Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The news for penguins and, oh yes, penises

February 15, 2017

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky on Facebook yesterday, a chocolate cupcake for Valentine’s Day (which is also, significantly, Elizabeth’s birthday), with white frosting and a blue frosting design on top of that:


Ah, you say a penguin, on ice, with a message of love (those hearts). Note that, thanks to me, penguins are a big thing in my family.

Elizabeth boldly denied the Penguin Interpretation — well, with a  Magrittean disavowal (Ceci n’est pas une pipe):

This is not a penguin.

But then she added an alternative, the Rocket Interpretation:

A rocket. With heart-shaped windows.

But wait! There’s more!


Books from Stanford

February 13, 2017

Recent books from Stanford-connected authors, some my colleagues, some my former students (so I have warm feelings). Two in sociolinguistics / educational linguistics, one on the (gasp) morphosyntax-phonology interface.


A label of love

January 21, 2017

The One Big Happy in Thursday’s comics feed:

From OED3 (Nov. 2010), under labour ‘task’:

labour of love  a task undertaken either for love of the work itself or out of love for a person, cause, etc.; work of this nature.

The fixed expression — which Ruthie has presumably not heard before and so has eggcornishly reshaped — is Biblical in origin and has been used allusively in names of books, songs, films, and the like.


The epiphany’s over

January 7, 2017

A day late for Epiphany, this epiphany cartoon:


A play on Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with the Tiffany’s / Epiphany’s pun, using the noun epiphany ‘a moment of sudden revelation or insight’ (NOAD2).


A New Yorker POP

January 4, 2017

In the current (January 9th) New Yorker, a Paul Noth cartoon with a cute POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau):


The book title Stranger in a Strange Land overlapped with Land’s End catalog (referring to a catalog for the Land’s End clothing stores [note added later: the company name is actually Lands’ End]). And illustrated with a combination of typical model figures from the catalogs and a figure from the cover of one of the editions of the book.


The advancing horde of shelf elves

December 21, 2016

The most extravagant of the images I’ve collected on this topic — one that should serve as a warning about (some of) the content of this posting:


Two things you need to know about to fully get this composition: the Elf on the Shelf figure; and the glory hole setting, with a candy cane (which often functions as a phallic symbol) standing in for a penis. (In a moment I’ll have more to say about the details of the composition.)


The Curious George caper

December 8, 2016

Today’s Bizarro has a man and his monkey hauled in by the cops for questioning:


In case you were unsure of the identities of the simian and his yellow-hatted friend, the little one is wearing a t-shirt that says “Curious George”.

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


Le calendrier des agriculteurs

December 4, 2016

(About art photography and men’s bodies.)

With an alert from Michael Palmer on Facebook, the latest of Fred Goudon’s calendars:



Montalvo morning

November 19, 2016

Stuck in my mind on waking, a notable placename in California — there are Montalvo Streets in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs, and the Villa Montalvo and Arts Center in Saratoga is not far from Palo Alto — and for good historical reasons, going back to the inventor of California, the 15th-century  Castilian author of fantasy romances Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (Montalvo ‘white mountain’).


A children’s book from Walsh

October 15, 2016

Having just posted a Liam Francis Walsh cartoon (#2 here), I came across his announcement of first children’s book (published on May 31st):

An adventure in letters. From the publisher’s blurb on amazon:

A boy and his dog embark on a fishing journey.

Their first catch of the day: a big fat letter F.

Their second? A slippery I.

After an epic journey beneath the lake’s surface, they find what they came for– a FISH, along with some unanticipated menace from a few other letters.

This clever, wordless picture book, by a popular New Yorker cartoonist, is filled with charm and heart and will have no problem swimming its way into the hearts of young readers.