Archive for the ‘Categorization and Labeling’ Category

Dipspreads in the 60s

August 22, 2017

Food and its categories.

I’m slowly working my way through the books on food and coooking at my Staunton Court condo — off-loading tens of thousands of books is a long and difficult process, on-going for about a year and a half now — and today’s box of things to sort through contained the Gourmet magazine five-year indexes for 1961-1965 and 1966-1970. The magazines themselves went away years ago, so the indexes are no longer really useful, but they have some interesting features. Notably, they have entries for the food category DIP/SPREAD, which I invented the label dipspread for and Gourmet gets at under the coordinate header Dips and Spreads — conveying that not only are dips and spreads objectively similar, but that a great many foodstuffs can function as either one or the other.

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Reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories

August 13, 2017

Two days ago, I set a competition for readers:

Compose a follow-up to the following lead-in to a joke:

Tom, Taylor, and Jonathan Swift walk into a bar…

Three matters, having to do with reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories.

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trug

August 7, 2017

(Another adventure in categorization and labeling, this time of cultural artifacts.)

Thanks to S13 E3 “Dead Man’s Folly” of the tv show Agatha Christie’s Poirot, the word for the morning is trug (also known as trug basket and garden trug); in the show (set on a lush estate in Devon) one of the characters goes about gardening with a classic trug in hand:

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Myrtlewood trugs from Barber’s Baskets in Coos Bay OR

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No te vayas de Zamboanga

June 1, 2017

My morning name on Sunday was Zamboanga, which I immediately recognized as a placename, for a city on the island of Mindanao, the southernmost large island of the Philippines. And I immediately understand why it was in my memory: it’s from a song in the music book I had in the 3rd or 4th grade (I’m not sure which — look, this is all from almost 70 years ago), a compilation of folk songs for children. Which included a song about Zamboanga.

The original of the song was in Spanish — “No Te Vayas de Zamboanga” — or possibly in the Mindanao creole called Chavacano or Chabacano, but we sang it in English, probably in the widespread mistranslation “Do Not Go to (Far) Zamboanga”. (A more accurate translation is “Do Not Go from Zamboanga” or “Do Not Leave Zamboanga” — Zamboanga being both a place of great physical beauty and the home of the singer’s beloved.)

The mystery in all this is why this particular childhood memory surfaced on Sunday morning.

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Light, and sometimes mixed

May 25, 2017

It started with Chris Hansen posting this London bus ad on Facebook:

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On the bus:

IT’S SMOOTHIFIED.
WE’RE AMERICAN.
WE CAN MAKE UP WORDS.

NOW IN THE UK

So: about the morphology; about the advertising tactic; and about the beer.

Emily Rizzo then threw this into the mix:

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with chelada (a variant of michelada), a type of beer cocktail — that is, a mixed drink with beer as one of its ingredients.

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Seahorse on a stick, GBF, and the Describe-A-Muffin Task

April 21, 2017

All in the 4/24/17 New Yorker: Beijing street food on the cover, a William Haefeli cartoon, and a Tom Chitty cartoon.

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The Jargon Matrix

April 12, 2017

Yesterday’s Dilbert takes us into a dark world of language, the Jargon Matrix:

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The Matrix, but with jargon from the world of technology businesses.

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Annals of normalization: on the Santa Claus watch

April 7, 2017

From HuffPo on the 4th, this advance announcement about a Christmas book, “Santa Claus Will Be A Gay Black Man In A New Children’s Book: He’ll also be married to a white man”, by Curtis M. Wong:

Get ready to see Santa Claus in a new (and refreshingly diverse) light this holiday season, courtesy of a forthcoming parody children’s book.

On March 28, publisher Harper Design announced plans to release Santa’s Husband, which re-casts Kris Kringle as a black man in an interracial, same-sex relationship. Slated for an October release, the book will follow Santa’s life in the North Pole, except in this version, he’ll have a white husband who fills in for him at shopping malls around the world.

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Another phenomenally bad idea

March 29, 2017

(Mostly about food, but there’s a mansex interlude, so be warned.)

A couple days ago it was (thanks to Margalit Fox) the hologram-bunny (a hollusion) that comes to life to decorate homes and parties. I’m not quite sure why the idea struck so many people (including Margalit and me) as disturbing, but it was. Now comes an edible counterpart, but this time I think I understand the source of the unease that it arouses.

Reported by Kim Darnell, this is Delighted By (sometimes: delighted by) dessert hummus. On the grocery shelf:

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It comes in four flavors: Brownie Batter, Snickerdoodle, Orange Dreamsickle, Vanilla Bean.

Thing is, hummus is a savory food, and these flavors are all sweet (apparently, achingly so).

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Playing for laughs

February 22, 2017

… or, playing over the top, and in fact doing this knowingly while winking at the audience, so that you might want to say: camping it up. I refer to the Netflix version of A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) plays the villain for laughs, while Patrick Warburton plays the author-narrator, Lemony Snicket, ditto, and a bunch of others — notably Joan Cusack, K. Todd Freeman, and Alfre Woodard — join them.

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