Archive for April, 2014

On the racism watch

April 30, 2014

The current flurries over Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling are rich veins of overt and coded racist language, explored at great length in the news. That provides me with an opening to post today’s Scenes From a Multiverse, entitled “Racism 2.0” (you’ll notice that I’ve been experiencing an avalanche of recent cartoons of linguistic interest; sometimes they come in clumps or waves):

And the Hispanics / Latinos. And the Arabs / Muslims. And…

Go with the flow

April 30, 2014

Yesterday’s Partially Clips (hat tip to David Craig):

I can’t say that I appreciate the details of Zener diodes, but conventional diodes allow the (electrical) current to flow in only one direction, hence the pun (involving water currents).

The use of current for talking about a phenomenon of electricity is, of course, a metaphorical extension of the water flow term.

Implicit content

April 30, 2014

Today’s Zits:

Jeremy’s parents don’t say this, but they intend to convey (something like) ‘…sit down and eat with us‘ and …pull up a chair at the table‘, but Jeremy chooses to disregard this possibility and pulls up a chair in front of the open refrigerator, so he can browse the food there.

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The St. Francis

April 30, 2014

Not the hotel or the yacht club or the hospital in San Francisco (or the high school in Mountain View or the winery in Sonoma), but the St. Francis Fountain, as celebrated in today’s Zippy:

  (#1)

From its website:

San Francisco’s Oldest Ice Cream Parlor: St. Francis Fountain, home of hearty breakfasts, top-rated hamburgers, and classic soda fountain desserts, 2801 24th St. [hence the title of the strip], San Francisco (since 1918)

Meanwhile, Zippy riffs on “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”.

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A comma, doctor!

April 29, 2014

From a letter to the editor (written 4/24) in the NYT today, from Peter Balakian (a professor of the humanities at Colgate University) of Hamilton NY, on “Turks and Armenians” (the crucial piece is boldfaced):

… For Turkey to deal with this history in an ethical way, it must acknowledge the consensus on the historical record that is detailed in the open letter from the International Association of Genocide Scholars to Prime Minister Erdogan in June 2005.

The association notes that the intended mass killing of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government constitutes genocide in every aspect of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention. It also notes that Raphael Lemkin, a legal scholar, was the first to apply the term “genocide” to the extermination of the Armenians, in the 1940s

This says that Lemkin was the first to use the term for the extermination of the Armenians and suggests that it had been used previously for other exterminations: the PP to the extermination of the Armenians is functioning as a restrictive modifier of the VP apply the term “genocide”. But that’s almost surely not what Balakian intended; certainly, it’s not what he should have intended, since the OED tells us that Lemkin’s use of “genocide” is in fact the first recorded use of the term.

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jerk-off

April 29, 2014

From several sources recently, reports of the Great Northern Jerk-Off. No, nothing to do with masturbation; jerk-off here refers to a competition — like bake-off, a competition in food. (more…)

Dingburg bubbles

April 29, 2014

Today’s Zippy:

(#1)

Fleer’s product was pink (hence the strip’s title, “In the pink”), apparently because that was the only coloring the inventor had on hand.

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Zippy on sleep, and more

April 28, 2014

Today’s Zippy (more or less about sleep), with a rich collection of references and allusions:

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Some cultural references, another diner, and (via the diner) country ham and beaten biscuit (“Food, Glorious Food”).

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Two cartoons from yesterday

April 28, 2014

From yesterday, a Luann passed on by David Craig on Facebook, and a Basic Instructions passed on by Scott  Meyer, also  on Facebook:

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(#2)

On the wording of ads, and on aggressive humor (in this case, knock-knock jokes).

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Background knowledge

April 27, 2014

On April 25th, on ADS-L, from Pat O’Conner (of Grammarphobia.com), under the heading “A crash blossom for the ages”:

Dare you to decipher this one, from Reuters (London) on April 16th:

“Stuttering Man City Held by Bottom Side Sunderland”

Pat translates:

“Man City” is Manchester City, a football (soccer) team (or “side”). Sunderland is another; it plays in the lowest league (“bottom”).

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