Archive for January, 2018

Another reversed Exchange verb

January 31, 2018

My posting yesterday on reversed substitute (one in a series on the phenomenon) moved Mike Pope to ask me about another Exchange verb, swap. I seem not to have posted here about this particular verb, but I did take part in, um, exchanges on swap on ADS-L back in 2005. The trigger was a 1/17/05 posting “”swap”: inversion of meaning” by Jon Lighter:

This is much like the odd shift in the meaning of “substitute” commented upon some weeks ago [that would be reversed substitute]:

“New dietary guidelines coming out Wednesday are expected to place more emphasis on counting calories and exercising daily, along with swapping whole grains for refined ones and eating a lot more vegetables and fruits.” — Gov’t: Calories, Not Carbs, Make You Fat (AP) January 12, 2005

This says to me (nonsensically) that if you’re eating whole grains now, you should switch to refined ones.

The news story quote has swap NEW for OLD, but Lighter expects swap to have the argument structure swap OLD for NEW. And OLD for NEW in fact is the argument structure in NOAD‘s entry for swap.

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Andrea Zwicky

January 30, 2018

From Google Alerts, a brief mention of the actor Andrea Zwicky, from her extremely brief entry in IMDb:

Andrea Zwicky is an actress, known for Scotchend (2016).

That’s it. No age, nationality, picture, whatever. But there’s the link to Scotchend. And there’s the net. From which we discover that she’s yet another Germanophone Swiss Zwicky.

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Zippy returns to Cranston RI

January 30, 2018

… in today’s Zippy strip:

(#1)

Not a wine emporium, but a diner specializing in RI-style hot dogs. And it’s been featured in Zippy at least twice before.

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Nominalized reversed substitute

January 29, 2018

From the annals of reversed substitute,

substitute OLD for NEW ‘replace OLD by NEW’

a fresh example noticed by Betty Birner, sent to Larry Horn, David Denison, and me in e-mail on the 25th:

From Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury”, pp. 84-5:

“He had lived in the same home, a vast space in [REDACTED] Tower, since shortly after the building was completed in 1983.  Every morning since, he had made the same commute to his office a few floors down.  His corner office was a time capsule from the 1980s, the same gold-lined mirrors, the same Time magazine covers fading on the wall; the only substantial change was the substitution of Joe Namath’s football for Tom Brady’s.”

I don’t know much about football, but I’m pretty certain this means “Namath out, Brady in.”

The example has several features of note, but especially its nominalized form: substitution of OLD for NEW. This is of course exactly what you’d expect from speakers for whom reversed substitute is perfectly normal, but I didn’t have such an example in my files.

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Art news from my neighborhood

January 29, 2018

At the Palo Alto outpost of the Pace Gallery (229 Hamilton Ave., about two blocks from my house), this remarkable construction by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, in his “Trans-Figure” exhibition there (1/18-2/25):

One of Nawa’s many Pix-Cell, PixCell, or Pixel figures, in this case a taxidermy deer covered with large glass beads.

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Adventures in cataloguing: the muscular finger action figure

January 28, 2018

From the public Facebook Group “Troublesome Catalogers and Magical Metadata Fairies (A place for catalogers, metadata librarians, and those who admire them. Grab your wands and raise some Hell.)”, a January 25th posting by Joshua Barton:

(#1) Barton: “Today’s cataloging adventure. Wish me luck!”

It’s a finger. It’s a phallus. It’s a finger and a phallus.

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Four more recent cartoons

January 28, 2018

Four cartoons yesterday that present interesting challenges in understanding. Now a mixed set of four more — a Zits, a Zippy, a One Big Happy, and a Dilbert — that have accumulated in my posting queue.

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Four exercises in cartoon understanding

January 27, 2018

Two from the January 29th New Yorker, a recent Bizarro, and yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, all requiring considerable background knowledge to understand:

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This week’s stellar typo

January 24, 2018

(Passing references to various sexual practices, so you might want to use your judgment.)

Today’s mail labeled [SPAM:#####]:

(#1)

The ad copy is seriously non-native English, so liquid pears for liquid pearls is an unsurprising typo, though the image of a man ejaculating liquid pears — pear brandy (Poire William(s)), for instance), pear liqueur, or pear cider — has a certain kinky charm to it.

The text in the video is clean, idiomatic English, right down to liquid pearls ‘semen’.

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Gay men and straight women

January 24, 2018

A piece of research that’s gotten something of a run in the media, now officially out in the journal Psychological Research:

“Women Interact More Comfortably and Intimately With Gay Men — But Not Straight Men — After Learning Their Sexual Orientation”, by Eric M. Russell, William Ickes, & Vivian P. Ta, first published on-line 1/8/18

The research adds some depth and twists to the topic of close friendships between gay men and straight women.

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