Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


May 13, 2015

Today’s Scenes from a Multiverse, in the zone of cohabitation:

It starts with an elaborate metaphorical extension of manspreading (posting on this blog here) to emotional matters and then blossoms into a set of gendermanteaus: manvoiding (man + avoiding), manvalidating (man + validating), womotions (woman + emotions). Shades of bro-!

Anaphora “into” the word French

May 12, 2015

Poet John Ashbery, intervewed by Jillian Tarnald in the NYT Book Review of May 10th:

Are there poets whom you’ve gained greater appreciation for over time?

Certainly Whitman, whose barbaric yawp didn’t impress me at first, but whose silken language did as I began to live with it. And French poets, of whom I published a volume of translations last year. Had I not received a Fulbright and gone to live there for some years, I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate them.

The anaphoric element there is understood here as ‘in France’, but the word France isn’t in the context; instead, we have the word French, which merely evokes France. So that, speaking somewhat metaphorically, the anaphora “goes into” the word French.

The topic is a venerable one, going back 40 years or so, under the name of the Anaphoric Istand Constraint (AIC).


Side effects

May 10, 2015

Television commercials for the drug Lyrica have substantial warnings about contraindications and side effects, which caused me to look at the warnings on the site. The side effect warnings are particularly alarming, presumably because they attempt to cover anything that could conceivably come up.


New inventories

May 10, 2015

I’ve put together two lists of postings on this blog, as pages on this site:

a list of my postings on Sacred Harp (and other shapenote) music, as a Sacred Harp page under the Music Postings page under Lists.

a list of my postings on movies and tv (reasonably complete only from late 2012; there’s a lot of stuff out there), as a page under Lists.

Morning name: Simon Rattle

May 6, 2015

It might have come to me during sleep, from something broadcast on WQXR, but it was the name in my head when I woke up.

From Wikipedia:

Sir Simon Denis Rattle, OM CBE (born 19 January 1955), is an English conductor. He rose to international prominence during the 1980s and 1990s, while Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1980-1998). He has been principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2002, and plans to leave his position at the end of his current contract, in 2018. It was announced in March 2015 that Rattle would become Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra from September 2017.

More quantum cat

April 16, 2015

From the 4/11 issue of New Scientist, this Tom Gauld cartoon:

We’ve been here before, in a Benjamin Schwartz New Yorker cartoon, posted here.


Hurt corporate feelings

April 9, 2015

Today’s Bizarro, on corporate personhood:

“Corporations are people”, Mitt Romney famously asserted in 2011, and this broad understanding of corporate personhood has led people to mock the doctrine by attributing all sorts of characteristics of natural persons to fictive ones, as above.


More mansplaining

April 9, 2015

Today’s Dilbert carries on the mansplaining theme from the 7th:

Fear the wrath of Alice!

Movies and tv: ethnic versatility (Shalhoub)

April 1, 2015

(Minimal linguistic content)

One more actor displaying ethnic versatility: Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub (son of Lebanese-Americans, grew up in Green Bay WI). Some of his roles are not ethnically marked, but some are characters of Middle Eastern descent, and several are presented as ethnically Italian.


More plurals in compounds

March 31, 2015

From Jon Lighter to ADS-L on the 29th, under the heading “hypercorrect pluralization of attributives”, this posting (in its entirety):

(1) CNN is talking about “the Houthis rebels.”

(2) I’ve recently heard “the movies industry.”

(3) Plus (I hope you’re sitting down) “the aircrafts industry.”

Three examples of different sorts (though (2) and (3) are closely related, and (1) is more distantly connected to (2)). There’s a history here on ADS-L, going back at least to 2003. First, some notes on the examples; then a bit of the ADS-L history; then more on plurals in compounds.



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