Archive for the ‘Slogans’ Category

Zippyphrases 2

March 11, 2022

Some riffing on yesterday’s posting “Catchphrases for sale”, about this Zippy strip:


(#1) Offering fresh phrases — not already in circulation as catchphrases, sayings, proverbs, slogans, famous quotations, well-known names and titles, and the like — chosen at random

Zippy’s fresh phrases sound like catchphrases — roughly, free-standing expressions that you recognize as coming from a stock of quotations widely known in your culture, which then (if you wish) can be conventionally used to make some point — but are in fact novel. The things called catchphrases are then exquisitely embedded in particular cultures (note: “widely known in your culture” and also “can be conventionally used”).

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Cooking with gas: a guest posting

November 21, 2021

Grant Barrett (of the Barnette-Barrett radio show A Way with Words — and a real lexicographer, one of the lexicographers I sometimes hang out with, even though I’m not of that tribe) tried to post this as a comment on my posting yesterday, “Now we’re cooking with carrots”, but it appears to have been indigestible to WordPress, so I’m publishing it here as a guest posting. Remember: what follows below the line is Grant, all Grant, not me (except for some formatting).


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Now we’re cooking with carrots

November 20, 2021

From Ann Gulbrandsen (in Sweden) on Facebook today, a wonderful still life of earthy carrots:

Ann wrote (in Swedish; what follows is the Google Translate version in English, which is, um, flatfooted, with one paraphrase by me):

Thought to pick up the last small harvest of carrots when it will be minus degrees next week. I clearly underestimated what was [underground]. May be cooking with carrots [Sw. matlagning med morötter] a couple of weeks ahead.

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Read the message in my face

September 12, 2021

(Warning: there will eventually be a naked male pornstar, but without his naughty bits visible, plus some mention of feminism and same-sex attraction.)

Two faces that recently caught my eye. I saw them first in a rich context, including the rest of the pose they were in; a background behind the pose; information about the place where the larger photo appeared; and some knowledge about that place and the function of the photo there. Here they are, as bleached of context as I could manage: just the faces:


(#1) Call this person A


(#2) Call this person B

What personas are these two people projecting? What are they like, and what are they doing in the photos?

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Queer as Duck

August 13, 2021

(Seriously off-color and sometimes tasteless, so not to everyone’s liking.)

aka Quack in a Tank Top:


(#1) Tank top from UniTee International (through Etsy); (very light) orange duckbill mask (N95 surgical mask) from the Halyard Co.; model AZ photographed by Kim Darnell at AZ headquarters; behind model, resting on the A-E volume of GDoS (open to the page for bang), the 2015 documentary Do I Sound Gay? (the answer to which is “Well, queer as fuck”)

Advised, in the face of the Delta variant, to move up to surgical masks, I searched on Amazon for properly certified masks from American suppliers. Orange the next day, or white in two to three weeks, so orange it was. The orange turned out to be a lighter shade than in the pictures; it also turned out to be a duck’s bill. But it’s very comfortable, and my glasses don’t fog up. However, I’m so spectacularly maladroit that I haven’t yet learned to put it on by myself; but I’ll get a tutoring session tomorrow.

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Big Fag in a buzzcut

July 27, 2021

Two late July developments: the latest in a series of ever-shorter buzzcuts (with Kim Darnell wielding the clippers), finally reaching a minimal one that satisfies me thoroughly. Shorter than the crewcut that carried me through my late high school years, and requiring no styling. A bit shorter than the easy-care buzzcut my dad settled on in the last years of his life.


Huge hoary linguistics professor, wearied but smiling with pleasure — note the smile lines at the corners of the eyes — at his buzzcut and at the pink neon claim (both amiable and outrageous) to social space for his kind (photo by Kim Darnell)

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Parallelism, metaphor, chiasmus

September 25, 2020

On the slogan in my posting yesterday “Come a long way, long way still to go” (A), a chiastic formula conveying:

Things have improved, but still we’re far from the goal (and there are constant threats to take back the gains)

(A) is a poetically compressed version of (B):

We have come a long way, but we have a long way still to go

(which presents two metaphorical idioms in parallel, with their contrast between the opposed motion verbs come and go).

So there’s a lot of linguistic interest here.

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What’s on YOUR shelf?

April 13, 2020

The bon appétit magazine mailing that came to me today: “Where to Order Your Favorite Pantry Staples Online: Your local grocery store is out of flour. The internet isn’t” by mackenzie fegan on 4/8/20:


(#1) An array of specialty staples to get you through sheltering in place

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I made some art

February 5, 2020

Passed on by John McIntyre, this poignant, or even mordant, eat the rich comic:


(#1) Artie (the artist) and Audie (his audience)

A possible continuation: in panel 5, Artie reluctantly says yes; and in panel 6, Audie goes, well, then, it’s not worth anything, so forget it.

Lessons in modern culture: one, the (only) reason to create things is to make money; and two, to survive, a creator has to sell themselves and their product.

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Contamination by association

August 13, 2019

(Regularly skirting or confronting sexual matters, so perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro takes us back to the Garden of Eden:


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

The bit of formulaic language for this situation is a catchphrase, a slogan with near-proverbial status (YDK, for short):

YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE IT’S BEEN

The leaves are conventionally associated with modesty, through their having been used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden — a use that then associates the leaves with the genitals, from which the psychological contamination spreads to the entire plant, including the fruits. You don’t know where that fig has been.

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