Archive for the ‘Formulaic language’ Category

Song of the season

December 12, 2018

It’s time for that moving, rousing carol that makes this time of the year so special. I refer of course to the great seasonal song of Okefenokee County, the Pogolicious, Kellytastic “Deck us all with Boston Charlie”:

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News for bears: cities of bears

December 8, 2018

On the 5th here, postings on the patron saint of bears and on Swiss saintly dogs (with a bow to the city of Bern(e)). Now: more on Bern; on the movie BearCity; and on two California cities of bears, Big Bear City in San Bernardino County and Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.

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OBH information

November 29, 2018

Two One Big Happy strips that appeared in my comics feed recently: from 10/31 (Halloween), with Joe displaying information about tv shows; and from 11/1, with Ruthie displaying molluscular information she has gleaned:

(#1)

(#2)

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Swiss Tasmania

November 29, 2018

The raw material: a poster on Pinterest, which led to photos of a quaint village:


(#1) Mt. Ida and Lake St. Clair, in the highlands of central Tasmania


(#2) The faux-Swiss village of Grindelwald, near Launceston, TAS

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Tea-tag aphorisms

November 25, 2018

You’re familiar with cookie fortunes, and possibly with coffee-cup bible verses, now there are tea-tag aphorisms:


(#1) A cup of inspiration from the Yogi company

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News for penises: the Halloween gay porn report

November 3, 2018

(Discussions of men’s bodies and mansex in plain language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

On AZBlogX today (this material is XXX-rated),  “In costume for Halloween 2018”, with this year’s TitanMen Halloween sale ad (#1 there); a posting on The Sword site on gay Halloween (illustration from the posting in #2 there); and a note on gay vampires in porn (two DVD covers in #3 there).

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The holidays of our lives

October 27, 2018

(Near the end, there will be a hunky male model wearing nothing but a Halloween jockstrap. A warning in case you’d prefer to avoid a holiday men’s underwear discussion.)

Yesterday’s Zippy features a Dingburg-local idiomatic holiday:

(#1)

Of course, I immediately went to sources to discover what was celebrated on October 26th. Well, not only is October National Pumpkin Month, the 26th is the day specifically devoted to the fruit of Cucurbita pepo, this orange squash / gourd / melon / cucurbit: National Pumpkin Day. The day ushers in the Pumpkin Season, which is prefigured by a period in which pumpkin spice erupts as a ubiquitous descriptor of foods and much more (see my 10/20/17 posting “A processed food flavor”); which embraces a number of Halloween-specific cultural practices and symbols (jack-o-lanterns, dressing up in costumes, and trick-or-treating, plus witches and black cats as symbols — and orange and black as a decorative theme); and which is culinarily realized in pumpkin pie as a holiday food for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

So pumpkin pie can last you from mid-October to early January. Meanwhile, some riffs on the cartoon and some on edible pumpkiniana.

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Fables of the trees

October 15, 2018

It began with this poignant texty on Facebook:

(#1)

Voting as part of the story marks this as a recent version, and the shrinking forest (possibly an allusion to deforestation) might be recent as well. But the main idea — that the trees accepted the axe because its handle was wood and they thought it was one of them — feels antique, fabulesque. And so it is.

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Fly formulaicity

October 8, 2018

… in the 10/3 Wayno/Bizarro collab entitled “Off the wall”:


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

A little festival of formulaicity. In the title, the (informal) idiom off the wall and an allusion to the idiom fly on the wall. In the interviewee’s remark, the (colloquial) idiom fly in the buttermilk and perhaps an allusion to the song “Ole Buttermilk Sky” [10/9: but see the comment below on “Skip to My Lou”]; an allusion to a family of “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup” jokes; and the idiom fly in the ointment. Plus a pair of excellently anthropomorphic houseflies on a tv talkshow; if it’s a late-night show, it could be Fly By Night (with the idiom fly-by-night).

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Swine alive or dead

September 29, 2018

From the American tv show Gunsmoke, in the episode “Fandango” (S12 E21, first aired 2/11/67), Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) to a man he’s taken into his custody for trial:

Mister, you’re going back pig or pork, now make up your mind!

The colorful alliterative figure pig or pork, a version of the formula alive or dead (more often encountered in the version dead or alive, with the monosyllable before the disyllable). And an excellent version it is.

(It appears to have been a creation of the Gunsmoke writers: I can find no occurrences that aren’t quotations of, comments on, or allusions to the “Fandango” cite.)

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