Sports Monday Linguistics

September 20, 2017

Surely a record for the NYT sports section: both stories on the front page of Sports Monday this week were about language — language, televised sports, and gender; and language learning, baseball, and tv shows:

“Safest Bet in Sports: Men Complaining About a Female Announcer’s Voice” (on-line head) by Julie Dicaro.

“‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball” (on-line head) by James Wagner.

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Disney meets Tom of Finland

September 19, 2017

From correspondent RJP, a link to this GayStarNews piece today, “Here’s what the Seven Dwarfs would look like as muscle daddies: Featuring Hunky Grumpy and Beefy Doc and a very hot Dopey” by Shannon Power:

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I like pig butts and I cannot lie

September 19, 2017

Noted on a sign in Dan Gordon’s in Palo Alto yesterday — a place that specializes in barbequed meat, especially brisket and pulled pork. Meanwhile, I like pig butts and I cannot lie, with its double entendre play on butt, has apparently achieved meme status; it’s now available in many forms, including t-shirts from several suppliers:

(#1)

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Blue Curls

September 19, 2017

Seen on the street in Palo Alto recently — in planters outside Pacific Art League Palo Alto, just up the street from my house, and in recent xeriscape plantings in front of City Hall — an otherworldly succulent, one that looks more like a sea creature (specifically, some sort of curly coral) than a plant. Searching on “succulent looks like coral” brought me many astonishing succulents, among them the one in my neighborhood, an Echeveria hybrid named ‘Blue Curls’:

(#1)

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freak shows

September 19, 2017

Today’s Zippy reflects on a bit of culture — a fascination with deformed and otherwise outrageous human beings — name-checks Lady Gaga, Anderson Cooper, and (indirectly) the current residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington — and exploits the ambiguity of the compound freak show:

(#1) At the menagerie / side show

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Tower viewers

September 17, 2017

Today’s Zippy takes us to a scenic lookout and its technology, the tower viewer:

(#1) Binoculars / Telescope on a stalk

Bill Griffith exploits the anthropoid appearance of the device to turn this one into a speaking, grinning, yellow-haired, cheeky, creepy being.

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Revisiting 7: NL:W

September 17, 2017

Yesterday, a posting on the story of a joke (Not Lady: Wife, NL:W for short) whose canonical form is

A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
B: That was no lady; that was my wife.

The vector for the spread of the joke seems to have been the vaudeville team Weber & Fields, who allegedly used it in their stage routines over a century ago. But I found no first-hand reports, so I appealed to the hounds of ADS-L for attestations. This netted a clear occurrence from 1859, but embedded in a long and complex back story (though again with the stage German accent of W&F). And an earlier British antecedent.

Then Larry Horn chimed in with some astute observations on the semantics and pragmatics of NL:W.

All will be reproduced here.

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Hot Lips

September 17, 2017

Noted in front of 325 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto, a small hedge of Salvia microphylla (small-leaved sage) ‘Hot Lips’ in bloom — covered in small labiate flowers, some bicolor, some all red, some all white, as in this photo from the net:

(#1)

Small-leaved (hence the species name microphylla), intensely scented, fashioned into a hedge. A pleasant plant, which it turns out was created by hybridization fairly recently.

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not agree with

September 16, 2017

The One Big Happy in my comics feed yesterday has Ruthie v Idiom, once again:

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Steak bombs

September 16, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy:

(#1)

Steak bomb as the name of a type of steak sandwich was new to me. Steak sandwiches in general are torpedo-shaped, hence bomboid, but the point of the name is probably to assert that it is in fact the/da bomb, the best: the best of all possible steak sandwiches, because it has everything.

The play of steak bomb vs. stink bomb then just makes the name more memorable.

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