Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Tinnitus, tinnitus, semper tinnitus

November 25, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, so we’re about to embark on the official season of Christmas songs and Christmas shopping (though both have been upon us for some time, and Christmas decorations have been up for some time as well — at the restaurant Reposado in Palo Alto they went up right after Halloween). Periodically I post about about Christmas music, especially weird stuff; my daughter Elizabeth, grand-daughter Opal, and other friends feed me great stuff. In 2012, among my Christmas music postings was “The multicultural Christmas playlist, mostly Jingle Bells”, where I mentioned in passing the Latin translation of the song that I learned in high school, nearly 60 years ago. The part I still recall is the chorus:

Tinnitus, tinnitus, semper tinnitus
O tantum est gaudium dum vehimur in trahā

(There are other translations into Latin out there.) Now to look at the Latin.


On the campaign trail with Vermin Supreme

November 25, 2015

Through various people on Facebook, reports on the presidential candidacy of Vermin Supreme.


From Wikipedia:


motion-goal BE

November 23, 2015

Overheard at lunch a few days ago:

(1) We’re going to Puerto Rico for the holidays; I’ve never been.

My first interpretation of the (elliptical) second clause was as

(2) I’ve never been to Puerto Rico.

with what I’ll call “motion-goal BE” in the pattern:

(3) HAVE been [PP to PLACE ]

where the lexical item BE is a motion verb, roughly glossable as ‘go’, so that (3) conveys ‘HAVE gone to PLACE’. Think of Charlene singing

(4) Ooh I’ve been to Georgia and California, and, anywhere I could run
…  I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me

(I’ll get to Charlene in a while. Meanwhile, you can hear her singing “I’ve Never Been to Me” by going to this YouTube site. Note: opinions about this song are strongly polarized: many people think it’s one of the world’s worst songs, while others think it provides wonderful advice about attending to your feelings. Please: I am not soliciting opinions here.)

Or with past perfect rather than present perfect:

(5) I realized that I’d been to Georgia and not eaten a single peach.

There’s a lot to be said about motion-goal BE, beyond its having BE as a motion verb.


Luis Valdez

November 22, 2015

From a server at Reposado recently, a recommendation that I should look at the work of the Chicano writer Luis Valdez (whose name was unfamiliar to me); I recommended to him the work of the Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros (whose name was unfamiliar to him).

It turns out that I didn’t recognize Valdez’s name, but I certainly did know some of his work. From Wikipedia:

Luis Valdez (born June 26, 1940 [in Delano CA to migrant farm worker parents]) is an American playwright, actor, writer and film director [not to mention activist for Chicano causes]. Regarded as the father of Chicano theater in the United States, Valdez is best known for his play Zoot Suit, his movie La Bamba, and his creation of El Teatro Campesino. A pioneer in the Chicano Movement, Valdez broadened the scope of theatre and arts of the Chicano community.

Oh my, Zoot Suit and La Bamba!


Kijé and Jimson

November 21, 2015

Heard yesterday on WQXR (classical music in NYC), Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite, always enjoyable and now sort of seasonal, because of its snowy fourth movement. And the suite reminded me of the wonderful Alec Guinness movie (he wrote the screenplay and starred in the film) The Horses’s Mouth, which used the Prokofiev suite as its soundtrack.



November 21, 2015

Today’s Zippy takes us to Seattle:


The pop-culture experience of the EMP Museum.


Rushing Sugar

November 19, 2015

The latest ad from the Daily Jocks company, with a caption:


The head-scratcher

He didn’t know
Where he was or
How he got there;
Last he remembered,
He was rocking to
“El Bimbo” at the
Blue Oyster Bar, in his
Pink and blue jockstrap,
With a really
Who called him

Some notes:


Somewhere, looking like Bozo

November 18, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with another song burlesque from the ventriloquist’s dummy, last heard from singing “The House of the Writhing Pun”:

Yes, “Over the Rainbow”, taking shots at Donald Trump.


The House of the Writhing Pun

November 17, 2015

Yesterday’s Zippy, continuing a series about a ventriloquist’s dummy:

A burlesque of “The House of the Rising Sun”.



November 17, 2015

An entertaining photo that’s been floating around the Internet for some time:


In speech, the intended parsing

(1) [ Alaskan cod ] [ pieces ]

is indistinguishable from the humorous parsing

(2) { Alaskan ] [ codpieces ]

In writing, the conventional spelling distinguishes the two and enforces parsing (1). But if you’re not aware of the item of apparel the codpiece (more on that to come), or if the possibility of an ambiguity hadn’t occurred to you, you might be tempted to the spelling codpieces instead of cod pieces.



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