Archive for the ‘Figurative language’ Category

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:

(#1)

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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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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Randy Blue purifies the air

November 18, 2018

(Warning: eventually this posting devolves to references to, though not illustrations of, gay porn; a video of a guy dancing in nothing but his Calvins; and the decidedly raunchy, though not actually X-rated, lyrics of Beyoncé’s song “Blow”. So: rated “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, in particular, kids and the sexually modest.)

Day 11 in the smoke — not nearly as bad here on the SF peninsula as in SF itself (or, of course, closer to the Camp Fire around Paradise) — and today the local AQI (the American Lung Association’s Air Quality Index) has dipped to 129, merely “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, but I’m in several of the compromised groups, and life has been hellish for a long time. [A few hours later: up to 158, “Unhealthy”, period.]

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Aid arrived Thursday night, in the form of a Blue Pure 121 air purifier, which now stands majestically in the middle of the main area of my Ramona St. house, humming softly as it offers me clean air to breathe. Puckishly, I have named the machine Randy Blue (after a big gay porn company, itself puckishly named), so this posting will segue from pure air to raunch.

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Cartoon understanding in parallel worlds

November 10, 2018

Two cartoons that have come by me recently that work only if you have a fair amount of cultural knowledge in two dfferent domains, which are presented in the cartoon as parallel worlds equally present there. A Brevity strip by Dan Thompson from 4/27/18 (thanks to Joe Transue for help in identifying the strip); and a Wayno & Piraro Bizarro from yesterday:

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A commercial zeugmoid

November 8, 2018

A recent Arm & Hammer Slide TV commercial, ‘Change Your Cat’s Litter’ (viewable in an iSpot.tv posting here) exhorts the viewer:

If you hate changing your cat’s litter, then change your cat’s litter.

A cute zeugmoid, playing on two (related, but distinct) senses of the verb CHANGE.

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Annals of word retrieval: in promiscuous positions

November 4, 2018

(Warning: embedded in this posting is a bit of — just barely euphemized — taboo vocabulary and the image of a hunky guy in his underwear.)

From Sim Aberson on 10/29, from WSVN, channel 7 in Miami FL:

BSO deputies arrest Dania Beach man in child porn case

Dania Beach, Fla. (WSVN) – Deputies have arrested a Dania Beach man on numerous child pornography charges.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested 66-year-old Roger Aiudi on Thursday following a months-long investigation by the agency’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Investigators said Aiudi had 13 pornographic images of children and dozens of other images showing children in promiscuous positions.

Well yes, not promiscuous ‘having or characterized by many transient sexual relationships’, but provocative ‘arousing sexual desire or interest, especially deliberately’ (NOAD definitions). This is a very likely sort of word retrieval error, since the words are similar phonologically (sharing the accent pattern WSWW and sharing the initial syllable /prǝ/) and morphologically (both ending in Adj-forming suffixes, –ous vs. –ive) as well as semantically.

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Revisiting 19: more proxy names

October 31, 2018

Following up on my 10/20/18 posting “Numbers and names”, where I wrote:

The current avalanche of comments spam comes from a proxies site that creates random usernames for its comments from a gigantic database of names, thus producing many entertaining FN + LN combinations.

Another wave in recent days. Yesterday’s comments spam queue began with:

Frank Gwilt, Sebastian Tentler, Dovie Weasel

I was especially taken by Dovie Weasel, combining a high-positive FN (referring to the bird conventionally associated with peace and love) and a high-negative LN (referring to the conventionally deceitful small furry mammal). Later that day came the remarkable Shawnee Handshoe, which I merely note in wonder here.

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