Archive for the ‘Snowclones’ Category

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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Two linguistics cartoons

September 28, 2014

… in the latest (9/29/14) New Yorker: a Zach Kanin on writing systems and a Joe Dator with a snow cone snowclone:

(#1)

(#2)

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Clickbait schemes

July 17, 2014

Andras Kornai wrote me on Tuesday to comment on a prominent pattern he’d seen in online clickbaiting, exemplified by:

You Won’t Believe What This Cop Did When The Cameras WEREN’T Rolling. WOW!

Man Attempts To Hug a Wild Lion. What Happens Next Stunned Me

He’s collected hundreds of similar examples and wondered whether others had noticed the pattern (many have in fact been annoyed by it) and whether it had gotten a name (not so far as I know). In this particular schema, the “hook” is an expression of astonishment or surprise, which can be expressed in a number of ways, referring to the reader (“you won’t believe”, “you’ll be amazed”) or to the presumed writer (“… stunned me”, “I couldn’t believe”), in a variety of syntactic constructions. As a temporary expedient, I’ll refer to this as the SURPRISE! clickbait scheme.

The scheme is “semi-formulaic”, in a way that’s reminiscent of the precursors to snowclones (see “The natural history of snowclones”, here): a culturally significant idea is given a number of formulations; one version achieves special status (in a formula); and then this formula serves as a template for new expressions. The SURPRISE! scheme hasn’t yet crystallized as a formula, but it’s nevertheless recognizable by its form(s) and functions.

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Four for the fourth

June 5, 2014

My morning mail on Wednesday the 4th brought me six suitable cartoons for this blog. Two I have already posted about: a Doonesbury with Duke hallucinating a lizard; and a Bizarro with a diner asking for eggs without any sense of style. The others: a One Big Happy on the attractions of “diet” versions of foods; a Zits on hearing and listening; a Zippy with (among other things) more better; and a Mother Goose and Grimm with a symbolic ambiguity.

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Threesies

May 29, 2014

From Bob Mankoff’s How About Never …  (see here), p. 255, on Mankoff’s effort to give “aspiring cartoonists feedback” by “developing a mini course in cartoon fundamentals and the psychology of humor.” One course topic: “things are funnier in threes”.

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hip

April 25, 2014

Today’s hip Zippy:

 

Full of hippie slang, from days now gone.

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Slang change

February 15, 2014

Yesterday Mark Liberman posted on this Doonesbury cartoon:

Rich in material. The main thing I want to note (as Mark did) is a sense development in the slang verb rock, from an older sense, around at least since 1990 (‘impact strongly’), to a newer sense, the one in the cartoon, around since at least 2007 (‘wear or display conspicuously or proudly’); this is a change from a more objective sense to a more subjective one, such as Elizabeth Traugott has repeatedly discussed.

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Up Your Alley

September 30, 2013

Posting about the Folsom Street Fair yesterday reminded me of another BDSM street fair in San Francisco. From the fair’s website:

Up Your Alley® is an unrivaled fetish fair, always on the last weekend of July in San Francisco. It’s only for real players – and not for the faint of heart. There are sweaty athletes in full kit, motorcycle studs, hairy chested muscle men, spit-in-your-face punks, and leather daddies galore. You won’t find a filthier event here in the States. If you’re into it, there’s a scene for you at Up Your Alley. With over 10,000 sexy leathermen, you’re sure to find your match. 

Located in front of the legendary Powerhouse bar, leather and fetish enthusiasts engage in serious BDSM play – right on the street! The fair features over 50 vendor booths, hot food and cold stiff drinks, boot black stations, and a dance area with the hottest San Francisco DJs located at the intersection of 10th and Folsom. Check out this only-in-San Francisco event that attracts your most self-indulgent band of brothers. 

In order to accomodate the newly enacted SF nudity ordinance, from which the UYA fairgrounds is exempt, coat check will be available on 10th Street between the food court and Folsom St.

Smaller and more focused than Folsom Street, and seriously raunchy.

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