dorkage

July 12, 2014

Today’s Zits, with jocular morphology and some (Wurst-style) phallicity as well:

 

Jeremy for Weenie World!

Then there’s dorkage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Coordination just off the mark

July 11, 2014

It came from the tv, which was across the room, and I didn’t have paper and pen by me, but when the commercial began,

(1) Are you 65 or older and suffer from back pain?

my syntactic attention was riveted. The pitch seemed to be for some device to alleviate back pain (rather than a medication), but I didn’t catch the details while I was getting the sentence down: entirely clear, but syntactically non-parallel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s phallicity find

July 10, 2014

Seen on the streets of Palo Alto this afternoon, a van with this logo on the side:

The company’s slogan is

To Pour is Human, to Spritz, Divine

From the company website:

Since 1983 the Seltzer Sisters have bottled and delivered old-fashioned seltzer to devotees in the Bay Area. We’re one of a handful of tiny companies devoted to old-fashioned service and the environmentally sound use of refillable bottles.

Spritz me, baby.

Layered portmanteaus

July 9, 2014

Today’s Bizarro:

 

A labradoodle performing magic: abracadabra [the magical incantation] + labradoodle = abracadabradoodle.

But labradoodle is itself a portmanteau: labrador (retriever) + poodle.

There are obvious limits to how far such layering can go on, since the bits of the contributing words quickly become hard to retrieve — though an illustration might help, as here.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Japanese knotweed

July 9, 2014

My usual postings on plants are about plants that are ornamental or useful or both, but occasionally I look at invasives: recently, on privets and tumbleweed, and a bit earlier on monstrously invasive vines —  kudzu and mile-a-minute. Today, thanks to a piece in the 7/5/14 New Scientist (“Let them eat weeds” by Stephanie Pain), I turn to a dreadful pest, the Japanese knotweed. The plant will push aggressively through concrete, survive volcanic eruptions, and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

pentapedal

July 8, 2014

In the latest (7/5/14) New Scientist, a “60 seconds” (ultra-brief) feature “Bouncing on five legs”:

Kangaroos have five “legs”, making them the first known pentapedal animals. A study of kangaroo motion suggests their tails aren’t simply a crutch but actively move them forward, producing as much propulsive force as all four limbs combined (Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0381).

What about starfish? Aren’t they pentapedal animals? What about primates that use their tails (in addition to their hands and legs) to propel themselves?

Well, it depends on what you mean by animal and what you mean by leg. Starfish are customarily said to have five arms, and primates to have only two legs (but four limbs, plus, for some, a tail that can function rather like another limb).

Read the rest of this entry »

Jane on correspondents

July 6, 2014

Another quotation postcard from Jane Austen (from Chris Ambidge), this time with some genuine linguistic interest:

Chris disagreed with the quotation (he and I are dependable correspondents, at least for one another) — but then this is not an expression of Jane’s own opinion, but a statement by one of her characters, which is quite a different thing. From Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon, which is about (among other things) the creation of a new English seaside town in the early 19th century.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cartooning at the diner

July 6, 2014

Today’s Zippy, with Zippy and Griffy on cartoon styles and men’s fashions:

(#1)

And, in the third panel, a diner — which turns out to be identifiable, and leads us to some surprising places (Mercury Comets and English pubs):

Read the rest of this entry »

Bunnies run amok

July 5, 2014

(Only a bit about language.)

Xopher Walker wrote on Facebook a couple of days ago about the plague of rabbits in his yard and garden (which his dog Dolly was doing her best to address), and cited the absurd monster flick Night of the Lepus:

Night of the Lepus, also known as Rabbits, is a 1972 American science fiction horror film based on the 1964 science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit.

Released theatrically on October 4, 1972, it focuses on members of a small Arizona town who battle thousands of mutated, carnivorous killer rabbits. (Wikipedia link)

The movie belongs to the large genre of horror/suspense movies (and fiction etc.) — think of Hitchcock’s Psycho – about human evil of one kind or another, and embracing ghost stories, as well as the subgenre of monster movies (and fiction etc.), where the creepiness comes from humanity gone awry in some crucial way, and indeed to the subsubgenre of “natural horror” movies (where natural means ‘having to do with nature’):

Natural horror is a sub-genre of horror films “featuring nature running amok in the form of mutated beasts, carnivorous insects, and normally harmless animals or plants turned into cold-blooded killers.” (Wikipedia link)

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 235 other followers