Today’s One Big Happy, with a setup for a pun on the idiom level playing field:
Hard to believe that Ruthie would have come to this on her own; she’s just serving as a channel for the cartoonist’s language play.
Today’s Calvin and Hobbes:
As on other occasions, Calvin asks his father an information question and gets a less than useful response. In this case, the meaning of the old college try is clear, but its history is not quite so clear.
From the 5/30 Economist, in “Republicans in name aussi” on Nicolas Sarkozy:
Even if the relaunch succeeds, however, Mr Sarkozy will have his work cut out.
Pretty clearly, the intention here is to convey ‘will have his work cut out for him’, that is ‘will have difficulty completing his work’, with the idiom have one’s work cut out for one, but here in a truncated variant. The shorter variant is simply not possible for me, though I can figure it out. It turns out that the shorter variant is specifically British. (Remember that the Economist is a British publication.)
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.
Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, with a literalist Ralph coping with Grimm’s could care less:
could care less has been a perennial topic on Language Log and this blog. But in all the discussion among linguists and psycholinguists no one disputes that there’s an idiom here, and it has a negative element of meaning that is not overt. Ralph the literalist essentially denies this, implicitly taking the position that if Grimmy meant he couldn’t care less he should have said that.
In response to possible Russian submarine intrusions in Swedish waters, a playful Distractify posting “Sweden’s New Defense Strategy Against Russian Submarines Is A Gay Dancing Sailor” by Myka Fox. A neon hunk:
“Light in the loafers, heavy in the briefs” says the posting.
Heavy in the briefs — a big package — is clear in the photo. What about light in the loafers?
Recently I’ve been noticing an apparent uptick in “L’eggo my Eggo!” commercials on tv, after a period in which the slogan appeared but was not the focus of Eggo ads. My impression turns out to have been accurate: a 10/27/14 article in Advertising Age. “‘L’Eggo My Eggo’ Tagline Makes Comeback” explained that the slogan had indeed been sidelined for some time but was revived as the centerpiece of the ad campaign last year. The slogan has a number of things going for it: it’s familiar (it’s been around since 1972); it rhymes; it has an attractively vernacular tone to it; and the conceit embodied in it — that Eggo waffles are so delicious that no one would be willing to share one — is entertainingly hyperbolic.
To consider: the history of the food; the history of the slogan; phonological and syntactic notes on the slogan.