Archive for the ‘Compounds’ Category

Morning name: elephantoplasty

August 13, 2015

So that was this morning’s name, and I came to consciousness in a fit of giggles. It’s a piece of word play from Monty Python.

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Two in bloom

August 8, 2015

After yesterday’s picnic breakfast at the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, two attractive plants noted blooming in the garden: Chrysopsis villosa and Amaryllis belladonna. Checking up on them led off into other stuff, rather surprisingly in the first case.

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PSP synthetic compounds

July 31, 2015

From Ned Deily on Facebook, this report in the Advocate of the coming-out of Lutheran Bishop Kevin Kanouse at a youth conference:

Kanouse recounted the experience in a letter to local leadership, which was published online this week. In the document, he wrote he was “Holy Spirit-moved to tell my own story publicly, for the first time,” after hearing the emotional stories recounted by young people at the conference, concerning the role of God in their lives.

The point of linguistic (rather than gay) interest here is the PSP synthetic compound Holy Sprit-moved ‘moved by the Holy Spirit’, with the PSP in passive function.

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Misleadingly named animals

July 27, 2015

Via Kim Darnell on Facebook (a very long time ago), this poster:

Eight composite names — some N + N, some Adj + N. The question here is the semantic contribution of each of the parts. The poster deliberately disregards the fact that these are common names, not technical labels from biology; and it insists on treating these names as definitions, which is something no mere label can do. And it throws in some tongue-in-cheek remarks.

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Morning names: naked mole rat, Penn Palestra

July 25, 2015

A double-header this morning. I have no idea where the naked mole rat came from. The Palestra at Penn was undoubtedly prompted by the music of Palestrina, which was playing on WQXR when I woke — though it turns out that palaestras and Palestrina have nothing to do with one another etymologically, nor has either of them anything to do with palisades.

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The New Yorker on subsectivity

May 23, 2015

Michael Maslin in the latest (May 25th) New Yorker:

(#1)

(You need to recognize from the setting that the creature the cowboy is faced with is a so-called prairie dog — not any kind of dog, but instead a kind of ground squirrel.)

The echo of “I’m not that kind of girl” adds to the humor.

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Adj + N + N

May 17, 2015

Today’s Zippy dwells on a parsing ambiguity:

Two parsings for the Adj + N + N permanent laundry markers:

(1) Adj + [ N + N ] ‘laundry markers that are permanent’ (Griffy’s intent)

(2)  [ Adj + N ] + N ‘markers for permanent laundry’ (Zippy’s understanding)

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The swim-up bar

April 20, 2015

A Rhymes With Orange of 8/27/14, found in the May issue of Funny Times:

(#1)

Three things: on swim-up bars; on the compound swim-up bar; on understanding the cartoon.

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Vegan diners and gay opponents

April 8, 2015

Into the world of composite expressions, in particular N + N compounds and Adj + N phrases: vegan diner in today’s Bizarro, gay opponents in recent news stories. The first turns out to be pretty straightforward, but the second is more complex. The Bizarro:

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to glowstick

March 21, 2015

A scene in an old Criminal Minds show, caught this morning on tv: college kids on spring break on South Padre Island, dancing with glow sticks:

A glow stick is a self-contained, short-term light-source. It consists of a translucent plastic tube containing isolated substances that, when combined, make light through chemiluminescence, so it does not require an external energy source. The light cannot be turned off, and can be used only once. Glow sticks are often used for recreation, but may also be relied upon for light during military, police, fire, or EMS operations. (Wikipedia link)

The compound glow stick (or glowstick) has been verbed, with a full range of uses for the verb. (more…)


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