Archive for the ‘Snowclones’ Category

Nothing says A like B

August 26, 2015

In my “going better with” posting, I mentioned in passing the “snowclone-like” sentence

Nothing says summer like a delicious Picnic Pasta Salad

(of the form “Nothing says A like B”, roughly conveying ‘B is evidence for A, B indicates A’). It certainly feels formulaic, and I considered the possibility that it was a playful variation on some existing model, but the range of examples suggests otherwise; so the form does indeed look snowclone-like: a compact template available for connecting B to A.

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going better with

August 25, 2015

Today’s Zits:

Jeremy plays with the template

GBW (GoesBetterWith): Nothing goes better with X than Y

conveying something like ‘X and Y go very well together’; either X or Y can be taken to be the primary component in the combination.

But for Jeremy in the cartoon, X = Y, so what he’s conveying is that X is really really good. More bacon! More bacon!

GBW is a variation on an expression, but an expression that’s only weakly conventionalized: it can straightforwardly be understood literally, but it comes with an air of familiarity. It’s certainly not an snowclone, and it might not even count as a playful variation on some familiar expression. What would the model be?

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Or what?

May 22, 2015

A Meg Biddle cartoon in the June 2015 Funny Times:

(#1)

Yes-no questions with the tag or what? are regularly used to emphatically assert the truth of the questioned proposition. So

Is this a great country, or what?

has the effect of proclaiming that this is indeed a great country. But the question has at least one other reading, merely asking for an alternative answer to Is this a great country?, and that’s the reading Biddle is playing with in the cartoon.

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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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Lab mix

March 22, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

If you don’t know the snowclonelet template X mix for dog hybrids (poodle mix, shepherd mix, etc.) and don’t know that Lab can be a clipping of Labrador Retriever, then you’re thrown back on things you do know  and have to treat lab mix as a compound meaning something like ‘something mixed up, created, in a lab’. Cue Frankenstein.

The Zippyclone again

February 21, 2015

Today’s Zippy:

Barreling from a first date towards mid-life in three panels. And then we get “Am I th’ divorced father of 2.3 kids with visitation rights yet?!”, a 1sg variant of the Are We X Yet snowclone with a complex X — both features Bill Griffith has exploited before.

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Name that stuff!

February 13, 2015

So what is this stuff?

(#1)

Useless hint #1: It’s from Australia.

Useless hint #2: It’s organic.

Useless hint #3: It’s vegetable rather than animal.

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X bar

October 18, 2014

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

The compound hippo bar, with head bar ‘establishment where alcohol is served’ — so it’s subsective: a hippo bar is a kind of bar. It’s also an instance of a snowclonelet composite X bar, a snowclonelet I hadn’t previously looked at — in this case a subtype of X bar in which X characterizes (directly or indirectly) the patrons of the bar. The model for hippo bar in the cartoon is gay bar ‘bar catering to gay people (esp. men)’, and that adds to the humor in the cartoon: to start with, a hippo in a bar; then the idea of a bar catering to hippos; and then, the zinger, the guy who didn’t know the place was a hippo bar, the way some guys turn up in a gay bar maintaining that they had no idea the place was a gay bar.

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No stinkin’ budgies

October 15, 2014

Today’s Bizarro:

A famous cultural reference here, worked into a pun on badges and budgies.

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Eskimo N goes south

October 7, 2014

The New Yorker has been on an Eskimo N kick in its cartoons: in the 9/29 issue, a snow cone snowclone by Joe Dator (#2 here, “My people [the Eskimos] have more than five hundred different words for snow cone”), and now, in the 10/6 issue, a Matt Diffee cartoon in which Nanook of the South reports having over a hundred words for ‘grits’:

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