This morning’s crop of cartoons with some linguistic interest: a Rhymes With Orange that is, among other things, about Mothers Day; a Mother Goose and Grimm with, in passing, an interesting example of out as a preposition; and a Doonesbury on outsider / folk art.
Archive for the ‘Syntactic categories’ Category
From Anne Curzan’s column on the Lingua Franca blog yesterday:
Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore
Lots of us use the slash (/) in writing to capture two or more descriptions of the same thing, with a meaning something like “or,” “and,” or “and/or” — e.g., “my sister/best friend” or “request/require.” The slash typically separates two things that are the same part of speech or parallel grammatically; and we can say that slash out loud if needed: “my sister slash best friend.”
Now I wouldn’t write that phrase down that way, with the slash spelled out, but students tell me they now often do.
Today’s Zits — with Jeremy talking so fast his mother can’t understand what he’s saying — turns out to be a repeat performance; I posted about this strip on Language Log in 2009, under the title “Teen speech in overdrive”.
Jeremy’s mother: “Can’t you just talk slower?” Jeremy: “Can’t you just listen faster?”
From the July 21st Economist, a letter to the editor with an initially puzzling use of the term adjective, according to which bully, despot, buffoon, and villain count as adjectives. I was reminded of the NYT‘s use of adjective to refer to the word cocksuckers, reported on here. I’m beginning to understand what’s going on here.
An exchange on ADS-L, started by Larry Horn, who reported this item from the NYT (“Montauk’s Hipster Fatigue”, by Jim Rutenberg) today (pay-off at the end):
So, these signs have been popping up around the East End [of Montauk, Long Island]: a picture of a hat with a red slash through it.
Not just any hat, mind you, but a fedora.
… At its most superficial level, the fedora featured in the signs represents your basic hipster. And to some extent, it’s just part of what is shaping up as a countrywide anti-hipster movement. Something about artisanal tattoos; a bespoke, frontiersman beard; and, yes, a fedora perched atop the head just so is sending some people around the bend.
In these parts, the image of the hipster is also a stand-in for a more deeply seated suspicion that the whole look provides cover for a more privileged crowd that is intent upon importing to your neighborhood higher real estate, food and drink prices — and a new attitude that says, “I’m richer than you, I’m hipper than you and, gosh darn it, some things are going to change around here.”
As the Web site Diehipster.com puts it in a diatribe aimed at urban-based hipsters, “You’ve accomplished nothing over the last decade but displaced hard-working families, old-time residents and newly arrived immigrants who do not seek attention like you [Offensive Adjective Inappropriate for Family Newspaper].”
Just what offensive adjective?, you wonder. As well you might.