Archive for the ‘Abbreviation’ Category

Morning names for the new year

January 1, 2017

Two morning names for today, totally unrelated to one another: the nickname Ozzie or Ozzy; and the adjective puerperal.

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Mac Daddy Santa

December 23, 2016

Exciting interest in the Twitterverse at the moment, this holiday tweet from Tiger Woods (the real Tiger Woods) yesterday:

Xmas tradition that my kids love. Mac Daddy Santa is back! –TW

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and the art horse you rode in on

December 23, 2016

… cursed Zippy, Swiftly. Yesterday’s Zippy strip:

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The text commits three art-themed Tom Swifties in succession: the horse drawings are, in turn, clunky, awkward, and cubistic.

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NPO

December 9, 2016

Yes, an abbreviation. No, not short for non-profit organization in this case, though it sometimes is. It appeared in instructions from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, about preparations for being ultrasounded yesterday:

“NPO (nothing to eat or drink) 6 hours prior to exam.

The left quotation mark was presumably supposed to be matched by a right one, after NPO or after the parenthesis. The real question is why the PAMF staff thought they should use NPO at all. From Wikipedia:

Nothing by mouth is a medical instruction meaning to withhold food and fluids from a person for various reasons. It is also known as nil per os (npo or NPO), a Latin phrase whose English translation is most literally, “nothing through the mouth”.

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Alphabet soup

September 1, 2016

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Here on AZBlog, we’re on the case, in the 1/23/11 posting “The alphabet soup of sexuality and gender” and the 2/11/11 posting “SemFest 12!” (a paper with the title: “Categories and Labels: LGBPPTQQQEIOAAAF2/SGL …”).

 

Ballad of beef

May 25, 2016

(Not much about language.)

The Daily Jocks ad from yesterday, with a caption of mine:

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His name was
Drogo, after the legendary
Horseman, but everyone called him
Oxo, because he was so
Beefy.

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Monkey puzzle tree

September 25, 2015

In my posting on the N + N compound monkey bread, referring to a sweet breadstuff whose relationship to monkeys is not at all obvious, I noted that some have suggested a connection to the monkey puzzle tree, since the bread is sometimes called monkey puzzle bread: perhaps the connection involves a perceived similarity between the bread and the fruit of the tree. That sent me looking for information about the tree, which I became acquainted with in England many years ago. Though I don’t see much resemblance between the bread and the fruit of the tree, the tree is fascinating in its own right, and its name presents another origins problem — what does the tree have to do with monkeys and puzzles? — but one whose (again, not at all obvious) answer seems to be known. In any case, worth posting about.

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Amber 2

September 21, 2015

Following up on my posting on succinic acid (which led to some discussion of the substance amber), two amber items: a musical interlude, and material about senses of the noun amber.

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Kraken! And GEICO!

August 23, 2015

This recent tv ad for GEICO entertained me enormously:

A description, from the iSpot.tv site:

At a golf tournament, a golfer prepares to make a shot over the water. Just before he goes to swing, a kraken emerges from the water and grabs the golfer and his caddy, swinging them around with its tentacles. While all this is happening, the golf commentators continue quietly narrating the event. When you’re a golf commentator, you whisper — It’s what you do. If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to GEICO.

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Now, some notes: on the Kraken, and on GEICO and the”It’s What You Do” ads.

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Coordinate initialisms

August 6, 2015

It started with an ADS-L posting by Benjamin Barrett about the initialism T&A, which (he learned) abbreviates tits and ass but can also denote (from a Wiktionary entry) “scantily-clad women, or entertainment featuring scantily clad women” (that is, a display of tits and ass).

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[The T & A Team is a classic porn film from 1984, with the slogan “Using Their T & A to Make the World a Better Place!”. It’s a take-off on the tv series The A-Team (1983-87).]

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