Archive for December, 2014


December 31, 2014

From the December/January issue of Details magazine, in “The Wonderful, Wordless World of Emojis ;-): Navigating the complex and subtle intricacies of the digital language du jour” by Bret Begun, Laura Bolt, and Jon Roth:

Begrudgingly, but inevitably, we’ve let emojis infiltrate our lives. And while communicating with them doesn’t always feel right or good, omg, they’re so addicting. We furiously thumb our favorites to friends and those we hope to be more than friends with. At this point, if you don’t use them, you’re being purposefully pretentious, like the kind of person who brags about abstaining from Facebook.

Call me purposefully pretentious, but I’m not fond of emojis, though I’m offered a broad choice of them all the time.


No problem

December 31, 2014

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

Mother Goose objects to (what she sees as) an innovation in politeness routines, seeing it as recent (and characteristic of kids) and especially associated with serving people. These criticisms has been leveled by many others.


Verbing the Second Amendment

December 31, 2014

On ADS-L, a report from Wilson Gray of a headline

Gun-Nut 2nd-Amendments Wife to Death

(The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the “right to bear arms” amendment.)

I didn’t find Wilson’s source, but I did find something similar (by searching under “gun-nut second-amendments”), in this comment from John Clifford on Facebook about a story “One Policeman Dead, One Injured In Barracks Shooting”, here:

I get the whole laughing when a douchebag gun nut second amendments himself but a person being murdered while trying to do their job to protect us is never funny.

Meanwhile, Ben Zimmer linked on ADS-L to Nancy Friedman’s nominations for the ADS 2014 Words of the Year, with two more cites.


Mastering a style

December 31, 2014

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes, in which Calvin shows his mastery of tabloid headline writing:

Calvin’s doing well on the headline register (simple present tense for reporting events, omission of articles) used with other stylistic features (lexical choices in ichthyoidgrim melee, devours) and a breathless framing of the report, to reproduce the genre of tabloid headlines.

Tall guys

December 31, 2014

(About gender rather than language.) Today’s Dilbert:

Meanwhile, collected in real life at a local restaurant yesterday, one Silicon Valley tech guy to another, veering briefly from Valley Talk to personal matters:

Chicks dig tall guys.

In another context, this could have been framed as

Guys dig short chicks.

On height, there’s a strong tendency towards dissortative mating, the socially ideal pair having a man taller than his female partner.



December 30, 2014

Briefly noted. On the NYT op-ed page today, Daniel Engber counseling “Quit Whining About Your Sick Colleague”, with this along the way:

Those who whine about their ailing colleagues sometimes cite another field of research, that of business economics. It’s said that sick people in the workplace — so-called presentees, not to be confused with sick absentees, who don’t come in to the office — cost the economy at least $60 billion every year.

Presentee in this sense (‘(sick) people who come to work’) was (I think) new to me. But in discussions of staffing it’s obviously useful.



December 30, 2014

Two things come together. Today is probably the coldest day of the year locally: just above freezing in the morning, only into the 50s (F.) in the afternoon, so thoughts of warm comfort food are not far away: mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, and so on. And then the December/January Details has a feature (p. 36) on trendy versions of pot pie (or pot-pie or potpie, as you will). So it’s pot pie day.


Missing man

December 30, 2014

From Emily Rizzo in sunny Florida, an especially nice error from the website of television station WWSB. It started with this report:

Manatee County, Fla. — The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a missing and endangered elderly man.

According to reports, around 7 a.m. on December 27, Wendell L. Dain got into his 2007 light green Toyota Rav4 and drove away in an unknown direction of travel.

Family members believe that he took a gun with him and they believe that he is on his way to Nevada. They were planning on moving there to be closer to family.

and then the resolution in an update on December 27th:

Missing Manatee County found in Arizona

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Dain has been located in Phoenix, Arizona, and is doing okay.

The notable point is the update headline. And what’s so nice is that a head about a missing man is missing the word man.



December 30, 2014

Yesterday I posted a “starving artist” cartoon featuring Frosty the Snowman, but wasn’t able to identify the artist. This morning’s advance was that Larry Schourup found a copy with the artist’s signature not cropped off — but he couldn’t read the signature! I’ve managed to decode it: Chad Carpenter, of the strip Tundra. Snowmen are one of his specialties.



December 29, 2014

Another dish from Reposado in Palo Alto:

Housemade blue corn crepes filled with fresh crab, shrimp & red snapper, asadero cheese, poblano cream sauce, jasmine rice with roasted corn

on the menu; also known as enchiladas con mariscos: