Archive for the ‘Figurative language’ Category

Ruthie x 3

December 29, 2018

In my comics feed for One Big Happy: The Huskies play Oregon (11/23), Money is the root of boll weevil (11/28), ABC order (11/30):

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News for penises: Bourdain’s Bhutan

December 28, 2018

(The title should be warning enough.)

Earlier today, I reported on Anthony Bourdain in Armenia on Parts Unknown, on this blog in “Yet another Switzerland”. Later in the series Bourdain and film director Darren Aronofsky moved on to Bhutan, in S11 E8 (first aired 6/24/18), where they encountered phalluses as a design element, almost everywhere. They also did a lot of eating and drinking, as here:

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And, being in a mostly Buddhist country, reflected on their places in the universe. But this is AZBlog, where the News for Penises is a regular feature, so that’s where we’re going. Fire up those phalluses.

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Yet another Switzerland

December 28, 2018

In Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown S11 E4 “Armenia” (first aired 4/20/18), he travels from the capital, Yerevan, to Lake Sevan, which he characterizes as “the Switzerland of Armenia”. Ah, yet another (metaphorical) Switzerland, indeed yet another (snowclonic) Switzerland of X.

In general, wherever you have alpine terrain, especially with snow, forests, lakes, and quaint villages, you have another Switzerland.

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bait and tackle

December 27, 2018

A coordination of two nouns, conventionally paired in bait & tackle shop, referring to a store that provides supplies for sport fishermen. Like this place in Benicia CA:

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And elaborately played on in the Bizarro  from December 23rd:

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O croquembouche, my croquembouche

December 25, 2018

In the tradition of my 12/7/18 posting “O rosemary, my rosemary”, this Christmas tree from bon appétit magazine:


(#1) Savory Cheese-Filled Croquembouche

[ba‘s text:] This croquembouche is constructed with cheesy gougères [baked savory pastry, made of choux dough mixed with cheese] and an herbed cheese filling. It’s the showstopping holiday appetizer you didn’t know you needed.

And then ba‘s call to earnest self-improvement for the holidays:

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A snappish portion of the class

December 19, 2018

The One Big Happy of 11/20, in which, as usual, Ruthie copes with an unfamiliar (semi-)technical term (here, cross section) by extracting a familiar word (here, the cross of irritability) from it:

Ruthie crosses the cross ‘representative’ of cross section with the cross ‘snappish, angry’ of cross words. These are grossly different lexical items in modern English, but in fact they share an etymology that goes back to the noun cross of the hymns “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In the Cross of Christ I Glory”.

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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’:

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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.

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Grass-fed beef

December 10, 2018

Annals of hypallage, food-source division. In a 1/30/17 New Yorker cartoon by P.C. Vey:

Contemplating the nightmare that bedevils animal rights activists: force-feeding creatures to prepare them for human consumption.

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O happy day! Annals of hypallage 2018

December 6, 2018

Three bulletins on hypallage on the net: a Page on this blog; a review of some net and media discussion from 2007-09; and recent Facebook discussion of a class of cases that I’ll refer to as food-source hypallage.

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What do you have?

November 25, 2018

The One Big Happy from October 12th, a dialogue between Joe and James in which we experience a tiny bit of the fabulous flexibility of the English verb have:

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James seems not to have registered the noun hobby (‘an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure’ (NOAD)) and so takes hobbies in have hobbies to be the name of a disease, infection, or medical condition, like (the) mumps. For him, chickenpox and the mumps, but not hobbies is just an ordinary coordination, but for the rest of us, it’s prime-grade zeugma, like (I had) asthma and artistic inclinations — with the extra wrinkle that though both chickenpox and mumps end in a plural-resembling /s/ (and so superficially resemble the PL hobbies), both are grammatically SG:

chickenpox / (the) mumps once was / *were a common childhood disease, but vaccines have nearly eliminated it / *them [SG for subject-verb agreement and also for anaphor selection]

Two notes: on the morphosyntax of disease names; and on the extraordinary versatility of have (which just invites zeugmas and zeugmoids).

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