Archive for the ‘Conversion’ Category

to shallow

September 16, 2014

From the 9/6 New Scientist, in a letter from Bruce Denness (p. 28):

The tank shallowed towards one corner so that deep-water waves … began to break as they approached the shallow corner.

That’s the inchoative verb to shallow ‘to become, get shallow(er)’ — a direct verbing (or zero conversion) of the adjective shallow. I’m not agin verbings (unlike a number of peevers, who are driven into rages by them), and this one serves a real purpose, but it was new to me. It’s also venerable, and has even made it into NOAD2.

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geosocial

September 7, 2014

It starts with today’s Doonesbury

(#1)

and ends with shirtless lycanthrophy. In between: Roland Hedley, III, the apps Tinder and Grindr (with some shirtlessness), geosocial networking (aka geosocial), and professional lycanthrope Tyler Posey (appearing shirtless). A long strange trip.

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Let’s get Mexican

September 2, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

 

Nouning by truncation, with the nominal Adj + food abbreviated to Adj, but still functioning as a nominal: Mexican ‘Mexican food’.

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Blowout, sleaze

September 1, 2014

(Warning: This posting discusses gay sex in very plain terms and has images that are right on the X line — between X-rated and nominally for general consumption — but in recompense, there is some actual lexical discussion. Use your judgment.)

On AZBlogX, a piece “Blowout and sleaze” on two pieces of e-mail:

In my mailbox in recent days, a sale bulletin (“Labor Day Inventory Blowout”) for Falcon / Raging Stallion (today is Labor Day in the US) and an ad for a recent Channel 1 Releasing feature Sucked Off in Weird Places featuring Jason Phoenix and a very sleazy Johnny Hazzard. The images and the texts are both intensely oral.

Cropped versions of the images, right on the X line:

(#1)

(#2)

Ok, no question about what’s going on in these images, but here you see no acual naughty bits. Note blowout in the title of #1, and in #2, the normally well-groomed Johnny Hazzard (though presenting himself as working class) with sweaty face and greasy hair — definite sleaze. So some words about these two lexical items, then a few about the over-the-top rhetoric of the (advertising) sex for #2.

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cranking

August 26, 2014

From the annals of sexual fetishes, this story (“GOP Hopeful: My Public Masturbation Fetish and Felonies Were Bad Ideas” by Adam Weinstein) now making the rounds, here from Gawker on 6/27/14:

Jordan D. Haskins, candidate for Michigan Legislature, wants everyone to know conservatives embrace imperfect people, too. So let him explain his multiple felony convictions for breaking into government vehicles [especially police cars], disconnecting the sparkplugs, and jerking off while the engines cranked.

… Via The Saginaw News:

Haskins’ criminal charges stem from trespassing on private and public property in four cases from April 2010 to January 2011, when he was sent to prison. As part of the break-ins, he started vehicles to facilitate an uncommon sexual fetish Haskins called “cranking” in interviews with police…

“I was just a lonely, angry kid at the time,” he said. “If anything, I could be put on ‘World’s Dumbest Criminals.'”

But now he’s up for legislating.

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More cheese, and conversion by truncation

August 26, 2014

A comment (of 8/23) by Andy Sleeper on my haloumi posting:

At a hotel in Chicago recently, at the breakfast buffet, they were serving some dish with egg, meat, and cheese, with a little sign saying “Scrambled with chorizo sausage and chihuahua.” [Note that chorizo would have done fine here; chorizo is the name of a type of pork sausage, so that chorizo sausage is an expansion of chorizo -- similar to Brie cheese versus Brie.]

Adjectives with assumed nouns are asking for trouble, it seems to me. From scrambled, I understand eggs, though it could have been brains.

After I inquired, I learned that “chihuahua” refers to a type of cheese I had never heard of. I think “cheese” would have been an important word to include.

First, a note on Chihuahua cheese, then on the “conversion by truncation” in scrambled for scrambled eggs and chihuahua for Chihuahua cheese.

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Cowboy Rub

August 25, 2014

From Tara Narcross-Wyckoff, a supermarket scene:

Two points of linguistic interest here: the noun rub; and the semantics of N + N compounds X rub. (Several observers have speculated on possibly raunchy interpretations of the product name Cowboy Rub. I’ll get to that.)

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Ruthie verbs away

July 1, 2014

A recent One Big Happy:

Ruthie is verbing names of locations: shed, porch. Granting that she’s a cartoon character, we can nevertheless speculate that she’d heard the verb shed and connected it to the familiar noun shed. Then porch by analogy.

paper cut

June 26, 2014

For years it was clasped firmly in the embrace of a plastic device with a magnetic strip on the back, which allowed it to be displayed on a refrigerator (or other metal surface). But then it somehow slipped out and, being almost weightless, wafted away on some breath of a breeze, until eventually it was discovered by a visitor, on the floor far from the refrigerator.

It’s a Chinese paper cut, depicting my animal from the Chinese zodiac, the dragon:

A gift from the students in my 1985 classes at the Beijing Language Institute (as it was then).

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Coping with the new

June 2, 2014

In today’s One Big Happy, Ruthie and Joe are back on the track of trying to make sense of things they haven’t heard before:

  (#1)

Lots of knowledge needed here — about the words of English and about sociocultural conventions:

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