From the 8/30/14 New Scientist, three stories: one with a piece of technical terminology I hadn’t heard before, and two perfectly straightforward stories (on the mapping of Antarctic Ocean life and on the mating customs of the giraffe weevil) with some language play that’s characteristic of much science writing.
Archive for the ‘Idioms’ Category
Two potato preparations often offered as alternative side dishes for breakfasts in American diners and the like: Would you like hash browns or home fries with that? Both have idiomatic names, names that in fact are easily confused: both are browned by pan-frying, so the words browns and fries have some motivation in their names, while hash and home are simply puzzling.
Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:
Mistaken anemone for mistaken identity. Phonologically distant, but interpretable because mistaken identity is an idiom, a formulaic expression, which is, moreover, appropriate to the context of the cartoon.
Three recent cartoons on divergent subjects: a Bizarro with language play turning on ambiguity; a Scenes From a Multiverse with metacommentary by the characters; and another classic Watergate Doonesbury, from 1974, with the denominal verb to stonewall.
Two Sunday cartoons touching on formulaic language: a Zippy with clichés, a One Big Happy with a familiar quotation in a German accent:
The line between clichés and idioms is not always clear (and I’m not at all sure that making the distinction clearer would be particularly useful): I’d class have a frog in one’s throat and zip your lip, for instance, as idioms.
The German heavy from a bad movie, with a standard line.
Word play in lam / Lim’s.
Then there’s the slang idiom on the lam and the diner in the strip.