On the portmanteau beat

Today’s Zippy:

A complex portmanteau in the last panel: marshmallegro has all of marshmallow and all of allegro in it (thus combining the otherwise disparate marshmallow-toasting and musical-tempo themes), but the shared material — /ælo/ — is discontinuous, first /æl/ in the middle of the portmanteau, then /o/ at the end. (The portmanteau is also prosodically pleasing: a double trochee, S W / S W, which could easily be set to music.)

And then there’s the pun in the title Mallow’s Seventh, again combining the two themes, via an allusion to composer Gustav Mahler, whose Symphony No. 7 is sometimes referred to (though not by Mahler) as Lied der Nacht (Song of the Night).

It’s been a week of complex portmanteaus: yesterday it was the doggy labradabrador (a double dactyl).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: