Archive for the ‘Categorization and Labeling’ Category

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy

September 14, 2018

(Not suitable for Facebook, because double entendres and incidental naked men, but not actually X-rated. Mostly about food.)

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy. Plus a little Echeveria plant. These are more birthday presents from the 6th, from Juan Gomez and the aging care company he works for (a big tart — not merely una tarta, but un tartone — plus the little succulent) and from Kim Darnell (a cute fruit cream tartlet with a pansy).

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The penis art of David the Robot

August 26, 2018

… plus — surprise! — reflections on occupational labels and on limericks.

(There will be discussions of male genitalia and mansex, but no X-rated images; these are isolated in an AZBlogX posting yesterday, “Dave the Robot takes pen in hand”. The posting below isn’t couched in street language, but it cites some street language, some of the limericks are dirty, and other parts of its content might be unsuitable for the sexually modest or for kids.)

The XBlog posting begins (#1 and #2 there) with a drawing — entitled “Bros” — of two naked men whose penises are embracing. Cropped here to show the sketchbook style (a kind of deliberate artlessness) of the drawing:

(#1)

Then on to the artist, who has achieved some sort of fame via raunchy sketches on Instagram featuring genitalia and bodily fluids.

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“The hell is that guy doing?”: predator-truncated QuEx

August 23, 2018

The word from predators, in this Jake Likes Onions cartoon (by Jake Thompson):


(#1) Title: “Maybe he’s running from the truth”

Predator 2 omits the what of what the hell (in a Wh, or constituent, question What is that guy doing? with the question word what emphatically extended by the expletive the hell).

About the syntax, and then about the strip and the artist…

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Ruthie and the language of doughnuts

August 3, 2018

The One Big Happy from July 5th, in which Ruthie and Joe get some dubious advice from their father:

(#1)

Their dad’s advice will no doubt warm the hearts of language teachers and multiculturalists, but it’s dubious as practical advice for everyday life.

Meanwhile, Ruthie wrestles with the question of how to get a language name from the noun doughnut / donut. Donuttish (with an all-purpose adjective-forming suffix, –ish) would certainly be possible, but, probably on the model of Dutch, Ruthie goes for Donutch, that is, Donut-ch (this is spoken, rather than written, by Ruthie, so it could have been spelled Donutsh, like Welsh).

(It tickles me to think of the language name as Dutchnut, a portmanteau of Dutch and doughnut. Or maybe that should be the name of the food.)

In any event, Ruthie has stumbled slant-wise onto the idea that doughnuts are of Dutch origin — an idea that confuses words and things, labels and the categories they label, but nevertheless incorporates a genuine bit of history.

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Sticks and cubes

July 4, 2018

It’s all about measuring butter. I said to Kim (who was preparing for a grocery run tomorrow) that I could use a stick of butter for cooking, and she was surprised: “I thought you’d say cube, not stick.” Me: “I don’t think I’ve ever said cube of butter in my life. It sounds weird to me.” So of course we went searching, and found considerable confusion.

Quite a few people asked what cubes of butter were; that means they’d somehow come in contact with the usage. They got two very confident, but very different, answers:

cube-1: a synonym of stick, where stick is as in this NOAD definition (essentialy the same as OED3’s):

noun stickUS a quarter-pound [4-oz.] rectangular block of butter or margarine.

cube-2: a quarter-stick of butter, hence (at least roughtly) a 1-oz. cube of butter

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The musician, the mayor, his instrument, and their vermin

June 24, 2018

The Bizarro/Wayno collaboration on the 21st is another exercise in cartoon understanding (but a relatively easy one):


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

You need to know the basic outline of a European legend (the major clues to which are the reference to ridding a town of rats and the unusual word pied in the title), and you need to know something about musical instruments (to recognize that the sousaphone — named in the title — plays the role of the (musical) pipe in the legend).

Then there’s more to be said about the parallels between the cartoon world and the legend world, with special reference to wind instruments (of which the sousaphone is the largest). Which leads me to the rich world of the legend and its connection to the real world. And the fictivity of stories; there’s a fair amount of factuality, or at least real-world context, in the legend. And from there — surprise! —  to St. John and Paul’s Day next week (June 26th). And from there — another surprise! —  to eunuchs and the social world of the Roman Empire.

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The Calvin Klein pentachromatic neon rainbow

June 13, 2018

CK special for Pride Month:

(#1)


(#2) Pride Trunks

In five neon colors: pink, yellow, lime green, aquamarine, dark blue.

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There oughta be a word

May 16, 2018

Darya Kavitskaya on Facebook yesteday:

This is sour cherry clafoutis. No more food for today.

I commented:

I think French needs a verb clafouter ‘to cook a clafoutis; to devour a clafoutis’.

Come to think of it, I could use an English verb clafoute /kla’fut/ with these senses:

I think I’ll clafoute for tonight’s dessert. Maybe plum.

Terry piggishly clafouted. Seven at a sitting!

To come: a reminder about what clafoutis is; about the forms of the invented French verb clafouter; on “having no word for” some concept; about needing — or at least wanting — a word for it; about the ambiguity of these invented verbs (both ‘to cook’ and ‘to eat’); about the source of such ambiguities in marker-poor combinations of elements (lacking explicit indicators of the semantic relationship between the elements — there’s nothing in French clafouter or English clafoute to indicate the semantic role of the referent of their subjects, as creator or consumer); and about the motivation for marker-poor combinations, in a drive for brevity (vs. clarity). French and English could be clearer, less ambiguous — I’ll illustrate with still more invented French verbs — but only at the cost of greater length and effort.

All this from (delicious) French sour cherry flan.

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Differentiae

May 11, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration:

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

It all depends on your knowing the classic text, from the introduction to the tv show Adventures of Superman (1952-1958):

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What have you done with your life?

May 10, 2018

An innocent-sounding request a few days back, from a Daily Beast reporter on its lgbt beat: [I’m] “working on a series of interviews with unsung (or, at least undersung) LGBT heroes. … I’m wondering if you’d be interested in being interviewed about your contributions to linguistics?”

Two claims here: I’m a person of significance in a professional field, linguistics; I’m a person of significance in the lgbt world. I am now asked to defend these claims, to demonstrate that I have done important things in both these areas of my life.

Difficult fieldwork moments in the linguistics-lgbt interface

This is where I curl into a ball of misery, in two ways at once. What have I done with my life, that people should read about me? I’m very proud of what I’ve done, in the academic world and the lgbt world, but I’m not even remotely a magisterial figure, a Great Person, in either. Sigh.

Reflections on my academic work to come. There will be lists. Long lists. I can’t promise quality, but quantity I can deliver.

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