Archive for the ‘Oxymoron’ Category

Superficial oxymorons

July 21, 2017

A John Atkinson Wrong Hands cartoon:

An assortment of expressions (almost all Adj + N) that might at first glance seem to be internally contradictory — that is, oxymorons — but which are nevertheless sensical.

It would be a useful exercise to go through these examples and show how they gain their meaning.

(Note: there is now a Page on this blog on John Atkinson cartoons.)

Two Ztoons on language use

February 27, 2017

The Zippy and the Zits in my comics feed today:

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Yesterday’s hot guy

January 28, 2017

posted on him here in a BE FUCKING POLITE t-shirt, giving us the finger. In that posting, I hadn’t identified the model, but now ace mandentifier David Preston has named Daniel M. Sheehan, of the L.A. men’s fashion firm Sheehan & Co., as the hunky silver fox in the photo. As it turns out, the aggression in that photo was entirely mock aggression: Sheehan the man is sweet, earnest, and funny — there are videos on the company’s site — and he describes the photo as “ironic”. Here’s another version of the shirt, fingerless and affectionate (a single red rose symbolizing love), but still oxymoronic (though now the context moves the intensifier fucking in the direction of sexual fucking: towards ‘be fucking politely’):

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Sheehan seems to have a huge following of women (who presumably fantasize about doing him) and a substantial following of straight men (who presumably fantasize about being him) and a huge following of gay men like me (who can indulge in both fantasies). The FUCKING shirts can be read as aimed at any one of these audiences, or of course all of them.

Now, since I find the man physically attractive and his presentation of self (some compound of macho and gay) equally attractive, six more photos of him and his work.

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Today’s hot guy

January 27, 2017

For Fuck-You Friday, a supremely hunky high-macho silver fox, who came to me on my Pinterest feed this morning under the title Bearded Vagabond:

Linguistic interest: just the oxymoronic slogan BE FUCKING POLITE. The injunction to be polite, with the impolite modifier fucking in it. Plus, of course the finger

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Five vegetarian meals

October 31, 2016

At Whole Foods today, looking for interesting frozen meals, we came across whole cases full of items designed to appeal to vegetarians (or vegans). Of special interest to me, since I’m preparing some postings on the etymological fallacy, originally inspired by complaints about the expression meatless meatballs, that it was contradictory (how could balls of meat be meatless?) and therefore unacceptable. Some on-the-spot photos by Kim Darnell, starting with this example:

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Advances in the fast food world

August 9, 2016

An announcement in my Facebook feed this morning, from Adverising Age yesterday:

Burger King Introduces Whopperito, a Whopper Burrito: Tex-Mex Mashup to Be Sold Nationally From Aug. 15

Burger King’s latest new item is taking a cue from Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is still reeling from a string of foodborne illness outbreaks.

The Whopperito, which puts Whopper burger ingredients like beef, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and pickles inside a flour tortilla, will be sold nationally beginning Aug. 15 [after marketing trials in Pennsylvania]. A queso sauce replaces the mayonnaise from the hamburger.

I had two reactions. One, that the Whopperito as described in AdAge is very close to my conception of an American burrito, with (possibly) only the tomatoes and pickles outside the usual list of ingredients, though with beans (or refried beans) crucially absent, so the thing hardly looks like a hybrid food (Whopper plus burrito), but more like a stunted variant of a burrito — but then this is advertising (for Burger King, home of the Whopper), not food studies. Two, that althugh the name could be construed as a portmanteau (Whopper + burrito, with the shared r indicated by underlining), the first interpretation I got of the name was that it was a diminutive of Whopper, in –ito, that is, as ‘little Whopper’ — an oxymoron if I ever saw one.

Then I discovered that AdAge had spelled the name wrong. It’s Whopperrito, much more clearly a portmanteau.

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