Antacid or online tv?

Yesterday’s Zippy, with Griffy and Zippy as seniors on an outing with their walkers:

Are those names antacids or online tv services? Take two Acorns and watch some prime-time Nexium.

We’ve been in X-or-Y-land before, in “Cheese or font?” and “Cheese or font: The sequel”, where we also visited “Gay or Eurotrash?”, “X Face or O-Face?”, and “Plant or Disease?” (coreopsis: plant or disease?, stenosis: plant or disease?). The first and last are about names, the other two about properties of a referent.

As I noted in the second of these postings, when we’re talking about properties of a referent, the answer “both” means that the referent has both properties: someone is both gay and Eurotrash (not at all unlikely), a facial expression signals both great emotional or physical involvement in some task and also sexual climax (unlikely but possible). But when we’re talking about a name, the answer “both” means that we’re looking at homophonous names: there is a cheese called Romano and also a font called Romano.

Back then I had no plant/disease examples exactly parallel to the cheese/font examples. I still don’t, but I can get close, and there’s a good reason for that, as I noted in my recent “Two medicinal plants” posting: thanks to the medieval doctrine of signatures, some plants are named after diseases — the plant scabious / Scabiosa and  the disease scabies, the plant Scrophularia and the disease scrofula.

Note added later: Bill Griffith is 71 years old.

Leave a Reply