Archive for the ‘Snowclones’ Category

X snob

October 31, 2015

First, I note a snowclonelet composite not discussed earlier on this blog: X snob, involving a specialized use of the noun snob. Then I summarize some ADS-L discussion of possible extensions of the snowclonelet, where it was suggested that the snowclonelet might in some cases be losing its pejorative tone.


Rafe on display

October 19, 2015

(Some plain talk about man-man sex in here, but no X-rated images. Use your judgment.)

Yesterday’s ad from Daily Jocks (with my caption):


Rafe — solicited by Nasty
Pig at the Bay of
Pigs dance party at an
Up Your Alley — loved
Living in a jockstrap, loved
Even more the company
Pig Parties, where he was a
Pig Champ. But nothing had
Prepared him for

He’s remarkably well preserved, I’d say.


At the Bison Bar

October 16, 2015

The Bizarro from the 14th:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Don Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

The Cody mentioned by the bartender is “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the renowned bison hunter, and it looks like he has Jerry, the bison in the cartoon, in his crosshairs. (Since this is CartoonLand, we don’t shrink from the idea of a bison tossing back a drink in a bar.) Two cartoon puzzles: what’s the figure in the foreground doing in the cartoon? And why is the bison called Jerry?


Walsh plays with formulaic and conventionalized language

October 11, 2015

In a recent cartoon posting, one (#2) from New Yorker cartoonist Liam Francis Walsh, who frequently plays with language. Here are five more from Walsh on formulaic, conventionalized, or clichéd language. There will be food: chestnuts, hot dogs, and (sliced) bread.


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.


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?


Or what?

May 22, 2015

A Meg Biddle cartoon in the June 2015 Funny Times:


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.


Artificial elephants and X Must Die! movies

April 18, 2015

Today’s Zippy:


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!”.


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.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 855 other followers