Archive for February, 2012

face compounds

February 25, 2012

Today’s Zippy:

Mainly about Facebook and face time, but there’s other stuff in there too.

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The end of The New Y

February 24, 2012

In the February 27th New Yorker, this Mick Stevens cartoon:

The snowclone X Is The New Y (The New Y for short) is the snowclone to bury all snowclones (some discussion here, though the material on it is now overwhelming). In Stevens’s cartoon we come to the end of the line: no more “75 is the new 65” or whatever.

(I can’t help noting that The New Y is the new Eskimo Snow, where Eskimo Snow is the ur-snowclone, about Eskimos and their putatively many words for snow. Not that Eskimo Snow is going gently away; Victor Steinbok has been sending me — and Geoff Pullum and Mark Liberman — fresh examples or meta-examples every few days.)

Clash of the facemen

February 24, 2012

Yesterday’s coverage of the last debate between candidates for Republican nominee for President of the United States focused on exchanges between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. One photo here:

I was struck (once again) by the physical similarity between the two men (and their contrast to Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul). They’re both facemen, as some of us say in our slangy way: conventionally very good-looking men.

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Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster

February 24, 2012

Today’s Zippy (like a number of other Zippy strips) revels in the sheer sound of an expression, in this case a brand name:

That’s Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster, a line of trochaic tetrameter (with short first foot) — so satisfying to say over and over again, like a mantra.

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A milestone

February 23, 2012

Now out: Volume V (the last) of The Dictionary of American Regional English (Sl – Z). Volume I came out in 1985, and the project goes back long before that. Now come digitization and indexing (and updating; see below); the lexicographer’s work is never done.

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Martyrdom

February 22, 2012

Yesterday’s reference to the martyrdom of St. Pancakes inspired me to investigate Jewish martyrs to the Inquisition, in particular

the martyr Latka of Gravas, a pious East European Jew who refused to convert to Christianity and in consequence was shredded, fried in hot oil, and then fed to his reluctant coreligionists before they were burned at the stake.

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Misfired indirection

February 22, 2012

Yesterday’s Zits:

Something more direct might have worked better.

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It’s All Grammar

February 22, 2012

Commenter James C. on my “Grammar shit” posting:

What would you propose instead of ‘grammar’ as a cover term for things like spelling, punctuation, and other topics of peeveology?

I’ve pondered about this for quite a few years now; my current position is to challenge the folk categorization of all these things as having something in common. But first, a little history of IAG (It’s All Grammar) on Language Log and this blog.

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Grammar shit

February 21, 2012

Something that’s been making the rounds recently, in various forms:

Two annoyed comments, and one admiring one.

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St. Pancake’s Day

February 21, 2012

The Daily Mash alerts us to today’s solemn holiday, honoring Saint Pancake:

Millions remember the martyrdom of Saint Pancake

Christians worldwide are remembering the martyrdom of St Pancake of Antioch, who was stuffed full of hot cheese, fried and repeatedly thrown into the air around 530 AD.

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