Archive for May, 2013


May 28, 2013

From the Falcon Studios description of the gay porn flick The Guys Next Door:

The grunts and groans [of sex] louden, calling Marcus [Mojo] and Johnny [Torque] back to the scene [an orgy in progress].

That’s inchoative louden ‘become loud, become louder’. It struck me as unidiomatic; despite the parallel with soften, I would have written got loud(er). But it turns out that virtually every dictionary I looked at has it. The OED has the intransitive — inchoative — use from the mid-19th century on, but only one cite (from 1898) for the transitive — causative — use, which it marks as rare.

The inchoative or causative suffix –en is in fact extremely restricted in English — not productive, and limited to only a few sorts of base words: monosyllables ending in obstruents, from the Anglo-Saxon (rather than Latinate) stratum of the vocabulary. Even then, not all eligible bases allow derivatives in this –en; hotten is not attested (heat (up) serves this purpose), and colden is attested but marked by the OED as rare (cool and chill serve this purpose, or better, get cold(er)), and modern speakers reject it. For me, louden is like colden.



May 27, 2013

Caught in the NYT Science Times of 4/30/13 (p. 2), in a note by Jennifer A. Kingston on “Animals Aloft”:

One alluring detail: NASA scientists will be studying sperm motiity in the spacefaring mice to try to figure out if humans could successfully procreate on a long space voyage.

It’s the adjective spacefaring: instantly understandable (based on seafaring — another case of terminology from sea travel extended metaphorically to air or space travel), but not a usage I recall having seen before. However, there’s a Wikipedia article on it, and the OED tells me that it’s been around about as long as I have.


Links to AZBlogX

May 27, 2013

Postings on AZBlogX on gay porn (in addition to postings on Adam Killian, Dale Cooper, the Bare Boys, and Memorial Day sales, which have been linked to in earlier postings):

5/11/13 Titan Rough (link): an ad for the kink/fetish line of films from TitanMen, showing three pornstars (one of whom I haven’t identified) displaying themselves

5/26/13 Throb (link): montage for the Falcon flick Throb, focused on footwear and bottoming, among other things

The usual warning: not for the kiddies or the sexually modest. Naked guys with hard-ons, lots of gay sex.



raw sex

May 27, 2013

(Adult content, but no X-rated images.)

A sale from porn purveyor GameLink offering their “most viewed [gay] movies” (for on-line viewing):

Bareback Boyfriends (Raw Reality)
Hairy Bare Loads (Hairy and Raw)
Drink the Jizz, Teen-Whore! (Bareback Boys)
Nacho Vidal’s Ass Destroyers
Hairy and Raw #2 (Hairy and Raw)
Twinks Swallow Anthology (Eboys)

No subtlety here; these are crudely named flicks, outside of the tradition of playfully titled porn films. And four of them have bare, bareback, or raw in their titles or in the name of their makers. Bare is short for bareback, and raw here means ‘bareback’. It turns out that the Nacho Vidal item is nothing but barebacking as well, so only Twinks Swallow offers something other than raw sex.



May 27, 2013

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse:


In everyday dealings, we tend to judge the stages of life by physical and behavioral signs, and the categorization is somewhat fuzzy, but for legal and administrative purposes, crisp categorizations are necessary, and chronological age provides the basis for them — however irrational it might seem to label someone as a child one day and an adult the next.

In this case, Jon Rosenberg is remarking not only on that irrationality, but also (as his comments on the strip make clear) on the bizarreness of treating gay adults (however adult is defined) as unsafe or untrustworthy in a way that gay kids are not. (I note further that the onset of puberty comes well before the age of 18.)


Word avalanche

May 26, 2013

Today’s Pearls Before Swine, with a type of language play I have no ready name for:

(The human in the last panel is the cartoonist, Stephan Pastis. And Rat’s question is rhetorical, conveying ‘the word shame means nothing to you’.)

In this form, you pile up phonologically identical words or parts of words to make a gigantic expression that is almost impossible to parse (without the context that sets up the expression): pen the writing implement, the pen– of penultimate, Sean Penn the actor, and Penn the university; the ultimate ‘final’ of penultimate, ultimate ‘very best’, and the ultimate of Ultimate Frisbee. (On penultimate, ultimate, etc, see this posting.) The effect of the set-up is to license what sounds like a massive attack of stuttering.

Gnome puns

May 26, 2013

Following on my posting on gnomes at the Chelsea Flower Show, Andy Rogers remarked on Facebook that he had a garden Noam, and I recalled two Language Log postings from 2010 on gnome puns: one on Gnome Chomsky the Garden Noam (on the Just Say Gnome site); and one on Gnomeland Security (from several sources). But wait, there’s more.


Possessive ambiguity

May 25, 2013

Today’s Pearls Before Swine:

The -‘s possessive is multiply ambiguous, and that ambiguity can be exploited for language play. A few days ago, I posted about the greeting card caption “Here’s your dick in a card” (#3), turning on your dick ‘a/the dick for you’ vs. ‘the dick that belongs to you’. Now we have the the cat’s meow (idiomatic) ‘something/someone excellent’ vs. the (unlikely but possible) compositional ‘the meow that belongs to the cat’ (or possibly ‘the meow for the cat’, also compositional).

Bill is both the cat’s meow and the dog’s ruff.

Departments: Amazing food

May 25, 2013

Two finds: the pizza smoothie, discovered in today’s Zits


— and cockolate (yes, more chocolate penises), especially in the form of Cockolate Pops.


Departments: There’ll always be an England

May 25, 2013

In the NYT on the 21st, this entertaining story by Sarah Lyall: “Common Gnomes Pop Up at Rarefied Flower Show, to Horror of Many”, where it is reported that:

it was not surprising that the staid Royal Horticultural Society‘s decision to allow garden gnomes — creatures commonly associated with the landscapes of the unrich, the unfamous and the untasteful — at the Chelsea Flower Show this year elicited a variety of responses.

… Gnomes, which are called “brightly colored mythical creatures” in the handbook governing the show, are not really part of the Chelsea aesthetic. (Nor are balloons, flags, “feather flags,” or “any item which, in the opinion of the society, detracts from the presentation of the plants or products on display,” the handbook reads.)

Four topics come up in the article: social class in the UK; the two words gnome (and gnomic etc).; conversion of proper names to count nouns; and playful gnome-related morphology.