Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

John Bell

March 28, 2015

From Facebook friends, this John Bell cartoon:

(#1)

A wonderful double pun, on stroke (‘brushstroke’ or ‘cerebrovascular accident’) and brush (‘implement for painting etc.’ or ‘light and fleeting touch’).

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Name those spiders

March 27, 2015

Making the rounds in science reporting recently: newly discovered peacock spiders. From National Geographic on the 24th. the story “Behold Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus, New Peacock Spiders: A few new species of these colorful, dancing spiders have been found in eastern Australia” by Carrie Arnold:

If you don’t think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider. Scientists have identified these three new species of peacock spiders in various parts of eastern Australia.

Less than a quarter-inch long (five millimeters), male peacock spiders are known for their bright colors and a rolling-shaking mating dance that would make Miley Cyrus jealous.

Two of them:

(#1)

A new species of peacock spider, nicknamed “Sparklemuffin” by the graduate student who discovered it, performs a leg-waving mating dance.

(#2)

The peacock spider Maratus sceletus earned the nickname “Skeletorus” for its black-and-white markings.

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Elise Partridge

March 24, 2015

The story starts with this poem about X in the April 2nd issue of the New York Review of Books:

X, a C.V.

I stand, legs astride, a colossus—
or dancer in fifth position, wide port de bras.
Polymorph strayed into English,

sometimes pronounced like Americans’ z,
in French I’m often silent; in Pirahã the glottal stop;
a fricative in Somali.

Vector, Cartesian axis,
chromosome, bowling-strike. Pirate-map cynosure;
at a letter’s close, a kiss.

I do plebeian duty in tic-tac-toe,
range marble façades. Paired with y, I dodge—
variable incognito.

I lend myself to comets of cryptic orbit,
ally with rays that pierce time’s edge.
I’m default sci-fi planets.

In my Roman hours,
I was ten.—Later, the name of millions:
those never granted an alphabet’s power.

Then I read the contributors’ notes in the NYRB.

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Signifying

March 20, 2015

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse (on-line here):

They’re playing a game of the Dozens, which starts out promisingly in the first panel but then runs down and takes a strange turn.

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Keister Island

March 16, 2015

In the 3/16 New Yorker, this cartoon by Jack Ziegler:

(#1)

Giant buttocks instead of giant heads. And the outrageous pun keister on the rhyming Easter.

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Today’s artistic pun

March 13, 2015

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

  (#1)

The Thinker meets the Tinkertoy.

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The Spirit of Geometry

March 12, 2015

In today’s Zippy, Magritte goes on and on:

(#1)

Here, the Magritte The Spirit of Geometry is cartoonized, like the paintings in this posting of March 10th:

(#2)

Two things: about the Magritte; and about the title of my previous Zippy posting (alluded to above), “Magritte goes on”.

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Bromancing the Bone

March 8, 2015

My current favorite gay porn title of the outrageous pun variety: Romancing the Stone > Bromancing the Bone. We start with the portmanteau noun bromance. From Wikipedia:

A bromance is a close, emotionally-intense, non-sexual bond between two (or more) men. It is an exceptionally tight affectional, homosocial male bonding relationship that exceeds that of usual friendship

This can then be verbed and (separately) sexualized, to refer to what are sometimes called brolovers (there’s a brolovers site on tumblr, which has sexy images, many with a definitely romantic cast to them, as below).

That gets us to bromancing. Then the object bone, slang for an (erect) penis, which echoes the stone of the title Romancing the Stone and throws in some alliteration as well.

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Inflamed tendon

March 2, 2015

My latest affliction is tennis elbow, inflammation of a tendon on the outside of an elbow, usually set off by repeated use of the joint (as in playing tennis, working as a carpenter, or the like), but often, as in my current situation, of obscure origin. (Discussion of tennis elbow on this blog here.) My right elbow went from being mildly sore yesterday to suddenly becoming excruciatingly painful. I’ve rested it for quite some time (and treated the elbow with cold), and the problem has retreated enough for me to be able to raise my arm some, cautiously.

Friends have been commiserating with me, and one — Max Meredith Vasilatos — passed on a Mark Anderson cartoon for the occasion:

(One earlier Andertoon on this blog, #2 in this 10/14/13 posting.)

Return of the word avalanche

February 26, 2015

Yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine, with a word avalanche:

As before in Pearls, the strip goes meta when the cartoonist is taken to task for his word play.

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