Archive for the ‘Ambiguity’ Category

Smell the roses in a field

February 26, 2021

Two cartoons in my comics feed on 2/25 (otherwise known as Yay! Pfizer1 Day! at my house) on language play: a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro playing on formulaic language (the metaphorical idiom / cliché stop and smell the roses), and a Piccolo/Price Rhymes With Orange with a play on the ambiguity of field.

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Seeing the Invisible Man

February 21, 2021

Popped up on Pinterest, this Bizarro from 12/13/04:

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A pun that takes advantage of an ambiguity in see: ‘perceive with the eyes’ (something one does not do with the Invisible Man) vs.sense 4c from the  NOAD see entry:

verb see: … 4 [a] meet (someone one knows) socially or by chance: I saw Colin last night. … [c] meet regularly as a boyfriend or girlfriend: some guy she was seeing was messing her around.

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Ruthie misunderstands

February 21, 2021

Two One Big Happy cartoons recently in my comics feed. Originally from 1/29, a strip in which Ruthie misunderstands “Randi with an “I””, taking it to be “Randi with an eye”. And originally from 1/25, a Sunday strip in which Ruthie misunderstands “pole dance”, taking it to be “Pole dance”.

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Three remarkably named men’s fragrances

February 20, 2021

First, to announce a new Page on this blog listing my postings about men’s fragrance. Then, to continue some recent postings on notable names for men’s fragrances, a look at Fucking Fabulous and two nomenclatural celebrations of testosterone, Testosterone Original Fragrance Paris and Testostérone (from Zurich).

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Lobster bands, and other restraints

February 19, 2021

(The kinky sense of band — ‘restraint’ — in the Rhymes cartoon drifts into some hard-core sex between men, so that partway through, this posting becomes no longer suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Rhymes With Orange cartoon from yesterday (2/18) has two lobsters arranging a hookup for some kinky sex with lobster bands:

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The elastic bands in question are rubber or silicone bands referred to commercially as lobster bands. They function as restraints on the lobsters’ ability to use their claws — so that they’re roughly analogous to the cuffs / bands / restraints of bondage sex, hence the kinkiness in the cartoon.

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Ambiguities, identities, and bullshit artistry

February 17, 2021

A while back on Facebook, the following exchange — call it X1 — appeared out of the blue:

Dennis Lewis: In Hyacinth’s defense, I doubt many natives of Britain know the Super Bowl is being played tomorrow.

It’s like Mrs. Bucket’s American counterpart asking if the World Cup [AZ: the World Cup, the soccer contest, has a trophy, but it’s not in the form of a cup] has hand-painted periwinkles [AZ: flowers suitable as decorations on teacups].

Hyacinth Bouquet > Dennis Lewis: Sheridan has a large collection of sports cups.

I could recognize familiar stuff in there, but was also baffled by parts of it. Gamely, however, I responded to the developing discussion of ambiguities in cup:

AZ > Hyacinth Bouquet: sports cups (for insertion in an athletic supporter / jockstrap) are rarely made of bone china, for obvious reasons. Sometimes, beauty must give way to practicality.

So I’ll start with that.

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The bull validates Peter’s family

February 7, 2021

Three more Bizarro cartoons from the past, from another crop on Pinterest, with: an allusion you need to catch to understand the cartoon; a complex pun; and laugh-inducing names.

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Two cartoons on the 30th

January 30, 2021

… in today’s comics feed, both connecting to earlier postings on this blog: a Rhymes With Orange on an ambiguity in the verbing to dust; and a Zippy on Magritte’s painting The Son of Man.

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Flat on his back at the solstice

January 15, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, framed as an instance of the Psychiatrist cartoon meme:


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

The patient is lying on the therapeutic couch, but he’s also flat on hs back suffering the affective disorder that comes to many with the winter solstice (Wayno’s title for the cartoon: “Bummer Solstice” — playing on summer solstice).

Then the title “Tropical Depression”, ordinarily referring to a meterological phenomenon, involving lowered atmospheric pressure (depression) arising in the tropics  (the geographical band surrounding the equator)[*see note after this paragraph]; but here referring to a mental condition (depression, characterized by lowered energy and affect), in this case, specifically, seasonal affective disorder (aka seasonal melancholy) triggered by the short, dark, cold days around the winter solstice — which the patient seems to be counteracting with cultural symbols  associated with the bright, hot, and humid tropics (Hawaii, to be specific): beachcomber hat, lei, coconut drink, ukulele, and Hawaiian beach shorts.

[*Note added 1/17: this account of the tropical in tropical depression is grossly oversimplified. For a more accurate statement — from an actual meteorologist — see Sim Aberson’s comment on this posting.]

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Western medicine

January 6, 2021

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro for Epiphany (1/6) — Wayno’s title: “Lone Prairie Pre-Op” — plays on the ambiguity of Western, and taps into a bit of lore about the American Old West:


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

Western medicine ‘the medicine in Westerns’ (illustrated above) vs. Western medicine ‘medicine characteristic of the Western region of the world, in particular of  Europe and the U.S.’ (contrasted with Eastern medicine, earlier Oriental medicine).

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