Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Bingo!

May 16, 2022

Today’s morning name, which led me back to an onomatomanic Zippy strip from 7/3/21 (yes, I work extremely slowly):


(#1) Zippyesque repetitive phrase disorder, aka onomatomania, fixated on exploding magic bingo bombs

This being a Zippy strip, exploding magic bingo bombs are a real thing; Bill Griffith doesn’t just make up stuff like this.

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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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The prank telegram

March 6, 2022

(A posting for my half-birthday, 3/6. When you’re  a child, half-birthdays are good things, because a year is a long time to wait till people celebrate your life on earth again. When you’re old and infirm, they’re good things again, because a year is a long time to hope you’ll live till such a celebration comes again. I’ve gotten through another 6 months: a small but significant accomplishment, though frankly it seems mostly to be luck.)

Choosing more or less randomly from the fish in the sea of unblogged postings: this wry Wayno / Piraro Bizarro from 1/28:


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

The prank turns on an ambiguity, in this case on fresh as a predicate adjective: ‘(of food) recently made or obtained; not canned, frozen, or otherwise preserved’ vs. ‘(of a person) presumptuous, impertinent’ (with the mutton, preposterously,  personified).

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Mr. Nutz sez …

November 30, 2021

… “Pull my tail, and see my eye light up!” Mr. Nutz is a squirrel of brass, also a notorious flasher (if you don’t pull his tail, he’ll do it himself, in the road) — all at once a squirrel, a brass sculpture, a flasher, and a flashlight too (alas, though he tries to be all things to all people, he is neither a floor wax nor a dessert topping). The eye in his brass face lights up lewdly to show us the way to squirrel verse #2:

We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light,
Come where the dew-drops of morning are bright;
Shine all around us by day and by night,
Squirrels, the light of the world.

(Truly, no squirrel’s light was ever hidden under a basket. Mr. Nutz is not only brazen and bawdy, but also bold and boastful. And, he truly believes, beautiful.)

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Il Castello del Formaggio

June 22, 2021

The 6/21 Zippy strip takes us to Kenosha WI, on the highway between Chicago and Milwaukee, along the shore of Lake Michigan — to the location of Mars Cheese Castle, which is why Zippy is there:


(#1) Nothing directly to do with the two principal foci of this blog — language and linguistics, gender and sexuality — but plenty on food, pop culture (along the roadside), and absurdist comedy

As for my interests, Kenosha does have the headquarters of Jockey International — hail to men’s underwear! — and a local woolly mammoth skeleton in its museum — my totem animal! — and, best of all in mid-America’s Land of Cheese, an annual fall Cheese-A-Palooza festival (devoted to the grilled cheese sandwich and to mac and cheese). But best of all is Mars Cheese Castle.

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Baxter on language

April 22, 2021

Three more cartoons from the Glen Baxter collection Almost Completely Baxter, all having to do with language in one way or another: the study of vowels as religious observance in the abbey of the fabled town of Brocklehampton; the tragedy of empty speech balloons; and smoke signals pressed into service to spread higher literary culture.

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leprobates

March 12, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro (Wayno’s title: “Mythical Miscreants”):


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

leprobate, a portmanteau of leprechaun reprobate. Naughty, naughty boys.

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Surprise humor

January 1, 2021

A notable form of humor turns on surprise: background expectations are set up as to how some situation is going to develop, but it then develops in an entirely unexpected way. As in this Harry Bliss New Yorker cartoon from the 1/4&11/21 issue:

(#1)

There they all are, with their books in a living room, with the set-up “The first rule of book club is”, alluding to “The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”; somehow the fight club context is going to be adapted to the book club context.

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The risonym

October 16, 2020

E-mail today from Gadi Niram:

I seem to recall you coining the term “risonym”. What I can’t remember was whether a risonym made a person laugh because of its meaning or because of the speaker’s perception of the sound as funny. Can you refresh my memory?

I had no recollection of such a coining (though Gadi eventually resurrected a single use by me on Usenet 20 years ago — see below), but I tried to respond to the idea of words that are funny because of their sound.

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The library hookers and booze joke

September 25, 2020

The joke, which was new to me and entertained me enormously:

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