Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Drew Dernavich

April 19, 2014

A posting by Mark Peters yesterday on the Psychology Today blog, “A Cartoon Maestro Talks Comedy: I interview New Yorker cartoonist Drew Dernavich”

One example of a language-related Dernavich cartoon:


Cat advises dog, using the omnipresent “no word for X” trope.


Dog whistles and more

April 4, 2014

On ADS-L on the 2nd, Geoff Nunberg started a discussion about political language coded for race. The background is dog whistle politics.


Monday quartet

March 31, 2014

Four cartoons today: a Dilbert, a Bizarro, a Mother Goose and Grimm, and a Scenes from the Multiverse:


Triple play

March 30, 2014

Three varied cartoons fot the day: Rhymes With Orange, Pearls Before Swine, Dilbert.


Two Sunday cartoons

February 16, 2014

Two cartoons for today: a Pearls Before Swine on some visual conventions in the comics, and a Dilbert on telling stories, through images and words.


Word counts

January 25, 2014

Over on Language Log, Mark Liberman has repeatedly scathed writers who criticize public figures over their word use, especially 1st person singular pronouns, which they take to be a sign of self-involvement or grandiosity. Mark notes, again and again, that these writers never do actual counts, but instead report their impressions — but Mark does the stats, and again and again finds the impressions flat wrong. Now a report in which someone actually cites the counts.

Via Gregory Ward, this Salon piece of the 24th by Katie McDonough, “President Obama has used the word “gay” in official remarks 272 times since taking office: His predecessor George W. Bush said “gay” twice, once in a speech denouncing marriage equality”.


Who Made That?

January 20, 2014

In the NYT Magazine (on Sunday the 19th), a “Who Made That?” piece by Daniel Engber on the captcha. Some weeks ago, another one of these pieces on laugh tracks on television.


Very brief mention: exomoon

January 10, 2014

Exoplanets are planets in solar systems outside our own. So I guess it was inevitable that when it was discovered that exoplanets had moons, they would be called exomoons. I discovered this delicious word in the January 2014 issue of Scientific American (p. 40), but no doubt it’s been around for some time.

The word for the day

November 7, 2013

On ADS-L: on Nov 7, 2013, at 7:58 AM, Bill Mullins wrote:

Subject:  Re: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
Pardon a direct question.  Is this fear of “666″?


Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (derived from Ancient Greek roots ἑξακόσιοι [hexakósioi, "six hundred"], ἑξήκοντα [hexékonta, "sixty"], and ἕξ [héx, "six"]; literally meaning “fear of [the number] six hundred sixty-six”) is the fear that originated from the Biblical verse Revelation 13:18, which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ.


October 11, 2013

It started yesterday, when Geoff Nathan posted this to ADS-L:

I’m giving a mid-term in phonetics, and have asked students to transcribe some words. So far, here are words that at least five students (out of 63, almost all native speakers of American or Canadian English) don’t know: choral, palisade.

Discussion on palisade ensued. (more…)


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