Archive for the ‘Truncation’ Category

Godzilla’s Manhattan

July 9, 2014

A recent Bizarro:

 

(I’ll get back later to the piece of pie in the center of the cartoon.)

Godzilla seems to hold an idea about proper names: roughly (though it’s hard to be sure about the mind of a cartoon monster) that referents sharing a name do so because of some intrinsic or natural identity between them, in this case that the Manhattan cocktail and the island (or borough) of Manhattan must share some intrinsic property: in Godzilla’s mind (given his experience), hordes of screaming people fleeing in fear.

But the cocktail comes up short in this respect.

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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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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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May-June turnover

June 1, 2014

A One Big Happy from yesterday (May 25), on conversational organization; and then three from this morning’s (June 1st) crop: a Bizarro with an ambiguity introduced by truncation; yet another meta-Zippy, this time on reports of Zippy’s death; and a Rhymes With Orange with a pun from the Black Lagoon.

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Minimumble

March 2, 2014

From Benjamin Slade, pointers to Chris Hallbeck’s webcomic site Minimumble, with three recent language-related cartoons:

From 2/12/14, treating procrastinator as pro + castinator, with pro treated as a clipping of professional  and so contrasted with amateur (link):

(#1)

From 2/14/14, language play extracting panda from pandemonium (link):

(#2)

From 2/24/14, a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) (link):

(#3)

Bed Bath and Beyond (the retail chain) overlapped with Beyond Thunderdome (the movie).

Slang change

February 15, 2014

Yesterday Mark Liberman posted on this Doonesbury cartoon:

Rich in material. The main thing I want to note (as Mark did) is a sense development in the slang verb rock, from an older sense, around at least since 1990 (‘impact strongly’), to a newer sense, the one in the cartoon, around since at least 2007 (‘wear or display conspicuously or proudly’); this is a change from a more objective sense to a more subjective one, such as Elizabeth Traugott has repeatedly discussed.

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hash

February 4, 2014

An recent exchange on Facebook (about Gertrude Stein) led to musings on the drug noun hash, which at least historically is a shortening of hashish. One participant noted that these days you don’t see a lot of mentions of hashish, and I remarked that for some people hash was usable as another synonym (among many) for marijuana / cannabis, similar to pot. I was comfortable with that, but not everyone was.

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dive bar?

January 14, 2014

Today’s Zippy:

Remarkable drinks.

ADS-L has recently been having a discussion of dive bar and dive. For some posters, dive is just a short version of dive bar ‘disreputable bar’, but for others it’s taken on a life of its own, so that there can be dive restaurants. Hipster joints are s0mething else again.

amaze

December 31, 2013

It starts with tlhe clipping amaze for amazing and then goes on to the playful extension amazeballs (or amaze balls). Then both of these can be modified by the slang clipping totes (for totally). And another slang intensive modifier, def, can be added to the mix, giving things like the slogan on this tea towel:

(#1)

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Ungrammatical truncation?

October 20, 2013

From Gail Collins’s op-ed column in the NYT yesterday, “A Ted Cruz On Every Corner”, about recent looniness from Texas lawmakers:

The old center-right standard-bearer, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, is desperately trying to wipe out his reputation as a mainstream politician while he runs for re-election.

“I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama ought to be impeached,” he told a Tea Party gathering recently, with more fervor for the cause than for grammatical construction.

Collins doesn’t explain her objection, but I’m guessing she thinks that Dewhurst should have said:

“I don’t know about you, but I think Barack Obama ought to be impeached.”

(supplying the source of the opinion in the second clause). So she’s treating this case as (roughly) parallel to the truncation of as far as X goes / is concerned to just as far as, which has been widely reviled (for reasons I don’t fully understand).

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