Failure to reach proverbial status

July 25, 2015

A Roz Chast cartoon from the July 27th New Yorker:

Each panel has its subject failing to reach the level required for some piece of formulaic language to apply:

She’s a force of nature.
After he was made, people threw away the mold.
She’s completely irrepressible.

Ken Krimstein

July 25, 2015

… the cartoonist, with this cartoon in the July 27th New Yorker:

(#1)

The P is silent.

I’m charmed by the idea of pterodactyl commuters on the Hudson

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A dash of ornamental hunkiness

July 25, 2015

(Not about language.)

Caught in an episode of Charmed — season 2, episode 9, “Ms. Hellfire” (1/13/00) — the symbol of solid but amiable masculinity Antonio Sabàto, Jr. Cast against type as a villain, but a charming, sexy villain.

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Morning names: naked mole rat, Penn Palestra

July 25, 2015

A double-header this morning. I have no idea where the naked mole rat came from. The Palestra at Penn was undoubtedly prompted by the music of Palestrina, which was playing on WQXR when I woke — though it turns out that palaestras and Palestrina have nothing to do with one another etymologically, nor has either of them anything to do with palisades.

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Three on the prowl

July 24, 2015

(The latest ad from the Daily Jocks people, with a caption from me. Not about language.)

Their new jockstraps
Unleashed their
Raw bestial spirits.

allayed

July 24, 2015

In today’s One Big Happy, Ruthie again copes with vocabulary she’s unfamiliar with but nevertheless struggles to accommodate — in this case, allayed ‘diminished or put to rest’ (said of fear, suspicion, or worry):

Well, it sounds like it had laid in it.

A new Page

July 24, 2015

Just added to the Pages of Linguistics Notes on this blog: one with an inventory of postings (on Language Log and this blog) about taboo vocabulary: the choice of words labeled as taboo, the open use of these words, schemes for avoiding them, etc. Can be accessed directly by clicking here, or by clicking on “Taboo vocabulary” in the list of Pages on the right side of the main page.

This new Page joins other inventories of postings on linguistic matters: on abbreviation, anaphoric islands, attachment (in parsing), danglers, Faith vs. WF, illusions, libfixes, and mishearings. More to come.

Meanwhile, I’m struggling to find a way to format some collections of my data as Linguistics Notes, so that other researchers can have access to this material (and it can be publicly updated). In particular, my file of VPE (Verb Phrase Ellipsis) examples, with an index to them; and my file of 2pbfV (two-part back-formed verb) examples, again with an index to them. Stay tuned.

The offensive t-shirt

July 24, 2015

A recent Cyanide & Happiness:

The fuck is offensive, but then they get down to the white supremacist tats and it’s all cool, bro.

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Breakfast at the Gamble

July 23, 2015

A breakfast picnic this morning at the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto. First sandwiches, tea, and fresh fruit, then some touring of the garden.

A bench in the herb garden at GG:

(#1)

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The unflappable waitress

July 23, 2015

Today’s Bizarro:

Hun / hon.

The informal clipped form hon (for honey) as a term of address is stereotypically used, along with other pet names like the full honey, sweetie, dear(ie), and doll, by waitresses to their customers, in addition to the use of these as terms of endearment to genuine intimates. Many customers find the usage disrespectful and insulting, expressing intimacy in a situation where they see that deference to authority is called for.

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Don Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)


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