Archive for October, 2018

The Warren Cowgill student fellowship

October 16, 2018

Press release on the 2nd from the Linguistic Society of America, “New Diversity Fellowship Established in Honor of Warren Cowgill”, beginning:

The LSA is delighted to announce that the family of deceased (1985) LSA member Warren Cowgill (Yale University) has established a new endowment to support a student fellowship serving historically under-represented scholars wishing to attend the LSA’s Linguistic Institute.

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Piñata under the gun

October 15, 2018

(Bonus content: a news bulletin for penises, with two items.)

Today’s Wayno/Piraro combo:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

Simultaneously a boy about to bash a rainbow donkey piñata with a bat — a baseball bat, rather than the usual  piñata-specific stick or bat (illustrated below) — and a military officer about to execute a prisoner by firing squad. So both in the everyday world and in a metaphorical world systematically mapped onto the everyday world.

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Fables of the trees

October 15, 2018

It began with this poignant texty on Facebook:

(#1)

Voting as part of the story marks this as a recent version, and the shrinking forest (possibly an allusion to deforestation) might be recent as well. But the main idea — that the trees accepted the axe because its handle was wood and they thought it was one of them — feels antique, fabulesque. And so it is.

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Variationist sociolinguistics: NWAV 47

October 14, 2018

Coming in a few days (October 18th-21st), NWAV 47 at NYU:

Already noted on this blog, in my 10/2 posting “The Rickford plenary address”, with the abstract for my Stanford colleague John Rickford’s plenary address (on the 20th), “Class and Race in the Analysis of Language Variation and the Struggle for Social Justice: Sankofa”. To come below, the abstract for the other plenary address (on the 18th), “The Systematicity of Emergent Meaning” by Erez Levon (Queen Mary University of London); and details about a virtual Issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, “Innovations in Variationist Sociolinguistics” (ed. by Levon & Natalie Schilling), assembled on the occasion of the conference.

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Chic peas and more

October 13, 2018

The fall special at Dan Gordon’s (on Emerson St. in Palo Alto), as it first appeared on the menu, about a month ago:

Summer Stew $16.95
smoked pork / cippolini onions / chic peas / prunes / red rice

(with the very notable spelling chic peas and with the misspelling cippolini for cipollini). But now the ingredients list reads:

smoked pork / cippolini onions / chickpeas / dehydrated plums / red rice

(with the notable dehydrated plums). Actually, all four ingredients have linguistic interest.

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Two word confusion cartoons

October 13, 2018

The One Big Happy in today’s feed (from 9/16) and the Zippy for today: Nat the name (short for Nathaniel) vs. gnat the insect, both /næt/; and Superfund (‘ a US federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of toxic wastes’ (NOAD)) vs. superfun (‘great fun’, with the prefix super– ‘great, large’), with /fʌnd/ vs. /fʌn/, but usually leveled to the latter via final t/d-deletion before a word beginning with a consonant (here, before the word site):

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Contractualism, the sitcom!

October 11, 2018

From the most recent NYT Magazine (in print 10/7, on-line 10/4), “The Ultimate Sitcom” by Sam Anderson, about Michael Schur’s sitcom “The Good Place”:


(#1) Ted Danson and Kristen Bell

 “The Good Place” is not about philosophy in the way that “The Big Bang Theory” is about science — as a set of clichés to tap for silly jokes. A sitcom is not a grad school seminar, obviously, so the philosophy is highly abridged. But it is not insubstantial, and philosophical ideas actually determine and shape the plot.

I had been tangentially aware of the show (from its availability on Netflix), but didn’t appreciate its premise or its grounding in actual philosophy — a very specific brand of philosophy, as it turns out.

As embodied in a specific book.

By — moment of sheer astonishment — one of my oldest friends.

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Figgy clamshells

October 9, 2018

Precious black figs, in a plastic clamshell box with a separate teardrop compartment for each fig:


(#1) 7 of 12, in their figgy clamshell

(The figs were dead ripe, and delicious.)

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Fruit bars

October 9, 2018

No, no gay content, just food, not places, starting with (baked) lemon bars featured in the latest Pinterest mailing I got:

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With a brief digression to frozen fruit bars, this will take us to apricot bars (as baked by Monique Serpette Transue) and other cookie-like finger foods based on dried fruits (something of a challenge for taxonomists of food).

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Nomenclature as destiny

October 9, 2018

A Scott Hilburn cartoon from 4/24/18:

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As they are called, so shall they serve. So says the law.

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