Archive for the ‘Taboo language and slurs’ Category

Flashers abroad

October 11, 2014

This seems to be Sex Saturday, though I have plenty of other things I’m anxious to post about today. But here goes, with a story from the weekend edition of the (San Francisco Mid-Peninsula) Daily Post, headlined: “Cops: Flasher strikes again: Fourth incident in a week” (by Angelo Ruggiero). About a flasher (possibly more than one) operating locally.

One recurrent feature of the Post‘s stories is the euphemism pleasure onself for masturbate (itself a technical or medical term avoiding genuinely vernacular expressions). As here, from today’s story:

The women, in their 20s, looked out the window [of Peet's Coffee in Belmont] onto El Camino and saw a man parked at the curb and pleasuring himself, said Capt. Pat Halleran [of the local police].

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Two from Out

September 20, 2014

Yesterday, it was The Advocate; today, it’s another LPI publication, Out (or OUT) magazine, again with two pieces of interest for this blog in the latest (October 2014) issue: one on straightsplaining, one on gay bookstores.

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lady parts

September 18, 2014

Today’s Zits:

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Jeremy and his buddy Pierce, and the slang euphemism lady parts.

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Porn parody cartoons

September 6, 2014

In collecting material for a Page on this blog on webcomics (more Traugott & Zwicky research), I came across Leisure Town, which is not particularly language-oriented, but has had a series of parodies of Dilbert in which X-rated language (with a gay twist) figures prominently. (Yes, a combination of the comics, parody, taboo language, and gay porn — an obvious winner for me. Parodies of comics are common — some are here — and gay male comics are abundant indeed, and here we see them together.)

I’ll review the story of Tristan Farnon’s Leisure Town and its Dilbert detour and then exhibit two of the parodies — visuals from Dilbert, but with X-rated captions.

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Dubious disavowals?

August 22, 2014

It originally came to me through Chris Hansen on Facebook, in this remarkable two-part image:

(#1)

along with this story (by “Happy Gilmore”) from August 12th, reporting:

Welsh Fried Chicken Brand Defends Logo: Food Company defends its controversial new logo after customers complain about its phallic and unusual design reports Walesonline.co.uk

The owner of the Dirty Bird Brand has stated that the logo was just a unique way to change the “B” and the “D” look like a small rooster.

… The food company has also started using posters that state ” Touch My Thigh” and “Touch My Breasts” … Although, Dirty Bird owner Neil Young has backed his statements that these were not meant to be obscene.

Dirty Bird let http://www.metro.co.uk know that the images were in no way meant to upset their customers  … They wanted a fun way to portray a rooster. That’s all.

Those in doubt should check out the artists tumblr page – Mark James

Hmmm.

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queens

June 27, 2014

Yesterday I reported on Fortnum & Mason’s use of queen in an advert in support of Gay Pride: “Proud to be the queens’ grocer”, with the plural possessive of the common noun queen, rather than the singular possessive of the proper noun Queen. Not everyone is entirely comfortable with this use of queen, seeing it as an offensive and demeaning slur. But the import of words, even slurs and other problematic vocabulary, depends crucially on context — on who’s using them, in what circumstances, for what purposes. Given that, you can read F&M’s queens’ as affectionate, in fact celebratory.

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Sunday jottings

June 22, 2014

Four items from the front matter in today’s New York Times Magazine: the compound poolside memoirs; the euphemism go to Spain; the term binky ‘pacifier'; and citronella for warding off mosquitoes.

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Word art

June 3, 2014

Now at the Jewish Museum in New York (through September 21st), an exhibition of Mel Bochner‘s recent conceptual art. From the NYT on May 2nd, in “Secret Power of Synonyms: Mel Bochner Turns Up the Volume in ‘Strong Language’ ” by Ken Johnson:

Words have been the subjects and primary constituents of the enigmatic yet acerbically provocative paintings Mel Bochner has been creating over the past 12 years. “Mel Bochner: Strong Language,” an elegantly produced exhibition at the Jewish Museum, gives them their due and traces their roots back to text-based works that Mr. Bochner created in the ’60s and early ’70s, when he was one of New York’s pre-eminent Conceptual artists.

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Three diverse

May 21, 2014

This morning: a classic Doonesbury on foul language; a Rhymes With Orange citing the spurious “rule” that an English clause must not end in a preposition; and a Zippy looking back at an ad icon of the 1940s and 50s (“drink more flavored liqueurs”, says Judge Arrow).

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On the racism watch

April 30, 2014

The current flurries over Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling are rich veins of overt and coded racist language, explored at great length in the news. That provides me with an opening to post today’s Scenes From a Multiverse, entitled “Racism 2.0″ (you’ll notice that I’ve been experiencing an avalanche of recent cartoons of linguistic interest; sometimes they come in clumps or waves):

And the Hispanics / Latinos. And the Arabs / Muslims. And…


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