Archive for the ‘Metaphor’ Category

Smell the roses in a field

February 26, 2021

Two cartoons in my comics feed on 2/25 (otherwise known as Yay! Pfizer1 Day! at my house) on language play: a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro playing on formulaic language (the metaphorical idiom / cliché stop and smell the roses), and a Piccolo/Price Rhymes With Orange with a play on the ambiguity of field.

(more…)

Flat on his back at the solstice

January 15, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, framed as an instance of the Psychiatrist cartoon meme:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

The patient is lying on the therapeutic couch, but he’s also flat on hs back suffering the affective disorder that comes to many with the winter solstice (Wayno’s title for the cartoon: “Bummer Solstice” — playing on summer solstice).

Then the title “Tropical Depression”, ordinarily referring to a meterological phenomenon, involving lowered atmospheric pressure (depression) arising in the tropics  (the geographical band surrounding the equator)[*see note after this paragraph]; but here referring to a mental condition (depression, characterized by lowered energy and affect), in this case, specifically, seasonal affective disorder (aka seasonal melancholy) triggered by the short, dark, cold days around the winter solstice — which the patient seems to be counteracting with cultural symbols  associated with the bright, hot, and humid tropics (Hawaii, to be specific): beachcomber hat, lei, coconut drink, ukulele, and Hawaiian beach shorts.

[*Note added 1/17: this account of the tropical in tropical depression is grossly oversimplified. For a more accurate statement — from an actual meteorologist — see Sim Aberson’s comment on this posting.]

(more…)

The package

January 11, 2021

(About men’s bodies and about sexual peasure, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest. Meanwhile, more chapters in the story of my sexual life; and, again, that might not be for everybody.)

As for packages, this is specifically about the male genital package, as playfully represented (metaphorically) by the banana and eggs in these little Spanish lessons (from my long-ago collage-making days):


(#1) The metaphorical penis


(#2) The metaphorical testicles

My banana and my eggs, they comfort me. In fact, they do, and that’s the first thing I’m going to talk about. The second thing is that if you’re an old guy, nobody wants to hear anything about this, it’s just embarrassing — but I’m going to push against that attitude.

(And I note that though I’m talking here from a male perspective, the two main points apply as well, with some adjustments in details, to women.)

(more…)

A New Yorker trio

October 23, 2020

Three cartoons from the 10/26 New Yorker: two of linguistic interest (by Amy Hwang and Roz Chast), one (by Christopher Weyant) yet another Desert Island cartoon.

(more…)

Parallelism, metaphor, chiasmus

September 25, 2020

On the slogan in my posting yesterday “Come a long way, long way still to go” (A), a chiastic formula conveying:

Things have improved, but still we’re far from the goal (and there are constant threats to take back the gains)

(A) is a poetically compressed version of (B):

We have come a long way, but we have a long way still to go

(which presents two metaphorical idioms in parallel, with their contrast between the opposed motion verbs come and go).

So there’s a lot of linguistic interest here.

(more…)

gone to seed

September 20, 2020

Today’s morning name, the PSP form of the English idiom go to seed, originally botanical, then metaphorically extended to use for people.

From NOAD:

go (or run) to seed: [a] (of a plant) cease flowering as the seeds develop. [b] [AZ: metaphorical extension of sense a] deteriorate in condition, strength, or efficiency: Mark knows he has allowed himself to go to seed.

Plus, a near-synonym, one sense (1d below) of one of the verbs bolt (the ‘rapid movement’ verb bolt). From NOAD:

verb bolt-2: 1 [a] [no object] (of a horse or other animal) run away suddenly out of control: the horses shied and bolted. [b] (of a person) move or run away suddenly: they bolted down the stairs. [c] [with object] (in hunting) cause (a rabbit or fox) to run out of its burrow or hole. [d] (of a plant) grow tall quickly and stop flowering as seeds develop: the lettuces have bolted. …

(more…)

Caterpillars spinning platters

August 5, 2020

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with songs you just can’t get out of your head:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

A wonderful collision of worlds, set off by the idiomatic (and colorfully metaphorical) N + N compound earworm: the world of DJs — the ear world (disc jockeys providing sonic pleasures for the ear) — and the world of caterpillars — the worm world (caterpillars being one type of worm in colloquial English).

(more…)

Towards the high end of the hardness scale

August 4, 2020

(All I need to tell you is that this posting takes off from a line of Cumdump jockstraps offered by the Breedwell company in deliberately provocative ads, and you should see that it’s totally not for kids or the sexually modest.)

A Daily Jocks ad from 11/4/19 shows us the jock in red, with a model presented faux-naturalistically as a tough working-class guy in a blue-collar setting (a railyard, shipyard, or truckyard). Ad copy for the jock:

The new Breedwell Cumdump Jock [available in white, black, red, yellow, and blue] is a take on the classic, old-school woven jock.

Features a black centre patch with the Breedwell logo and signature “Dirty By Choice” motto. The back of the jock features ‘Breedwell’ across the entire back.

(more…)

Call it by its name

July 27, 2020

In the 9/24/19 One Big Happy, both Ruthie and her mother name fingers, but in different ways:

(#1)

Ruthie gives them (descriptive) nicknames — the proper names Hitchy, Pointy, Big Girl, Wiggles, Wee One — while her mother Ellen provides the common nouns referring to the five fingers: the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinkie / pinky (aka the little finger).

(more…)

A hose in your pocket

July 1, 2020

This is a piece of moderately raunchy silliness in a time of great difficulty. (I am trying, with increasing desperation, to write just one blog essay a day as proof that I’m Not Dead Yet, but I didn’t manage it yesterday, 6/30.) Most of it is directly or indirectly about penises, so some readers might want to avoid this posting.

A tv commercial for the Silver Bullet Hose proclaims:

Things that used to be big and bulky now fit in your pocket. Even your hose.

The commercial goes on about hoses and nozzles in gee-whiz fashion; it’s probably just enthusiastic salesmanship, but it would be hard to miss the playfully carnal subtext, of symbolic penises.

And the commercial extols the compact and easily portable, in the garden hose world — and, by extension, in the world of men’s bodies. As the possessor of a penis that fits comfortably into most trouser pockets, I applaud the attitude. All praise to the right-sized; let’s look to Michelangelo’s David.

A crucial part of the garden hose pitch is that the Silver Bullet expands to an impressive length when it’s called upon to perform its function. Oh. My.

(more…)