Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

cheesy pickup line

August 4, 2015

From George Takei on Facebook, this elaborate visual pun, presented like a captioned cartoon, with an entertaining disjuncture between the image and the caption:

The cheesiest pickup line ever

(Takei is scandously bad about crediting the sources of the things he posts — he just passes on things he comes across — so I have no idea who created this image or where it was originally posted.)

Three content words, each exhibiting crucial lexical ambiguity: the Adj cheesy, the N pickup, the N line.The whole thing is a N + N compound pickup line modified by the superlative of the Adj.

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green … egg … (ham)

August 4, 2015

It starts with a paper by Elizabeth Closs Traugott (with my assistance) at the recent International Pragmatics Conference in Antwerp, on metatext in the cartoon xkcd (full set of slides linked to here). After Elizabeth gave the paper, she got a comment from someone asking if she knew of a comic strip with mouse-over texts and further texts that emerge from inside those mouse-overs (another layer of cartoon complexity beyond those I have written about) — a daily or weekly strip with a name that Elizabeth thinks had green and egg in it, but of course wasn’t Green Eggs and Ham.

I’ve now been trying to track down this mystery strip, but without success, mostly because Dr. Seuss keeps getting in the way. But I’ve come up with seven interesting new cartoons for your entertainment.

Note: yes, Elizabeth should have written the name down, or gotten the name of the commenter (who was not someone familiar to her), but things tend to be rushed and chaotic at these giant conferences, so it’s easy to slip. Now I’m hoping that someone will recognize the strip from her description (which I’ve paraphrased above).

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Jewtoons

August 3, 2015

On John Kron’s Facebook page:

(#1)

A little exercise in Yinglish.

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Clown time

August 2, 2015

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

(#1)

A fine pun for a Sunday. But you do have to know about this:

“The Tears of a Clown” is a song by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla Records label subsidiary of Motown, originally released on the 1967 album Make It Happen. It was re-released in the United Kingdom as a single in September 1970, where it became a #1 hit on the UK singles chart. Subsequently, Motown released “The Tears of a Clown” as a single in the United States as well, where it quickly became a #1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts. (Wikipedia link)

On YouTube:

Name play in the comics

July 30, 2015

Two cartoons this morning with plays on proper names: a Mother Goose and Grimm playing on Simon & Garfunkel, a Bizarro playing on the Big Bang theory and possibly also The Big Bang Theory:

(#1)

(#2)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in #2 — Don Piraro says there are 2 of them — see this Page.)

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Name rhymes

July 25, 2015

Heard recently as music accompanying an NPR show: Cab Calloway performing “Everybody Eats at My House”, rhyming (or half-rhyming) food names and personal names, beginning:

(1) Have a banana, Hannah
Try the salami, Tommy
Get with the gravy, Davy
Everybody eats when they come to my house

(Four-line verses, with three that rhyme food names with personal names, plus a constant final line. The verse form should probably be called a Calloway.) (more…)

Ken Krimstein

July 25, 2015

… the cartoonist, with this cartoon in the July 27th New Yorker:

(#1)

The P is silent.

I’m charmed by the idea of pterodactyl commuters on the Hudson

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The unflappable waitress

July 23, 2015

Today’s Bizarro:

Hun / hon.

The informal clipped form hon (for honey) as a term of address is stereotypically used, along with other pet names like the full honey, sweetie, dear(ie), and doll, by waitresses to their customers, in addition to the use of these as terms of endearment to genuine intimates. Many customers find the usage disrespectful and insulting, expressing intimacy in a situation where they see that deference to authority is called for.

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

Setting up a pun

July 20, 2015

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.

Cymbalism

July 15, 2015

Passed on to me by Steve Wechsler under the punning title above, this work by conceptual artist Terry Adkins:

(#1)

(from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where its title is “Native Son”).

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