Archive for February, 2013

dong

February 18, 2013

A follow-up to my posting on gay sex toys, specifically on the dong as a replica of a penis for anal sex play. A simple metaphorical transfer — but where does dong ‘penis’ come from?

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Commercial categories: gay sex toys

February 18, 2013

[TMI Warning: The following posting contains information, opinion, or reflection that some readers might find uncomfortably or unwelcomely personal, private, or intimate in topic or content: too much information, as the saying goes. As a general observation, I’m willing to go almost anywhere in my postings, including some places that some readers don’t want to go.]

A while ago I came across the section of the TLA Video on-line catalogue devoted to gay (male) sex toys, which is quite extensive. It’s organized as a taxonomy with two levels of categories, each level arranged (more or less) alphabetically by category label. From the content of the entries, it’s possible to discover some further structure in the system.

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Chocolates

February 17, 2013

(Some language content here, but mostly about my life.)

Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love, has become associated with chocolates (one of the foods of love), as well as flowers (especially red roses, the flowers of passionate love). February 14th is also my daughter’s birthday. This year, inspired by the realization that I have come to live in the Chocolate Gulch of Palo Alto, I decided (for the first time) to do chocolates for Elizabeth. It’s a nice story.

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rescue dog

February 17, 2013

Another note on the ambiguity of compound nouns, inspired by a story on the radio about a dog that performed a rescue, a rescue dog with dog functioning like the subject of the verb rescue — that is, with the dog as agent in the rescuing event. But then there’s rescue dog with dog functioning like the object of the verb rescue — that is, with the dog as patient in the rescuing event. Call these the “agent reading” and the “patient reading”, respectively. The agent reading goes back at least to 1901, but the patient reading is much more recent; the OED‘s first cite is from 1980.

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Abbreviation

February 16, 2013

Today’s Zits:

Here we have someone — Jeremy’s mother — coming into a new speech community and resisting accommodation. It wouldn’t take long for his mother the learn the abbreviations Jeremy regularly uses (probably not a great many, to judge from studies of these things).

 

Cosa Nostra Grammatica

February 16, 2013

Yesterday’s t-shirt (by lyonscc) offered on the Woot site:

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Crotch Rocket

February 16, 2013

… the title of a Titan Men “best of” compendium of scenes with pornstar Trenton Ducati (posted about on AZBlogX, with photos of Ducati in action). Phallic word play, but there’s more, since a crotch rocket is also a type of motorcycle.

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Fenwick

February 14, 2013

Today’s Zippy:

I can’t identify the diner, but the names are familiar: Bill Griffith finds -wick names intrinsically funny, and he’s not alone in this.

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Followers

February 14, 2013

WordPress tells me that I now have 100 “followers”, people who get notifications of each of my postings on this blog. Amazing, in a way, especially since only a few of these are friends or colleagues.While I have my dark moments in thinking about my net life, there are also gratifying moments. (That goes along with being a teacher.)

 

 

A word for it

February 14, 2013

Over on Facebook, Arne Adolfsen reported an entertaining semantic extension on Wonkette, in a story on a parody video showing a panda performing oral sex on (performing cunnilingus on, going down on, giving head to) Hillary Clinton:

Here at Wonket, we are pretty grateful for FreedomWorks. They’re like the snotty libertarian half-brother of grownup GOP PACs. Their notorious infighting devolved into a downright theater of the absurd when Dick Armey showed up WITH GUNS to remove top employees. Way to make office politics interesting, Dick! Speaking of interesting…ok, you know what? We’ve got no way to make this sound even more crazy than it actually is, so we’ll just dive in and tell you about the FreedomWorks parody video featuring a panda fellating Hillary Clinton

That’s fellate, extended to use for direct objects referring to women as well as men; that is, it takes on the sex-neutral syntax of perform oral sex ongo down on, and give head to. And it has the advantage of brevity: it’s a single word rather than a phrasal lexical item.

It turns out that, as several commenters on Facebook noted, English already has (in some sense of have) a one-word verb for this purpose: gamahuche. But hardly anyone knows it, and no one uses it these days; it comes with the whiff of the 19th century.

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