Archive for the ‘Formulaic language’ Category

Easter egg quotations

April 13, 2019

From my 1/25/19 posting “Pythonic curtain line in the Economist”:

The Economist is ridiculously fond of this sort of jokiness, dropping allusions left and right (unattributed of course), to both high and low culture, to idioms, proverbs and sayings, and so on. In the Vaccine X story, the sting is in the tail

— in the very last sentence: “All this may then eliminate the fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency of unexpected viruses”, a variant of a quotation from the Monty Python “Spanish Inquisition” sketch.

If you catch the quotation — not every reader will — that doesn’t contribute substantively to your understanding, but it does provide a kind of side pleasure, not unlike that afforded by Easter eggs in video games and the like. So I’ll refer to them as Easter egg quotations.

(more…)

Ed (the) Ped

April 4, 2019

In yesterday’s Zippy, the Walking Man — Zippy knows him as Ed Ped — returns to Zippytopia:

(#1)

First theme: Ed used to be otherwise, but now he’s naked, amanous, and apodous: Deal with it! Get over it! Get used to it! We are everywhere.

Second theme: Zippy moves the focus to France, causing Ed to morph into a stereotypical Frenchman (with beret and cigarette, probably Gauloises), who announces Je suis partout ‘I am all over, I am everywhere’.

Side effect:  French Ed evokes, in Zippy’s mind, Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor. (Zippy is a wildly associative thinker.)

(more…)

You can’t get no ways…

March 23, 2019

… if you don’t know the phrase. An exercise in cartoon understanding that came to me from Facebook connections, but without any credit to the artist:

(#1)

If you don’t recognize It don’t mean a thing as part of a particular formulaic expression, you’re screwed; the cartoon is incomprehensible.

(more…)

V me, I’m Irish

March 17, 2019

(Men’s bodies and tons of mansex — anal, anal, anal — in street language. No actual penises on display, but nevertheless absolutely not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Padraig porn for the day:


(#1) The TitanMen gay porn sale for this weekend: Kiss me, I’m Irish

(more…)

le naufrage, le naufragé

March 16, 2019

A dire nautical theme in today’s morning names: le naufrage ‘shipwreck, sinking’ and le naufragé ‘shipwreck victim, castaway’, powerful elements of popular culture and frequent subjects of news stories, books, and films.

I was first taken to le naufrage de l’Andrea Doria, an event that vividly evoked the summer before my junior year in high school; then (among the innumerable fictional representations of shipwrecks and castaways, going back to the Odyssey and before) to Tom Hanks in the appalling Cast Away; and, then, through the whimsicalities of googling, to Le naufragé (English title Stranded), a 2009 short comedy-drama film — about which I can find virtually nothing of substance.

(more…)

Car wash cartoon understanding

March 13, 2019

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro cartoon:


(#1)(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in this strip — see this Page.)

You need to recognize that the cartoon takes place in a garage and you need to know that detailing is a kind of car care. And you need to recognize that Nick is the Devil (note horns and tail). That’s all pretty easy.

Then you need to know what detailing a car has to do with the Devil — and for that, if you don’t know the saying The devil (or Devilis in the detail(s), you’re just stuck. You’ve missed a devil of a pun (on detail).

(more…)

The SemFest 20 handout

March 12, 2019

A long long day getting this handout together; my paper is on Friday afternoon. Ides of March. But first, the doctor is in:


Matt LeBlanc, playing Joey Tribbiani on Friends, playing Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives

(more…)

The MetaCat

March 3, 2019

From various friends on Facebook who know that I’m interested in meta-comics, this 4/21/17 Imbattable strip by Pascal Jousselin, in an English translation:


(#1) Imbattable (‘Unbeatable’) is a bandit superhero in a yellow and black costume

Among Imbattable’s superpowers is his ability to break the walls of the cartoon’s panels and freely move between them. With the result that temporarily, in the fourth panel, the cat is in two places at once — a phenomenon that unsettles both the cat and the old lady.

(more…)

Grammar pirate

February 25, 2019

The title of this cartoon, which turned up yesterday in FB’s Our Bastard Language group:

(#1)

The captain is both a pirate and (as it turns out, once you figure out what the man intends to say) a grammar nazi, bent on correcting his crew’s inferior (as he sees it) English — hence the portmanteau grammar pirate. So the cartoon is, primarily, about (stereotypical) pirate talk (which will take us to the West Country of England), but also about peeving.

(more…)

Wading with Vladimir and Estragon

February 19, 2019

That, at least, is where it started, with this bit of playfulness on Facebook:

(#1)

One among a great many available versions of Wading for Godot (like this one, hardly any have an identifiable origin, but just get passed around on the web, along with jokes, funny pictures, and the like: the folk culture of the net). I’m particularly taken with #1, as a well-made image and as a close reworking of lines from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot:

(more…)