freaks.

(#2)

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Word entertainment

April 19, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

Inherently funny words: beanies, tweezers, snood. Or from the point of view of the audience: word entertainment.

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Morning: Rob Ford

April 18, 2015

This morning’s name: Rob Ford. Oh my, who would have thought this would happen in Canada?

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Anglicizing German

April 18, 2015

Following my posting on the sandwich issue of the NYT Food section, a Facebook discussion sprung up about the sandwich beef on weck; what, people wondered, was weck? The answer is partly about food, and partly about the German and English languages.

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Artificial elephants and X Must Die! movies

April 18, 2015

Today’s Zippy:

(#1)

This cartoon links to a long series of strips on the invented cartoon character Happy Boy in the town of Prosaic (a “normal” place close to the surreal Dingburg) — a series that I find tedious (and linguistically uninteresting) and haven’t posted about. But here we get amazing elephants (note the cartoon’s title “Tusk, Tusk”, a play on tsk tsk) and a pointer to movies with titles using the snowclonic pattern “X Must Die!”.

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