Archive for October, 2012

Franken meets gate

October 31, 2012

Today in the CHE‘s Lingua Franca blog, a “Frankenwords” posting by Geoff Pullum combining Halloween topicality, references to the East Coast superstorm, and allusions to Zwicky & Pullum on “Plain morphology and expressive morphology” (1987). The combining form Franken- plays the major role in the piece, but the popular -gate comes up as well.

Then it turns out that these two have danced together, sort of.


Halloween stud

October 31, 2012

(No linguistic interest. Just a Halloween hunk, for fun.)

From Tim Evanson on Google+, with the caption, “happily sexually objectifying Halloween”:

On the 28th, we had “The do(ugh)nut news for Halloween”, with suitably scary items from Psycho Donuts. And on the 29th, “Halloween Giants”, with orange and black sexy underwear (for Halloween from Undergear, for the San Francisco Giants from Papi, though either would serve either purpose).


to cath (redux)

October 31, 2012

Yesterday on ADS-L, Charlie Doyle reported a tv commercial for catheters beginning “End painful cathing” and noted some 343,000 raw ghits for cathing. I posted back in 2009 on a commercial with to cath in it, in which I treated cath as a clipping of catheterize ‘use a catheter’ (adding that both the full and the clipped version can be used transitively and intransitively). But there’s more to be said.


Brief mention: more impastas

October 31, 2012

Following up on the Flying Spaghetti Monster and impastas (here), here’s another take on the same pun, done in rotini:

(From Bob Mugele’s Facebook site, passed on by Avery Andrews and Tony Aristar.)


Brief mention: legalversary

October 30, 2012

On Facebook today, Richard Jasper announced that it had been a year since he was legally married (in New York):

Oh, yeah! Happy 1-year “legally married” anniversary to Naoyuki Saito! Luv ya bunches! (We still maintain that our “real” anniversary is March 1, 2003, the date of the great “tuxedo shop” date!)

Note the distinction between their legal anniversary and their “real” anniversary (or simply anniversary, with no modifier), dates that for same-sex couples can be far separated in time.

Mike Reaser followed up with a similar story, but putting a compact name to the occasion:

We’re similar – our [his and Bryon Elliott’s] Anniversary is May 25, 1994, while our Legalversary is July 25, 2007.


Christmas, sweet Christmas

October 30, 2012

(Not about language.)

A day away from Halloween, and already Christmas items arrive in the mail. Some of them are sticky-sweet and earnestly celebratory, and invite subversion. Here are six I tried to collage into submission some years ago in a protest against holiday sentimentality. They range from mildly critical (a composition about “women’s work”), through varying degrees of outrage and menace, to a Father Christmas as a child molester. (You’ve been warned; these are on the dark side.)


At the sign of the Z

October 30, 2012

Yesterday, lunch at Gordon Biersch with visiting friends Max and Ned (down from San Francisco to cheer me up and keep me company). Ned ordered the half turkey sandwich with a cup of soup, and this is how the sandwich and lobster bisque looked when they arrived:

Yes, the Sign of the Z (a crossed Z, even). More specifically, as Ned said, Zwicky Bisque. Or possibly, as Rod Williams suggested on Facebook, the mark of … Zorro! Maybe not as impressive as the Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary on a tortilla, but surely it means something, right?


razor tight

October 29, 2012

Yesterday on ADS-L, Gerald Cohen noted:

Today on “Meet the Press” David Gregory spoke of the polling in Ohio, with Obama and Romney each at 49 percent. And he described it as “razor tight”.  This is a blend in regard to the margin: “extremely tight” +  “razor thin”.

Now, Cohen is a scholar of syntactic blends, notably in his 1987 book, Syntactic Blends in English Parole, a substantial compendium of real-life examples, almost all of them inadvertent and quite plausibly resulting from a conflict in language production in which two contributors compete for a slot in planning, giving a hybrid expression with the first part of one contributor and the second part of the other (We will discuss this at some detail, combining …in some detail and …at some length); any particular example will likely be very rare, and the person who produced it will usually recognize the expression as not what they intended.

In addition, given a particular blend, it’s usually easy to see, in context, two (or at least a very few) specific candidates for each of the two contributors

But razor tight isn’t like this at all. It’s a horse of a very different color.


On cartoons

October 29, 2012

From The Essential Jack Ziegler (see here), editor Lee Lorenz speaking, four pages on the nature of cartoons, with examples of Ziegler alluding to comic strip characters (Superman, Mickey Mouse, the Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon, Archie):


Halloween Giants

October 29, 2012

As Halloween approaches, orange and black clothing becomes prominent — and purveyors of men’s underwear (as clothing and as porn) offer sale prices on season-appropriate gear. This morning, in e-mail from Undergear, after the teaser line “Are you a trick? Or are you a treat?” came:

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have taken the World Series, in an exciting four-game shutout (I watched them all), which has led to more orange and black underwear, in particular the Papi Giant Man Thong

… [by] Miami-based underwear makers Papi. Normally the banana hammock of choice for muscly, gay latino men, Papi is embracing its surprising entrance into the sports world and sent the Giants an entire package of the rally thong. (link)

In decidedly bright orange:


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