Archive for February, 2013

easier fed than understood

February 28, 2013

From the Ball Park brand, the latest in a ad campaign going back a year, this time for Ball Park Beef Patties, in the “sofa commercial”:

“Men: easier fed than understood” is the theme of the campaign. Two issues: the truncated construction in the slogan, and the gender attitudes behind the slogan.



February 27, 2013

Commenter Nightflower takes objection to my use of the term abuse in my posting on fetish / kink:

I take issue with your use of the word “abuse” in this context. One very significant difference between BDSM/kink/fetish play and genuine abuse is the presence or absence of consent.

There’s the linguistic issue: despite the fact that my very brief AZBlog link referred to “(ritualized) abuse”, Nightflower takes the position that the word means what he uses it to mean, distinguishing between “genuine abuse” and BDSM practices he doesn’t use the word abuse for. He’s claiming that his technical use, within his community of practice (linguistic and sexual), is the “true” one.


Kristen Bjorn

February 26, 2013

Over on AZBlogX, a piece on porn photographer Kristen Bjorn, with a special appreciation of his 1989 flick Carnaval in Rio. You have been warned.


Fetish/kink porn

February 25, 2013

On AZBlogX, a piece on this topic, taking off on a new porn flick entitled Hoodies. Focusing on muscle impact play and (ritualized) abuse. You’ve been warned.


Jim French / Rip Colt

February 24, 2013

On AZBlogX, a longish piece on the master of erotic physique photography, Jim French / Rip Colt, with plenty of illustrations. And with more reflections on the line between art and porn. But note the X warning.

Mondegreen stuff

February 23, 2013

Yesterday’s A.Word.A.Day was our old friend mondegreen:


noun: A word or phrase resulting from mishearing a word or phrase, especially in song lyrics. For example:

“The girl with colitis goes by” for “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes” in the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”.


Coined by author Sylvia Wright when she misinterpreted the line “laid him on the green” as “Lady Mondegreen” in the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl of Murray”. Earliest documented use: 1954.


“Since I live in Thailand, the most meaningful mondegreen for me was my own mishearing of a line from The Jam’s Eton Rifles. Instead of the correct ‘What chance do you have against a tie and a crest?’, for years I heard ‘What chance do you have against a Thai in a dress?'” (Richard Watson Todd, Much Ado about English, 2007).


Doing the Zwicky

February 23, 2013

By accident, I stumbled on this Urban Dictionary entry this morning:

758. the-Zwicky: A sexual maneuver where you are getting blown, and as you are about to cum, pull out, stick your dick in her ear and jiz. When she screams, you quickly haul back and dick slap her across the forehead to shut her up.

“Dude, I pulled the Zwicky on a chick last night, and now she’s got an ear infection (by Zwicks Aug 31, 2004)

Clearly a made-up gross-out entry by someone named Zwick or Zwicky. There are four other equally unpleasant entries contributed by this guy.

For the record, I disassociate myself from any such sexual practice, with woman, man, or beast.


Dario Beck

February 22, 2013

Just a link to AZBlogX, where there’s a posting about pornstar Dario Beck and about anal intercourse. You’ve been warned,

Spouse vocabulary

February 21, 2013

The AP Stylebook, which I often mock for its attention to entirely inconsequential details and its belief that it could legislate these details for writers all over the US, sometimes takes on somewhat weightier matters. Today, a revision:

husband, wife: Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.

This is nicely nuanced in one way: it says that husband and wife are acceptable, but doesn’t require those usages, offering alternatives. On the other hand, it assumes (without mentioning it) that husband and wife will be used with appropriate sex reference (husband for a man, wife for a woman), rather than by role reference (husband for the more dominant partner, wife for the more submissive partner, leaving a lot of room for deciding on what constitutes dominance/submission).



February 21, 2013

Commenting on my posting on The Simpsons, Doug Wyman says in e-mail:

I just read your blog on the Simpsons and words.  I notice that the 10 words in the referenced blog contain diddly.  Now I *know* diddly can’t have been originated in the Simpsons since we used it as children.  Often it was diddly squat as in nothing but often just used alone as an indication of nothing or non-consequence.

Now I wonder when it really got started as a word.

This issue comes up repeatedly. In an effort to avoid unnecessary technicality, I generally use the word word when the appropriate term is in fact lexeme (or lexical item). But that can sow confusion, since non-linguists generally use word to refer merely to physical substance — pronunciation and/or spelling — while a lexeme is a pairing of physical substance with meaning. There are several distinct lexemes pronounced /pɛn/ and spelled PEN; at least two distinct lexemes pronounced /tu/ and spelled TO (a preposition and the infinitive marker); and so on. So the crucial question is what /dɪdli/ DIDDLY *means* in the Simpsons context.