Archive for July, 2012

glory hole

July 31, 2012

From Gregory Ward in e-mail, a link to this RantSports story (” “I want me some glory hole” says Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones” — note ethical dative — by Jesus Flores 7/30/12), beginning:

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones while speaking to the media said, “I’ve been here 23 years. I’ve been here when it was glory hole days and when it wasn’t. I want me some glory hole.”

The reference raised some eyebrows and caused some chuckles.

Apparently, Jones was making reference to the oil and gas industry and not an explicit reference, as Cowboys public relations director Rich Dalrymple quickly clarified.

In response to Dalrymple’s explanation however, Jones said laughing, “that’s news to me” reverting it back to a crude joke.

The term “glory hole” in the oil industry refers to the hole drilled, from which oil flows and rises to the surface through flow lines and to the production facility.

An entertaining ambiguity, which RantSports doesn’t explain.



July 31, 2012

A letter to the NYT on the 28th, under the heading “Church Abuse Sentencing”:

Re “Church Official in Philadelphia Gets Prison in Abuse Case” (news article, July 25):

At his sentencing for child endangerment, Msgr. William J. Lynn said to relatives of an abuse victim, “I hope someday that you will accept my apology.”

I hope that the victims wait for an actual statement of apology before they consider whether to accept it.

Charlevoix, Mich., July 25, 2012

Quite likely, Msgr. Lynn thinks that what he said was in fact an apology. Winnie Boal doesn’t think so.


4 from Gahan Wilson

July 31, 2012

The current featured artist on the New Yorker Store’s site is Gahan Wilson, who doesn’t seem to have appeared on this blog before. Only a few of his cartoons focus on language matters, but here are three. Plus a hot dog cartoon, to add to my series of wiener postings.


Chain reasoning

July 31, 2012

Via Ryan Tamares (who is, by the way, a librarian) on Facebook, this wonderful Dilbert cartoon:




July 31, 2012

From Bernie Krause’s opinion piece, “The Sound of a Damaged Habitat” in the NYT Sunday Review on the 29th, about how “environmental degradation always changes the soundscape”:

A soundscape contains three basic sources: the geophony, which includes all nonbiological natural sounds like wind or ocean waves; the biophony, which embraces the biological, wild, nonhuman sounds that emanate from environments; and the anthrophony — man-made sounds, commonly referred to as noise.

So: soundscape (with the combining form -scape) and also geophony / biophony / anthrophony (with the combining form -phony). The first has been around for a while, the second set is a recent invention of Krause’s.


Thurber cartoons

July 31, 2012

Over on Language Log yesterday, I assembled a collection of James Thurber cartoons on the relations between the sexes, and that reminded me of favorite Thurber cartoons on other topics — in particular, this one:


The caption: “Touché!”

When my booklet Mistakes was published, this was the image I wanted for the cover art — now, there’s a serious mistake — but the fee for it turned out to be too steep.


The comma-swatter

July 30, 2012

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Oh my. Arnold the fussy grammarian. (Arnold is an intrinsically funny name, it seems.)

But that should be garmmrian, not grammarian.


Comics creation

July 30, 2012

Today’s meta-Zippy, on Comics School:

An earlier meta-Zippy, taking us behind the scenes at the Zippy Factory:


More taboo avoidance in the NYT

July 30, 2012

The Gray Lady continues to allude to taboo vocabulary indirectly, with a series of strategies reported on in Language Log and this blog. Two recent cases:

In “Wash That Blog Out With Soap” by Penelope Green on the 26th, about Emma Koenig:

… Ms. Koenig, who, like her sisters before her, has been channeling her anomie into a contemporary literary form — in her case, a Tumblr blog. While its title begins with a common vulgar interjection, it is nonetheless a sweetly dark look at a life stage, something resembling the HBO series “Girls,” but defanged a bit.

And in an obituary, “Lupe Ontiveros, Who Portrayed Maids and Moms, Dies at 69”, by Mireya Navarro on the 28th:

With characteristic saltiness, Ms. Ontiveros once said, “I’ve made chicken salad” out of chicken manure. But she did not regret playing so many maids, she said, because it allowed for steady work and for portraying working people with dignity.


Cope & Guibert

July 29, 2012

The latest addition to my collection of graphic novels, a gift from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky: Alan’s War, which I couldn’t put down. The cover image: