Archive for the ‘Simile’ Category

Garden Prince

February 27, 2022

A Vicki Sawyer greeting card (on Sawyer’s animal art, see my 2/5/22 posting “The groundhog and the scallion”) from Ann Burlingham, Troublemaker (that’s what it says on her business card) — written on the 20th, postmarked in Pittsburgh on the 22nd, arrived in Palo Alto on the 26th — with a reproduction of Sawyer’s composition “Garden Prince”:

(#1) The Garden Prince wears a crown of carrots and a royal neckchain of peapods, which together serve both as symbols of his authority and as indicators of his tastes in food (also note the conventional simile like peas and carrots ‘getting along well together, being compatible’)

In #1, Ann “saw something akin to a Renaissance portrait. Crossed with Watership Down?” YES!


Zippy on comic art (plus fudge)

October 17, 2013

Today’s Zippy, with Griffy and Zippy having another one of their Art Talks, with heavy similes:


In the background, Oh Fudge Lucille’s Candies in Brants Beach NJ:


Lucilles — note: no apostrophe — makes and sells fudge (among other things, like salt water taffy), but the name Oh Fudge alludes to the cutesy euphemism fudge for fuck.

Hyperbolic metaphors

October 9, 2013

Frank Bruni in an op-ed column in the NYT yesterday, “Nazis, Lynching and Obamacare”, beginning:

You might think that the methodical extermination of millions of Jews by a brutal regime intent on world domination would resist appropriation as an all-purpose metaphor. You might think that genocide, of all things, would be safe from conversion into sloppy simile.

You’d be wrong.

Bruni catalogues an assortment of ravingly hyperbolic similes in recent times, mostly (but not entirely) associated with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Comparisons to: Nazis and the Holocaust, lynch mobs, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, slavery, and hostage taking.


Brief notice: urinary similes

July 17, 2013

In “Sexual lexical semantics”, I took up (among other things) similes like Maggie fucks like a mink, attributing enthusiasm in intercourse to Maggie. And now a comment from Robert G with a simile that was new to me:

“I have to piss like a mink”. One of the old-man’s odd turns of phrase. Surely he was an odd phrase-maker, but I cannot see as this fits into the general drift re: intransitives.

I don’t see intransitivity as the point of interest here (most uses of piss are intransitive). Instead, it’s the choice of comparison animal that intrigues me; where does the mink come from?


Sexual lexical semantics

July 9, 2013

In this posting I’m going to try to tie together several threads: a recent story about a dancer forced out of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet school for making gay porn videos on the side; the proverbial sexual activity of certain animals, in particular minks (a topic suggested by my recent posting on three fur-bearing mustelids); and the lexical semantics of the verb fuck. You can see the connections — and you can see why this posting might not be to everyone’s taste (though no images over the X line will appear in it).


being like

April 10, 2013

Today’s Zits:

Something like a newspaper is the issue. Like in what way? Jeremy’s dad meant physically like a newspaper; Jeremy understood it as functionally like a newspaper. This is not an ambiguity, but an underspecification in the meaning of be like. It’s still problematic for communication.



April 6, 2013

On Thursday Max Vasilalatos and I fell into a discussion of how we manage to sleep sitting up when health considerations require it. I have a wedge I can use in my bed, and for many months I slept sitting up in a reclining chair. Max volunteered that she had a husband for this purpose, but it wasn’t entirely satisfactory. I was puzzled until she described the object — not a human being — that she used for this purpose. The Wikipedia account (in the pillow entry):

A husband pillow (also known as a boyfriend pillow) is a large, high-backed pillow with two “arms”. It is used to prop the user upright while in bed or on the floor, as for reading or watching television.

A picture:


Taco sauce

April 4, 2013

Today’s Zippy:

The strip is a lead-in to a pun so dreadful — the Holy Grill for the Holy Grail — that it’s wonderful. Then there’s the taco sauce theme and the snowlone let the X commence in the title.