Archive for the ‘Jokes’ Category

Choosing the words

July 19, 2019

Two One Big Happy cartoons in which young Ruthie confronts word choices: once in the name of a food, which is yucky or not, depending on what you call it; and once in the telling of a joke you know is incredibly funny, but you have to get all the right names of things in it:

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Joke malaprops

July 10, 2019

The 6/13 One Big Happy, in my comics feed yesterday:

Philatelist as a (classical) malapropism (CM) for fatalist — an error that might on some occasion have occurred in actual speech (though I have no occurrences in my files), but which functions here entirely as a joke.

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GN/BN

July 7, 2019

A reference to the Good News Bad News joke routine that was illustrated in my 6/27/19 posting “The Desert Island Reaper” — seen below in its BN/GN variant, which is often dark or nasty:


From Cyanide and Happiness, a strip that specializes in dark BN/GN jokes

Now: a survey of the BN/GN discussion on this blog, leading to a guest posting by Larry Horn on the topic (which I have edited and amended.

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The Desert Island Reaper

June 27, 2019

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, combining two familiar cartoon memes:


(#1) A compound, Desert Island + Grim Reaper

Also incorporating a joke formula, the Good News Bad News routine. The good news is verbalized in the cartoon, the bad news is implicit in the figure of the Grim Reaper.

As an extra, the boat that the Grim Reaper is steering towards the little island looks a lot like a gondola, so evoking Death in Venice and Charon the boatman of death, and possibly more indirectly, a Viking funeral boat with an animal-head prow.

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Ostentatiously playful allusions

May 18, 2019

(OPAs, for short.) The contrast is to inconspicuously playful allusions, what I’ve called Easter egg quotations on this blog. With three OPAs from the 4/20/19 Economist, illustrating three levels of closeness between the content of the OPA and the topic of the article: no substantive relationship between the two (the Nock, Nock case), tangential relationship (the Sunset brouhaha case), and tight relationship (the defecate in the woods case).

The three cases also illustrate three degrees of paronomasia: the Nock, Nock case involves a (phonologically) perfect pun; the Sunset brouhaha case an imperfect pun; and the defecate in the woods case no pun at all, but whole-word substitutions.

I’ll start in the middle, with Sunset brouhaha. But first, some background. Which will incorporate flaming saganaki; be prepared.

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Ariperro

May 5, 2019

The punchline to a wonderful two-line bilingual joke, realized in this cartoon:

(#1)

First, some analysis of the Japanese-Spanish joke. Then some reflections on its appearance, all over the net, in both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking contexts, without attribution to an artist or identification of a source. And, finally, a likely account of its origin, in the Zona Dorado district of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico.

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She got pinched in the As … tor Bar

April 16, 2019

A celebrated example of word breaking or splitting (from the 1959 movie High Society), giving a joke turning on an ambiguity in how the the first part of the split word is to be understood: on its own, giving the off-color She got pinched in the ass; or as merely the first part of the split word, giving the less risqué She got pinched in the Astor Bar (in one or another sense of pinched).

Then I note that the first understanding has the in of body location, the second the in of event location — a distinction I’ve explored in three previous postings. This is the fourth, with some illumination in it, I think.

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Body-location, event-location

February 27, 2019

The One Big Happy from 1/31, expoiting a pervasive ambiguity in location adverbials, in this case the interrogative where:


(#1) Body-location where (Joe’s intended interpretation) vs. event-location where (Ruthie’s perceived interpretation)

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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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Stick insects and tree crickets

September 1, 2018

Today’s morning name: stick insect (creatures from my insect-collecting childhood):


(#1) The strong stick insect, Anchiale briareus

Fascinating creatures, with long bodies and camouflage coloration — brown like sticks, green like leaves.

Probably in my mind from a Facebook query by Georgia Morgan on the 30th about a long-bodied brownish insect that had turned up on a screen in her Brattleboro VT house. Which, as it turned out, was a tree cricket, not a stick insect.

A celebrated kid riddle:

Q: What’s long, brown, and sticky?

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