Archive for the ‘Ambiguity’ Category

Eat it! The oral humiliation you deserve

February 17, 2019

Yesterday’s Wayno & Piraro Bizarro:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

A play on desserts (on the menu) vs. the deserts of just deserts. Plus a small cascade of idioms on oral humiliations. With a nod to the nasty rough edges of the verb eat (and, while we’re on the subject, suck). (Eventually, this will lead to some very plain-language talk — not for kids or the sexually modest — about some social and sexual practices among gay men. I’ll warn you when the topic is imminent.)

(more…)

The thinking condom’s typeface

February 10, 2019

On Facebook recently, a plaintive scream from Tom Meadows (reproduced here exactly as in the original):

PLEASE LATEX LET ME BE FREE OF THIS PROBLEM WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL

Typing the whole thing in ALL CAPS introduced an ambiguity that Meadows and his readers then exploited for playful purposes. The ambiguity:

reader EK: I feel like a latex problem is very different from a LaTeX problem

Tom Meadows: I have a latex/LaTeX merger – my condoms are now nicely typeset

(more…)

Three Pearls

February 6, 2019

… Before Swine(s), with language play. From 10/6/18, exploiting the ambiguity of /flu/ as flew or flu ‘influenza’; and two testicular cartoons, from 11/1/18 (nut sack) and (yesterday) 2/5/19 (go nads).

(more…)

A camelid from darkest Peru

January 29, 2019

A souvenir from Juan Gomez, who visited Peru (Cuzco, Machu Picchu) with his family for the New Year’s holiday: a little stuffed llama I’ve named Glama Grrl (he’s seen here perched high in the spathyphyllum forest on my worktable):

(#1)

The Peruvian camelid has been exploited for all sorts of word play purposes, perhaps most famously in the light verse of Ogden Nash, but also in joking that turns on the fact that the element llam– has (at least) three separate sources in Spanish (referring to the camelid, to fire or flames, and to calling (out)). Glama Grrl will then lead us to the original traveler from darkest Peru, Paddington Bear.

(more…)

The party linguist

January 28, 2019

The 1/17 Wayno-Piraro collab on a Bizarro:

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

There’s a lot in this; I’ll start with the purely linguistic question: What does the N + N compound party linguist refer to? Then turn to the question of what’s happening in the cartoon, in particular how the notions of minority and diversity figure in it.

(more…)

Peppernut Day

December 24, 2018

Having tackled the Christmas season as a whole, Sandra Boynton examines one specific day: on FB yesterday, with “A helpful tip on National Pfeffernüsse Day” (December 23rd):

(#1)

On peppernuts. And on the recipe register (here: Recipe Object Omission in roll thoroughly in confectioners’ sugar).

(more…)

Give Head for Christmas!

December 13, 2018

(Significant sexual content, not for children or the sexually modest.)

Making the rounds on Facebook, this photo from a store sportswear department, with a sign that appears to be exhorting Christmas shoppers to give head ‘perform oral sex’:

(#1)

Not that some prime seasonal head wouldn’t be a fine holiday gift — but the exhortation is, alas, only to give products of the Head company, which sells (among other things) sportswear.

(more…)

Prosthetics on an anaphoric island

December 12, 2018

I posted yesterday on anaphoric islands — “Smoke from a island”, here — and then of course immediately came across a wonderful example, in a 12/1 Economist article on prosthetic limbs, where the anaphor is a bit of conspicuous language play. (The Economist is strongly inclined to language play in its heads and lead paragraphs.)

(more…)

Meaty faggots

December 12, 2018

My friend Aric was astonished yesterday to come across this food product:

Pork me: a classic presentation of faggots, in a brown gravy, accompanied by peas and mashed potatoes

No doubt he would find the following news bulletin (from Wikipedia) remarkable:

The “nose-to-tail eating” trend has resulted in greater demand for faggots in the 21st century.

Aric is American and gay, so of course pork faggots — being British and devoid of sexual associations (beyond those attending on any sort of meatball) —  are neither familiar nor salient to him.

(more…)

Wok it to the golden Lab for analysis, har-de-har-har

December 3, 2018

3 x 3: three cartoons of linguistic interest for the 3rd of December: a Dave Blazek Loose Parts with merged phonemes; a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro with an ambiguity; and a Zits with an onomatopoeia.

(more…)