Hairy ice

Today’s Bizarro turns on an ambiguity in the verb shave:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip — see this Page.)

On to the ambiguity…

From NOAD:

verb shave: 1 [a] [no object] cut the hair off one’s face with a razor: he washed, shaved, and had breakfast. [b] [with object] cut the hair off (a part of the body) with a razor: she shaved her legs. [c] [with object] cut the hair off the face or another part of the body of (someone) with a razor: the barber shaves customers with a traditional cut-throat razor. [d] cut (hair) off with a razor: professional male swimmers shave off their body hair. 2 [with object] [a] cut (a thin slice or slices) from the surface of something: scrape a large sharp knife across the surface, shaving off rolls of very fine chocolate. [b] remove (a small amount) from something: she shaved 0.5 seconds off the record. [c] reduce by a small amount: they shaved profit margins.

The two big sense-groups here share the use of sharp knives, but in two different ways: in the first group, to remove hair from a bodypart (so that the opposite of a shaved bodypart is a hairy bodypart); in the second, to remove small slices from some substance.

Shaved ice. A specialized use of the second sense has been conventionalized in this food name (which figures centrally in #1). From Wikipedia:

(#2) Unique flavor combinations from the Shaved Ice Bar in Estero FL (near Ft. Myers)

Shaved ice is a large family of ice-based dessert made of fine shavings of ice or finely crushed ice and sweet condiments or syrups. Usually, the syrup is added after the ice has been frozen and shaved — typically at the point of sale. However, flavoring can also be added before freezing. The dessert is consumed worldwide in various forms and manners. Shaved ice can also be mixed with large quantities of liquid to produce shaved ice drinks.

Many shaved ices are confused with “Italian ice”, called “granita”. Italian ice, also known as “water ice”, has the flavoring (fruit juice or other ingredients, like almond) incorporated into the sugared water before it is frozen. Shaved ice — especially highly commercial shaved ice (such as that found in food chains or from street vendors) — is often flavored after the ice has been frozen and shaved. Snow cones are an example of shaved ice that is flavored after production.

The world of frozen water confections is obviously large and complex. Two previous postings on this blog about some of these complications:

on 9/27/14 in “Slush Puppies”

on 6/9/19 in “Lemon is the vanilla of Italian ices”


4 Responses to “Hairy ice”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip

    Interesting. I read the strip in the print edition of the Boston Globe, where the background (on Sunday, at least) tends to be rather darker than it appears above, and it was with some difficulty that I deciphered the symbol count, eventually deciding that it was 11. I could only find 10. I wonder if the online and print versions are actually different.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      I had tremendous difficulty reading the count, but it did seem clear to me that it was a one-digit number; even using a magnifying glass, I wasn’t entirely sure whether it was 8 or 6. I went for the larger number because it seemed to me that there were an awful lot of his symbols strewn about. That’s the best I can do. (The alternative would have been not to post the strip at all if I couldn’t be sure, and I don’t think I’m ever going to be sure. This wasn’t a Wayno collaboration, so I couldn’t ask him, and in my experience Dan Piraro has no time or tolerance for academics, and why should he?)

      • RF Says:

        On the high res version on comicskingdom, it’s decipherable as an 11. I believe the 11 are: loafer, dynamite, eye, rabbit, UFO, pie, bird, crown, fish, Olive Oyl, and K2 (the hardest to find, especially in lower resolution).

      • Robert Coren Says:

        The K2 was the one I couldn’t find.

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