Archive for the ‘Lexical semantics’ Category

Cartoon ambiguities

July 25, 2014

A recent One Big Happy, with Ruthie alarmed by her understanding of legal size (paper); and a David Borchart cartoon from the latest (July 28th) New Yorker that turns on the multiple meanings of the verb see:

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A Sunday quartet

July 14, 2014

Four cartoons from yesterday’s crop: a Zippy in a nameless diner; a Doonesbury on rumors; a One Big Happy on the spread of expressions and speech styles from the media; and another Bizarro collection of puns. The strips:

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Four for the fourth

June 5, 2014

My morning mail on Wednesday the 4th brought me six suitable cartoons for this blog. Two I have already posted about: a Doonesbury with Duke hallucinating a lizard; and a Bizarro with a diner asking for eggs without any sense of style. The others: a One Big Happy on the attractions of “diet” versions of foods; a Zits on hearing and listening; a Zippy with (among other things) more better; and a Mother Goose and Grimm with a symbolic ambiguity.

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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:

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

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Graphic cookbook and more

May 11, 2014

Recommended reading: Lucy Knisley’s Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (First Second, 2013). It’s a graphic memoir (about Knisley’s growing up) combined with a gentle introduction to eating and cooking, tailored for kids but equally useful for inexperienced adults.

The cooking advice covers a range from American comfort food to more adventurous stuff (like making sushi at home).

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For National Cartoonists Day

May 6, 2014

This morning I discovered that yesterday was not only Cinco de Mayo, but also National Cartoonists Day. In honor of the occasion, three cartoons for today. Then some account of Cartoonists Day, which leads to the early newspaper cartoon featuring the Yellow Kid.

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lobbying / bribing

May 2, 2014

Yesterday’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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Lobbying is legal, bribery not, but in the U.S. the laws governing lobbying are complex enough that it’s not always clear when lobbying activities cross the line. The scheme in the cartoon is a transparent and cynical attempt to blur the line.

(Hat tip to Paul Armstrong.)

Two compounds

February 28, 2014

Two N-N compounds that came by me recently, one silly, one serious. Both are subsective: the referent of the compound as a whole is a subtype of the referent of the second (head) noun. But in neither case is the relationship between the two nouns straightforward.

First, today’s Bizarro:

Then there’s the N-N compound hope chest, heard dimly on some tv show as I was wakening from a nap.

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Two Wednesday cartoons

February 26, 2014

A Zippy on lexical semantics, and a wry Zits on watching your language:

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Define sup, and distinguish the referent from slurp. The proper names are, as usual for Zippy, entertaining, and the title is a separate bit of language play.

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The joke here, of course, is that Jeremy censors not just his speech — that would be routine — but also his thoughts.

Guessing at meaning

February 23, 2014

Passed on by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, this entry from Failblog:

The writer has guessed at the meaning of suffrage, taking it to be related to the verb suffer.

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