Archive for the ‘Formulaic language’ Category

Amoeba humor

July 17, 2017

A classic Gary Larson cartoon, which came up on Pinterest this morning:

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Pun time at the protist corral, playing on Anglicized Spanish adios, amigos ‘goodbye, friends’ (perhaps better in AmE: ‘so long, buddies’).

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In the dunes, in the dunes

June 30, 2017

(Warning: Another underwear ad, with a sexual text.)

The main image from today’s Daily Jocks sale ad, with a parody text from me, set in Fire Island Pines:

In the Pines

My guy, my guy, don’t lie to me
Tell me me where did you screw last night

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In the dunes, in the dunes
On the sand, under the moon
We would screw the whole night through

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More Magrittean disavowals

June 28, 2017

Today’s Zippy:

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One in a long series of Zippy strips about Tod Browning’s film Freaks, the characters in it, and the actors who played them (only some of them posted about here). Also one in a long series of strips referring to the Magrittean disavowal, a contradiction between text and image: in this case, the title of this comic strip, This is not a comic strip.

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It was ever thus

June 21, 2017

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, set in ancient Egypt:

It was ever thus: work was gendered then — women’s work is domestic, men’s work is in the public sphere — and it hasn’t been ungendered yet.

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Fairy gardens

June 5, 2017

Yesterday on Pinterest, this offering of a Fairy Garden:

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This is a container garden, with real plants. But tiny real plants, mini-plants, or you might say, fairy plants. Using the snowclonelet composite fairy X ‘small or delicate X’.

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Not until you’ve fried it

June 5, 2017

Caught on a local tv station, an ad for Spam:

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An easy pun — fried for tried — on a formulaic expression, Don’t knock it until / ’til / till you’ve tried it. In service of an exhortation to enjoy Spam by frying it just like ham.

First, on the ad campaign. Then, on the expression.

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Rodeos and sword dances

May 27, 2017

(Warning: there will be talk of penises and mansex.)

On The Hill site on 5/21, “Tillerson: ‘Not my first sword dance’ in Saudi Arabia”, by Jill Manchester:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that his sword dance the previous night in Saudi Arabia was not his first.

“I hadn’t been practicing, Chris, but it was not my first sword dance,” Tillerson told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.

Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross linked arms during the dance with Saudi performers on Saturday night. [REDACTED] also took part, swaying to the music, and appeared to enjoy the ceremonial dance. The event took place on [REDACTED]’s first day visiting Saudi Arabia, his first stop on his first foreign trip as president.

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Ross and Tillerson sword-dancing among Saudis

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Marco, Marco, Marco

May 19, 2017

(Men’s underwear, but nothing hard-core.)

The Daily Jocks ad from the 9th, featuring the Marco Marco brand, with my caption:

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Maximum Marco in boxer briefs.
Middle Marco in briefs.
Minimal Marco in almost nothing,
Beyond the pecs, the abs, and the thighs,
Nothing like one another, but they’re
Totally tight —
All three for Subcomandante Marcos, the
Subcomandante for all of them.

Four things here: the Marco Marco firm, which is trés gai; the play on All for one and one for all (most famously alluding to the motto of the Three Musketeers)); the play on Marcos the plural of the personal name Marco vs. the surname Marcos; and the reference to the Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos. Plus a whiff of an allusion to Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Marco Midi is just right). And of course the differences in the three men’s body types.

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On the quote watch

April 14, 2017

An exchange on Facebook a few days ago, provoked by a 4/9/17 piece linking to 4/15/11 story “World’s languages traced back to single African mother tongue: scientists” on PRI (Public Radio International). Various annoyed responses, including, from Ben Zimmer:

No idea why this PRI piece has been making the rounds lately, but it’s about the old 2011 Science paper

My response:

On Facebook, everything old is new again.

— intending to use the boldfaced catchphrase (or cliché) to convey something like ‘fashions and trends are repeated or revived’. Then I wondered about the history of the expression, and found nothing useful in dictionaries of quotations, idioms, and clichés, at least for this wording used in this way. What I found were links to biblical quotations with different wording conveying rather different content; and then, from the 1970s on, a ton of examples of what was clearly recognized as a catchphrase / cliché, used much as I used it above.

As I note here every so often, I am not a lexicographer or a quotes investigator, and I don’t have the resources to pursue the history of expressions in their sociocultural context (though I do hang out with people who do these things, splendidly). So here I’m just setting the problem.

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The trophy boys park the beef bus in tuches town

April 9, 2017

(The title tells the story. Racy topic, unquestionably alluding to hard-core mansex, but indirectly and playfully. Use your judgment.)

The Steam Room Stories video that came by me yesterday morning: “Trophy Boys”, in which two good-looking, ripped gay men complain about being treated as pieces of meat, as just their bulging muscles and big dicks. There are several twists in this short scene (which you can watch here), but here I’m going to focus on the title and on one of the men’s complaints about the men who pick him up as their trophy boy:

It’s dinner, drinks, and back to their place to park the beef bus in tuches town.

(referring to insertive anal intercourse). Playful alliteration in beef bus and tuches town, — the characters in SRS are given to fanciful indirect references to all matters sexual — and then there are the specific items beef, tuches, and of course trophy in trophy boy.

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