Commencement photo

(A little personal posting, with no content of linguistic value.)

From back in June, a photo of me at the Stanford Linguistics graduation ceremony. These departmental ceremonies take place after the big event in Stanford Stadium, with its Famous Speaker and the hordes of graduates performing their Wacky Walks. The graduates actually get their diplomas at these departmental events, and our department is small enough that we can provide an encomium for each student, delivered by the student’s adviser. It’s a wonderful custom.

The photo was taken by Laura Staum Casasanto, shortly before she received her Ph.D. diploma and an encomium from Penny Eckert (I was merely the co-adviser for her dissertation, Experimental Investigations of Sociolinguistic Knowledge). It catches me in a spot in the shade — on an extraordinarily hot day — that Daniel Casasanto, Laura’s husband, thoughtfully set up for me. I don’t like most photographs of me (and sometimes go to some trouble to avoid having my picture taken), but I like this one.

And it catches me in the fag-lavender shirt that I’ve mentioned twice on this blog (here and here), with its color somewhat intensified by my manipulations of the jpg file that Laura sent me a few days ago.

It’s been a week of In Your Face t-shirts for me. Starting with a simple Pansy shirt (advertising Pansy Brand citrus fruit) on Monday, then on Tuesday my F Word shirt (advertising Jesse Sheidlower’s book, in silver block letters on basic black), on Wednesday back to to pansy advertising (but more in your face, a Pansy Brand label with the added caption “Pansy Brand Homo Grown Premium Fruits Available Worldwide”), on Thursday “Be All You Can Be: Militant Homosexual”, on Friday a t-shirt with the Gran Fury “Read My Lips” image of two sailors kissing, and yesterday a shirt with the Gay Pride “Visible” shirt (with a pink triangle for the V). I guess that the wrangling over the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and over marriage equality in California finally got to me.

Some images for your amusement: two Pansy Brand labels (not the ones on my t-shirts):

Then the Gran Fury poster:

And the Visible graphic:

4 Responses to “Commencement photo”

  1. John Baker Says:

    O.K., now I really want to see the F Word shirt. Is there any chance of your posting it? If you don’t want a picture of you that might somehow undercut the quality of the one already posted (and that really is an excellent picture), then maybe you could post a picture just of the shirt, or of the image.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      For what was supposed to be a brief throwaway posting, this one has consumed a truly enormous amount of time, mostly in searching the web for images of my t-shirts. I haven’t been able to find the F Word shirt, though the shirt itself is just as unremarkable as I described it. So I’ve scanned in the relevant bit:

      This at least gives you the information that the shirt is a product of the Canadian company Priape, which markets clothing primarily to gay men. Also the information that the Priape people think it’s XL/TG, while in fact it’s quite clearly a men’s M, which is the size I am once again wearing, after a decade of disasters.

  2. John Baker Says:

    Thanks, Arnold. I’m not sure that the average person seeing this would realize it’s an advertisement for Jesse’s book.

    For a different take on this kind of euphemistic respelling, see But Caulfield is wrong in calling “for cry eye” an obvious substitute, since I’m still working out what it’s supposed to be a substitute for.

  3. Suggestive « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] The newsboy is hustling pears, but to modern eyes the label suggests something more salacious. There’s some business in unearthing labels that today have meanings unintended by their creators (two Pansy brand labels here). […]

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