Penises, poppers, and piercings, oh my!

November 23, 2015

Yes, a posting about men’s bodies and gay sex, but without pictures (those are on AZBlogX, in a posting entitled “The news for penises, Thanksgiving edition”). Still, not for the kiddies or the sexually modest.

Photo #2 on AZBlogX shows a guy with a huge hard-on, an industrial-strength metal cock ring, and some kind of penile piercing — improving the experience even more by inhaling poppers. Popper Man is a compendium of clichés of sex in the gay male world. (Cock rings, poppers, and piercings are of course not restricted to gay men, but they are especially prevalent in the gay world and are stereotypical there.)

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November 22, 2015

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

Another instance of the sort of meta-comic in which the characters are aware that they are, in fact, characters in a comic strip. Plus a (related) play on a convention of comic strips, — that the characters’ physical characteristics are just lines on the page.

Luis Valdez

November 22, 2015

From a server at Reposado recently, a recommendation that I should look at the work of the Chicano writer Luis Valdez (whose name was unfamiliar to me); I recommended to him the work of the Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros (whose name was unfamiliar to him).

It turns out that I didn’t recognize Valdez’s name, but I certainly did know some of his work. From Wikipedia:

Luis Valdez (born June 26, 1940 [in Delano CA to migrant farm worker parents]) is an American playwright, actor, writer and film director [not to mention activist for Chicano causes]. Regarded as the father of Chicano theater in the United States, Valdez is best known for his play Zoot Suit, his movie La Bamba, and his creation of El Teatro Campesino. A pioneer in the Chicano Movement, Valdez broadened the scope of theatre and arts of the Chicano community.

Oh my, Zoot Suit and La Bamba!

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big game

November 22, 2015

Yesterday was the Big Game, between Stanford and Cal (the University of California at Berkeley), the Stanford Cardinal and the Cal Bears, in football:


(Stanford over Cal 28-16, at Stanford Stadium; much celebration)

Linguistic point 1: the usage of the expression The Big Game.

Linguistic point 2: the expression big game used to refer to animals.

Bonus: the movie Big Game.

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Kijé and Jimson

November 21, 2015

Heard yesterday on WQXR (classical music in NYC), Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite, always enjoyable and now sort of seasonal, because of its snowy fourth movement. And the suite reminded me of the wonderful Alec Guinness movie (he wrote the screenplay and starred in the film) The Horses’s Mouth, which used the Prokofiev suite as its soundtrack.

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November 21, 2015

Today’s Zippy takes us to Seattle:


The pop-culture experience of the EMP Museum.

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November 21, 2015

From my friend Max yesterday (lightly edited):

On a cooking show last Saturday (America’s Test Kitchen, or Cook’s Country), someone used the term soggen (as in “crisp up the cookies or they’ll soggen”) and we couldn’t decide if it was a real word.

That’s the inchoative soggen ‘become soggy’ — comprehensible (and somewhat playful in tone), but not attested in the OED, nor have I been able to find any other examples on the net. Normally, however, there would be no question about its being a “real word”, since derivatives using productive suffixes are unquestionably words, even if they haven’t been attested or you haven’t experienced them.  (Those of us who collect verbings with the suffixes –ify and -ize are forever coming across novel examples — from my files,  Dowdify, referring to Maureen Dowd, and Vermontize. Dictionaries couldn’t possibly list all possible examples, nor should they try.)

But … inchoative / causative –en is not productive, as I explained in a 5/28/13 posting on inchoative louden. So new examples of these formations are surely words — people use them and understand them — but they aren’t OLFESCs (as in my 4/21/10 posting “Do languages get (all) the words they need?”), ordinary-language fixed expressions of some currency, since they fail the “of some currency” test. Vast numbers of words (technical terms, jargon, dialect words, slang words restricted to small social groups, archaic words, and much more) are not OLFESCs.

Now to inchoative / causative -en.

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Rainbow bedding

November 20, 2015

From the Kitsch Bitsch’s Facebook page (ultimate source not identified) and passed on by Chris Ambidge: some rainbow sheets and pillow cases, plus a hairy-chested guy, his swirly lollipop, and his bed book:


There are 8 colors; starting with red:

(1) red (tending towards orange), orange, pink, blue, violet, azure, green, yellow

The now-standard gay pride flag has only 6 colors (no azure or whatever, and — surprise! — no pink), in the order of the color spectrum:

(2) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet/purple

(The flag is displayed with red at the top, or if in a horizonal display, with red at the left.)

The order of colors in (1) is odd, the colors are not very saturated, and in addition to pink it has that azure band.

(The standard “color spectrum” has 7 colors, with an “indigo” band between blue and the last color, which is labeled “violet”.)

You can get rainbow bedding from an amazing assortment of suppliers. Here’s a set from Etsy (“Vintage Rainbow Sheet Set”), with three copies of the band for each color, in (saturated) gay pride colors in spectral order:


And a duvet cover and pillow cases from a company called sin — muted versions (the red looks close to pink, and the green is very pale indeed) of the 6 colors in the gay flag, in spectral order:



November 20, 2015

A Facebook exchange sprung up on the 16th about the expression in the title. The initial poster wondered about

the use by TV characters in emergency rooms or restaurant kitchens of “stat!” instead of “now!” I’d never heard it used in real life, nor on TV, before programs I’m seeing now from the past 15 years or so (at a guess). Its unfamiliarity makes it sound artificial, or contrived, to my ear. Hence my curiosity. Where was I when it became a thing?

The poster pretty clearly recognizes that they might be in the grip of the Recency Illusion, the belief that since you’ve noticed some usage only recently, that usage is in fact recent in the language (when it is likely to be considerably older). In any case, the poster’s recollection is of not having experienced the stat of immediacy (as I’ll call it) until about 15 years ago (the beginning of the 21st century), and then only on tv programs set in emergency rooms. (‘Right now’ would be a better gloss than just ‘now’, by the way.) Well, it was around on tv before that (at least 30 years before that, as other posters pointed out), and with reference to medical procedures or actions in real life — the model for the tv use — it was in use way before that, back to the 19th century.

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Crunch Berries time

November 20, 2015

Today’s Zits, with Jeremy appreciating his job at Pipkin’s Fruit Market:


Well, Crunch Berries, but they’re still not actual berries (instead, balls of high-fructose corn syrup) — technically, food, but faux berries.

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