Lurid Easter food

April 17, 2014

Passed on from several sources (e.g. here), this 1957 ad “for the gayest Easter Eggs”:

When this was posted on Facebook, I wrote there:

Wish the text were easier to read. the photos are vividly fabulous. or fabulously vivid.

Only the largest type is easily legible.

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Paper vs. shiny rectangles

April 17, 2014

Today’s Zippy, on media of communication:

The incursion of electronic media into the domains of paper media is a recurrent theme in Zippy.

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Silly pun

April 16, 2014

In the most recent New Yorker (of April 21st), this droll cartoon by P. S.Mueller:


fairy / ferret.

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Finnish stamp surprise

April 16, 2014

(Almost all about art and sexuality.)

From Amanda Walker, a pointer to this Gawker posting about some forthcoming Finnish stamps: “Finland’s New Stamps are Drawings of Gay Bondage Porn” by Jordan Sargeant on April 15th. Two illustrations:



Neither image shows genital nudity, but both are intensely homoerotic, and it’s hard to imagine either one on a U.S. stamp. It’s not clear that either image is actually of gay bondage. #1 simply shows homoerotic imagery; #2 shows dominance and submission, and strongly suggests sadomasochism,  but not (here) bondage. (Other ToF drawings do show bondage, some show male-male affection, and a fair number are humorous.)

On Touko Laaksonen (“Tom of Finland”) on this blog, see here.

(I’ve posted stronger stuff onToF on AZBlogX, but I despair of finding the links; the program LjSEEK rarely finds anything I search for. But here are two postings I’ve found:

8/6/10: The Tom of Finland action figure comes home (link)

4/19/11: Tom of Finland collages: (link) )

The stamps will go on into circulation in August of this year.

A (B + C)

April 16, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Phrasal overlap portmanteaus (POPs) come up on this blog again and again; they are expressions of the form A B C, where the three parts are all words or combining forms and where A + B and B + C are both words or phrases.

The Rhymes has a somewhat different way of combining three such elements: the first element is shared with each of the two others — factored out, as it were. That is, A + B and A + C are both words or phrases, in this case paranormal and paralegal, with the combining form para- factored out. The cartoon provides a context in which both expressions make sense.

More cultural references: Zits

April 16, 2014

Today’s Zits:

Two things from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz: the flying monkeys and the mantra “There’s no place like home”.

More Family Circus parodies

April 15, 2014

On tumblr, the comic Time is a Flat Circus, with recaptioned Family Circus comics — most not deeply linguistic, but rather dark and pointed. Two examples, from 12 and 14 April, respectively:



Earlier parodies in this posting of 2/2/14: Nietzsche Family Circus and Dysfunctional Family Circus. The cuteness of the originals invitex this sort of reworking.

Bibliographic query

April 15, 2014

Recently, mail from my friend and occasional co-author Philip Miller (Univ.of Paris Diderot – Paris 7), about my former student Nancy S. Levin, whose 1979 Ohio State dissertation (Main-Verb Ellipsis in Spoken English) was published by Garland Press in 1986). Philip admired the work, and I’m very proud of it.

Unfortunately, Nancy left the academic world some years ago, and I’ve lost track of her. If anyone can help me (and Philip) get in touch with her, we’d appreciate that.

Meanwhile, Philip is hoping to get a copy of Nancy’s 1978 Chicago Linguistics Society paper “Some identity of sense deletions puzzle me. Do they you?”. I have a copy of the volume, but in a place where at the moment I’m not able to get to it. If anyone could supply him with one, that would be wonderful. Mail him at to discuss arrangements.

I’ll post this query to the Linguist List as well as here.

[Added 4/16/14: The wonders of the net. First, from one reader I got a possible line on Nancy Sue Levin, which I need to check out; it could be someone else with this name. Second, another reader had the volume with the article Philip was looking for, copied it, and sent the copy on to Philip. All this before I got to posting to the Linguist List.

Many thanks to these two readers.]

Blue-eyed grass

April 15, 2014

From Mike McKinley (in Austin TX) on Facebook, this plant appreciation:

Texas is justly famous for its wildflowers. Spring here is really gorgeous as it’s the time of year when everything is green, lush and cool. We have a wealth of lovely wildflowers, but this one has been my favorite since I was a kid and it’s called blue-eyed grass. It’s very small and grows in small isolated clumps, so you never see it covering a field. It’s subtle and tasteful.


The species pictured is either S. angustifolium, Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass, or  S. montanum, Common blue-eyed grass, both of which are common in Texas. (Someone with better botanical knowledge than I have could surely identify the species.)

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Ambiguity for leeches

April 15, 2014

Posted by Neil Copeland on Facebook and passed on by Mar Rojo, this article from the New Zealand Press, by Rachel Young, with the headline:

Is this NZ’s creepiest crawly?

and the subhead:

Rare land leeches have been found on several offshore islands, one of which is now headed to Te Papa [the museum in Wellington]

The ambiguity of the subhead elicited some discussion:  is it a land leech or an offshore island that’s headed to Te Papa? (Details below.)

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