Archive for the ‘Metonymy’ Category

Why is he calling her his thesaurus?

May 28, 2019

Today’s morning name was the Italian phrase il mio tesoro, and there’s no mystery where it came from: on my overnight iTunes, the 1959 Carlo Maria Guilini recording of Don Giovanni had reached Luigi Alva singing “Il Mio Tesoro” just as I woke. What was odd was that my still sleep-addled brain was puzzling over why Don Ottavio was calling Donna Anna his thesaurus.

Attribute it to an overactive mental-association apparatus connecting It. il tesoro ‘treasure’ (but also ‘darling, honey, dear’) to Engl. thesaurus referring to a specialized type of dictionary (derived ultimately from Greek). In this case, one reproducing a historical connection between It. tesoro ‘darling’ and It. tesoreria ‘thesaurus’, which are, etymologically, second cousins, more or less.

After this, on to the aria, with performances by Alva, Araiza, and Domingo.

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High 5 from a bison

May 25, 2019

(After the cartoons and the lexicography, John Rechy will take this posting into the world of mansex, in some detail and in very plain talk; that section is not for kids or the sexually modest, but I’ll warn you when it’s looming on the horizon.)

Two bison greet each other in a John Baynham cartoon with a wonderful pun:

(#1)

That’s numbers (roughly ‘amount’, but as a PL C noun) — and indeed large numbers of buffalo did once roam the plains of North America — vs. numbers referring to physical models, or simulacra, of symbols for certain abstract mathematical entities — in this case, the natural numbers. Such physical models are also familiar: think of the letters in the HOLLYWOOD sign, or the numbers on the building at 666 Fifth Ave. in NYC (with its own kind of fame as a Jared Kushner property). But people don’t walk around with, much less inside, giant versions of such models. That’s deliciously absurd.

Looking at the lexical items involved will take us deep into the lexicographic weeds and then to the secret places of mansex, starting with the dim recesses of Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

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Ostentatiously playful allusions

May 18, 2019

(OPAs, for short.) The contrast is to inconspicuously playful allusions, what I’ve called Easter egg quotations on this blog. With three OPAs from the 4/20/19 Economist, illustrating three levels of closeness between the content of the OPA and the topic of the article: no substantive relationship between the two (the Nock, Nock case), tangential relationship (the Sunset brouhaha case), and tight relationship (the defecate in the woods case).

The three cases also illustrate three degrees of paronomasia: the Nock, Nock case involves a (phonologically) perfect pun; the Sunset brouhaha case an imperfect pun; and the defecate in the woods case no pun at all, but whole-word substitutions.

I’ll start in the middle, with Sunset brouhaha. But first, some background. Which will incorporate flaming saganaki; be prepared.

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Pooh’s honey pot

May 16, 2019

(Talk of men’s bodies and mansex, not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

From several posters on Facebook, a raunchy fabric composition involving TopPooh, TPooh for short, and BottomPooh, BPooh for short (both of them from Ernest Shepard illustrations for the original Winnie-the-Pooh books), doing a standing doggy:

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The self-published book

April 25, 2019

In the recently published The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons —

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edited by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein (a regular visitor on this blog), this Ed Koren (who’s also on this blog):

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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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groins

November 19, 2018

From Charlie Doyle on ADS-L on November 10th:

According to two different ESPN commentators, a University of Georgia football player has had surgery on “both groins.” Doesn’t that sound odd?

Others agreed that it did — the problem being that, in their reckoning, each person has only one groin.

Then still others quoted anatomists, and dictionaries, supplying evidence of a usage in which everyone has two groins, one on each side. This is apparently the older usage, though for a great many, metonymy has shifted the everyday meaning to cover the entire crotch region, with (for them) the older usage surviving only as a technical term in anatomy.

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Ruthie faces literal ambiguity

August 28, 2018

In the 7/30 strip, on the ambiguity of the word letter; in the 7/31 strip, a play on the name of the letter Y:

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(#2)

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Swiss cheese isn’t Swiss

July 10, 2018

(And Swiss steak isn’t either, but that’s a topic for another posting.)


(#1) A wedge of American Swiss

But then the expression Swiss cheese is ambiguous. NOAD recognizes this, but not in the way you were probably expecting:

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Deshagged and pedicured

May 17, 2018

(This starts innocently enough, but quickly descends into male body parts and mansex, in very plain language. All this in text, no X-images, but, still, not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Last week, as usual around the beginning of each month, I had my moments of body care: a haircut, to get deshagged (as I think of it); and the services of a neighborhood nail salon, to get pedicured.

Then I thought: I get deshagged regularly, but I don’t get shagged, haven’t been since sometime in the last century, don’t even remember when. Also, I get pedicured, but I don’t get pedicated. I like the sweetly raunchy verb shag and the owlishly learnèd verb pedicate. So different in tone, but they both roll off the tongue. Two ways of dancing.

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