Archive for the ‘Formulaic language’ Category

Bromuniqués

June 4, 2018

About the N bro, used first as an address term and then as a referential N with several senses, and available as an element in N + N compounds: as the first element in Bro Code and bro subculture, as the second element in code bro (roughly) ‘guy into coding’ and (hat tip to Tyler Schnoebelen) the academic-cool character named Philosophy Bro. Then, thanks to Ben Barrett on ADS-L (on May 23rd), on to crypto bro / cryptobro, which looks like it might be a portmanteau of cryptocurrency (or cryptocoin(age)) and bro, but is probably better analyzed as a straightforward compound of the clipping crypto and the N bro.

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What happened in vagueness?

June 3, 2018

Available in a number of designs on the net:

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From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s “Ambiguity” entry (edited by Adam Sennet, first published 5/16/11, last substantive revision 2/8/16):

Fun fact: the word ‘ambiguous’, at least according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is ambiguous between two main types of meaning: uncertainty or dubiousness on the one hand and a sign bearing multiple meanings on the other. I mention this merely to disambiguate what this entry is about, which concerns a word or phrase enjoying multiple meanings.

In the technical literature on these things, the first notion is known as (among other things) vagueness, while the second is known as (linguistic) ambiguity. Ouch.

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Dramatic exits

May 31, 2018

A Leigh Rubin cartoon from the 22nd, illustrating an exit and a dramatic exit:

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First, this is a play on the ambiguity of exit, as a N referring to a concrete object (a door, used for exiting) or an act (of exiting). Then there’s another ambiguity, in the  sense of dramatic in the nominal dramatic exit: it could be taken literally, as ‘pertaining to a play’, but here it’s used with a figurative sense ‘melodramatic, stagey, flamboyant’ (note the man’s gesture). In its second use, dramatic incorporates a figurative sense of the N drama seen also in the (originally US gay) slang compound drama queen.

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Charmed, I’m sure

May 20, 2018

The Bizarro/Wayno from the 18th, another exercise in understanding cartoons:

   (#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

Three things to recognize: the figure of Medusa, the figure of the (Indian) snake handler, and the politeness formula charmed. And then, of course, you need to know that such snake handlers are conventionally known as snake charmers in English and that  the politeness formula is part of the social ritual of introduction, where it serves as an alternative to Pleased / Pleasure / Nice to meet you, formal How do you do?, and the like.

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Surreal beer

May 16, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration goes to the neighborhood taproom:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

There’s the question of why Toper 3 can’t find his beer. That has a simple answer: the apple obscures his vision.

Then there’s the claim that Toper 3 is a surrealist — but actually he’s a surrealist character, not a surrealist (an exponent of surrealism). That does make the cartoon surreal, bizarre, because it juxtaposes two ordinary topers at a bar with a fictional character (one from surrealist art, to make the scene more delicious).

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Fenwick the semi-generic

May 14, 2018

Just posted on this blog, this Zippy:

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Zippy-God as the psychiatrist, a very Zippy-like generic Pinhead as the patient; he’s given the name Fenwick in the third panel. The artist is fond of Fenwick.

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mailman lady

May 8, 2018

The One Big Happy from 4/11, with Ruthie addressing her mail carrier:

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Referring to mail carriers. And a snowclonelet composite X lady (one of several; this one is associated with kid talk).

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Eskimo N in Britain

May 3, 2018

Yesterday’s Matt cartoon by Matt Pritchett, alluding to the travails of Brexit:

(#1) Eskimo words for snow, leading to the the ur-snowclone Eskimo N

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The gay world of Yvon Goulet

April 9, 2018

(It’s art, but about male bodies and often about mansex, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Original alert from Daniel MacKay on Facebook, about a work that’s far from X-rated (no sexual bits at all) but is nevertheless steeped in a ritual of mansex, t-room cruising, in this case at the urinals:

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Deviant Passover rites

March 30, 2018

A follow-up to my posting of the 28th, “Deviant Last Suppers”, about queer travesties of Leonardo’s Last Supper, a painting of the communal meal (celebrated on Maundy Thursday, yesterday this year) that Christians understand as the origin of the eucharist, or communion, ritual (take, eat, this is my body; take, drink, this is my blood). Now after sunset today, the Jewish ritual communal meal, the Passover seder, with its symbolic retelling of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. So, Bill Stewart wondered in a comment on this blog, what about a queer seder?

Well, sort of.

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