Archive for the ‘Initialisms’ Category

Frequently asked questions

January 31, 2021

A Roz Chast cartoon in the latest (2/1/21) New Yorker:

Questions asked often enough that they border on clichés. They’re frequently asked questions — but they’re not Frequently Asked Questions, Frequently Asked Questions being an idiomatic expression usually reduced to an alphabetic abbreviation, the noun FAQ.

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What question are you asking?

December 20, 2020

The 11/27 One Big Happy strip, which came up in my comics feed recently:

The father’s question, asking for a choice, appears to be an opinion-seeking question, of a sort that adults often exchange amongst one another to make pleasant small talk or as a kind of game. But note the father’s open laptop: the opinion-seeking question is being used here as a form of test question, in which the kids are supposed to display their knowledge of culturally significant people. And the kids are perfectly aware that the exercise is some kind of test.

There is, unfortunately, another variable here: the father’s question offers choices at two points: what person (that’s the question he’s intending to ask) and living or dead (which the father intends to be clarifying the range of persons that could be possible answers, but which the kids take to be the question at issue.

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Caterpillars spinning platters

August 5, 2020

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with songs you just can’t get out of your head:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

A wonderful collision of worlds, set off by the idiomatic (and colorfully metaphorical) N + N compound earworm: the world of DJs — the ear world (disc jockeys providing sonic pleasures for the ear) — and the world of caterpillars — the worm world (caterpillars being one type of worm in colloquial English).

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For Alan Turing

June 23, 2020

On the occasion of Alan Turing’s birthday today, this release from NPL:

1912 – 1954:  Alan Turing’s work was instrumental in placing NPL at the forefront of computer technology.

Turing had already achieved a great deal before he started work at NPL. While at King’s College, Cambridge, he earned a scholarship, Maths Tripos Part II Distinction, fellowship and Smith’s Prize, as well as writing his paper on Computable Numbers. He then moved on to Princeton University and earned his PhD in 1938, before moving back to Cambridge and starting work at the Government Code and Cryptography School in 1939, where he was an essential part of the work to break the German Enigma code.

After the war he moved to NPL in 1945, and produced his plans for the ACE computer in 1946. He worked at NPL on the ACE until he left (after being on leave to Cambridge) in 1948, not long after writing his Intelligent Machinery paper.

Two things here: the identity of NPL; and more on celebrations of Alan Turing.

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There was a singer had a dog

January 8, 2020

The Epiphany Rhymes With Orange is an exercise in cartoon understanding:

(#1)

Without the title and the comment balloon (on the left), the cartoon is still compensible, and funny — this material adds some extra humorous depth — but none of it works at all unless you know the song.

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Another BYOB

November 3, 2019

Today’s Bizarro, with yet another unpacking of the initialism BYOB:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 12 in this strip! — see this Page.)

In the conventional initialism, BYOB stands for ‘bring your own bottle / booze / beer / beverage’, but here it’s ‘bring your OB’, where OB /o bi/ is short for — a clipping of — OB-GYN /o bi ǰi waj ɛn/. From NOAD:

noun ob-gyn: abbreviation [pronounced as an initialism] obstetrics and gynecology.

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Revisiting 26: LGBT etc. etc.

February 14, 2019

A mailing today about the March-April 2019 issue of G&LR (The Gay & Lesbian Review):

The proposal is LGBT+. Just LGBT+.

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One more January 20th penguin

January 20, 2019

For Penguin Awareness Day, one more spheniscid moment, this time from Canada, where the creatures infest the banking industry.


(#1) Percy the Penguin, mascot of CIBC (formerly Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; CIBC is now an orphan initialism), in a 2015 ad

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World UFO Day

July 3, 2018

… celebrated yesterday. From Wikipedia on UFOs:

Fanciful illustration of alien spacecraft (Chris Clor / Getty Images / Blend Images): saucer shape, ring of lights on the rim of the saucer, searchlight projecting from the bottom of the craft as it hovers

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slide in(to) (y)our DM’s

May 10, 2018

(Guys in sexy underwear, yes, but no more than that. Plus a recent slang idiom.)

Daily Jocks yesterday:

   (#1) SLIDE IN OUR DM’S!

We are looking for hot new influencers to promote DailyJocks products, follow us & like our most recent post for the chance to become a DailyJocks influencer.

We will be sending out products for you to take pictures in & share with the world!

Lots of smiling — I’m big on smiles — in these amateur underwear photos, as compared to the sturdy studly pro shots.

The slang initialism DM (for direct message) I already knew, but the larger idiom slide in(to) (y)our DMs was new to me (but I’m so far from plugged into new things that I should be treated as permanently unplugged).

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