Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Chocolate-covered amidst the statuary

September 21, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to the shore of Lake Erie, in the roadside realm of Dolly Dimples (but, startlingly, it will end with the minstrel-show character Rastus and the Cream of Wheat box; you never know where things will go these days):

(#1)

DD is actually selling chocolates, statuary, and tchotchkes, not hamburgers. Her head is indeed unrealistically gigantic, but even with this selling point she’s probably not going to leave Silver Lake NY to pursue a failed movie career in L.A. (note the whimsical tense-aspect-mood semantics of intending to pursue a failed career).

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The outrage of a new menu

September 18, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to the banks of the Connecticut River in Chicopee MA, to a historic diner, and to the bizarre foods that Zippy fancies:


(#1) If you’re Zippy, everything goes better with a dollop of Valvoline on it — and, maybe, some canned beets:

(#2)

Zippy and Gladys are in Al’s Diner, a well-known feature of Chicopee, a northern industrial city that took advantage of the falls on the Connecticut to drive mills — which then entangled the place in the slave economy of the early 18th century.

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The amazing talking pirate

September 17, 2019

In the run-up to Talk Like a Pirate Day (TLaPD), on Thursday the 19th, this Rhymes With Orange cartoon from the 15th:


(#1) PirateTalk + ParrotTalk, with a cartoon reversal of roles

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Revisiting 32: Exception-triggered alternation

August 27, 2019

The phenomenon, from my 8/25 posting “Exception-triggered alternation”, involves:

Two contrarily opposed states — good vs. bad [in a joke routine], forestressed vs. afterstressed [in the accentuation of N + N compounds] — for some phenomenon, with the choice between them determined by context, the choice flipping between the two as the context narrows more and more (with each flip, the contextually more specific choice overrides the contextually more general one).

“More specific overrides more general” is a familiar principle, known by many names; what the statement above emphasizes is that this overriding can cascade, through a number of iterations.

Now, as an addition to these two examples Larry Horn (Laurence Horn of Yale Univ.) offers another, from formal semantics: Sobel sequences. Here I’ll turn the floor over to Larry, for a guest posting on them. As background, the cover of David Lewis’s Counterfactuals book (in the paperback edition, much more visually exciting than the severe cover of the edition I once had):

In Larry’s words, from here on out:

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Two diversions

August 4, 2019

… provided by friends in a time of unspeakable violence, though neither is a totally unmixed pleasure: from Mike McKinley, the 1962 boys’ space adventure yarn Lost City of Uranus, just for the cheap but evergreen double entendre in its title; from Betsy Herrington, a link to the rainbow dreadhead stone lions of Monza, Italy, an admirable exercise in yarn bombing.

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A building guide for the perplexed

July 5, 2019

A Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon (from 10/17/17) that appeared in a Facebook posting in this form:


(#1) The philosopher’s eternal question, en français

I wasn’t aware that the strip came in a French version, but evidently it does; I still don’t know where and how it’s distributed (and I now wonder if there’s a Spanish version too, though I haven’t found one).

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A bit more reaping

June 29, 2019

Just one day after a particularly fine Rhymes With Orange cartoon combining the Desert Island cartoon meme and the Grim Reaper meme — in my 6/27 posting “The Desert Island Reaper” — came a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro with a groaner Grim Reaper pun:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

The figure of the Grim Reaper — the bringer of death — as a window-washer, removing — destroying — the grime on the windows of a high-rise building, with the blade of his scythe replaced by a window-washer’s squeegee.

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Some of us are gay

June 28, 2019

For Stonewall Day, today, the slogans of my people, most recently one of them celebrating some penguins in the London Zoo:

(#1)

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A postcard from the (northern) edge

June 26, 2019

From the northern edge of the world, specifically: the town of Inuvik NWT in Canada, from which a postcard showing this welcoming billboard:

(#1)

The card was from Chris Waigl (bought in Dawson City YT), who mailed it from the extremely small town of Chicken AK.

And now there’s a surprising lot of stuff to say about the card.

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On this day in 2019

June 16, 2019

At least seven occasions of significance to me today: three fixed to the date June 16th, plus four movable occasions that happen to take place on this Sunday this year. There will be a section in the middle with seriously raunchy material from gay porn that some will want to avoid; I’ll provide a warning when this stuff is imminent.

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