Archive for August, 2010

Dingburgers having fun

August 31, 2010

A Zippy that leads with the question “Am I having fun yet?”

This is familiar territory for the strip. On Language Log, we’ve had “Am I empathetic yet?” on 1/20/07; “Are we playing “Risk” in an underground bunker beneath th’ White House yet?” on 7/14/07, with some discussion of the models for the Are We X Yet snowclone (the children’s question “Are we there yet?” and the Zippy catchphrase “Are we having fun yet?”), a quick survey of the many fillers for X, and a variant with now (“Are we middle-aged now?”); and “Am I questioning all accepted notions of gender marking & display yet?” on 6/24/08 and again on this blog on 4/20/09.


Search for Cee

August 31, 2010

Unsure of how the song title was entered in my  iTunes — “Fuck You”, “F**k You”, or “Forget You” (the answer turns out to be “Fuck You [Explicit]”) — I searched for it under the artist’s name, and got only as far as the “Cee” of “Cee Lo Green” when five items popped up:

The Continental
Fuck You
The King shall rejoice
Les Contes D’Hoffmann
Pretty Please (Love Me)

What a wonderful melange! I will explain. But you might find it entertaining to try to figure out where “Cee” comes in (other than for my target song “Fuck You”). Remember that these searches are case- and diacritic-insensitive.


On the pun patrol

August 30, 2010

Bizarro on door-to-door proselytizers:

I spent a few moments wondering how you’d explain this to a child. The linguistic part — cheeses for Jesus — is the easy part (without going into voiceless – … – voiced for voiced – … – voiceless), but all the cultural background is problematic.

Nice device for making it clear that these are in fact cheeses in white shirts and black ties, taking advantage of the large holes in what’s known in the U.S. as Swiss cheese.

Data notes: transposition 8/30/10

August 30, 2010

A chiastic delight from the New Yorker of August 30:

These things take a while to set up.

Garden postings

August 30, 2010

On my X blog (but with almost no sex in them at all), a posting about my Columbus garden and now a few photos to go along with the text:

8/26/10: Our Gardens, Our Selves (link)

8/30/10: From the garden (link)


August 30, 2010

Heard on NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” on Morning Edition Saturday yesterday: a re-play of a Listener Limerick Challenge in which the program’s limericist was referred to.

Since 2000 (and at least until last year) this position has been filled by Philipp [correct spelling] Goedicke. My focus here is not on the arrangements of this radio program but in the innovation limericist ‘someone who devises limericks’ (which seems to have a modest representation on the web, as on the website Here-Be-Limerick-Poems, with its page “Examples of Limerick Poems: The Work of Limericist Edward Lear”.)

Fair mammoth ears

August 29, 2010

We’re firmly into the fair season here in the U.S. — state fairs, county fairs, street fairs (like the one going on this weekend in my neighborhood), whatever — and that’s the Regrettable Food Season, with monstrous concoctions combining some or all of sugar, fat, and dough, and with food fried, salted, stuffed with other such edibles, or topped with unheathful but delicious substances. Deep-fried everything, up to Twinkies, Oreos, bacon, and butter; at the fair it’s not just such traditionally deep-fried objects as dough, cut-up potatoes, yam slices, and battered fish, shellfish, or vegetables. Fruit, like apples, yes, but candied. Belgian waffles. Burgers, hot dogs, and sausages of all descriptions, including corn dogs and bagel dogs, and, now, burgers sandwiched between two Krispy Kremes. Cones of crushed ice drizzled with a selection of tooth-aching flavored sugar syrups. Mexican, Guatemalan, Middle Eastern, Indian street food. Cotton candy. All-day suckers. Popcorn. Corn on the cob. And of course ice cream cones. To drink, soda pop, and for the older folks, beer and wine.



August 28, 2010

Picked up today at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, just a couple of blocks from my house (I first went to this street fair, with Jacques, in 1987): a card-sized reproduction of a painting by Ellen Jenkins Drew (website here) of stylized pansies:


nth birthday, (n+1)th year; visiting professor

August 26, 2010

A few days ago, I posted on Facebook about the imminent 25th anniversary of my Stanford appointment, wondering what would be a suitable marking of the occasion (unfortunately, Elizabeth Traugott, the principal responsible person on this end — it was Ilse Lehiste on the Ohio State end — will be out of the country until January, so I can’t easily fold her into whatever event I cook up).

I noted on Facebook that when the department has its beginning-of-the-year festivities, and the students get to say things like “I’m a first-year student in semantics and computational linguistics” or “I’m a third-year [truncated nominal] in sociolinguistics, specializing in pidgins and creoles”, I’ll get to say, “I’m a 26th-year visiting professor, specializing in syntax, morphology, variation, grammar and usage, and lots of other things”.

Two parts of this confused some people: the apparent conflict between a 25th anniversary and being a 26th-year visiting professor; and the apparent oddity of someone’s having visited a place (continuously) for 25 years.


More Zippy names (and things)

August 26, 2010

Zerbina takes up art, as well as Pez cuisine — to little Wernick (I say it’s broccoli and I say the hell with it)’s disgust:

Bill Griffith is famous in these parts for his fascination with words, especially names, and for re-using existing names rather than make up new ones from scratch. This time it’s Basil Wolverton, who was not in fact a German expressionist, though he was an artist, a comic book writer and artist, known for his grotesque images of people:

Despite the man’s very British-sounding name (which no doubt tickled Griffith), he was solidly American. But, oh, that wonderful name!

I’m guessing that Zerbina’s sculpture (or Chia Pet construction?) of a Pinhead topknot is entirely Griffith’s invention. But, knowing Griffith’s inclination to use real art objects as well as real names in his strips, it’s also possible that Topknot has some artistic reality (which I have yet to discover) outside of the Dingburgish lands.