Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

Follow-up: magenta greens

June 1, 2019

Following up on my posting yesterday, “Flirting with magenta” (about three plants with magenta flowers), Randy McDonald has sent me a piece from the site Speed River Journal: An urban naturalist’s progress: “Magenta spreen, a worthy spring green” on 5/29/19 by Van Waffle — about the plant often known as tree spinach:


(#1) Close-up of Chenopodium giganteum leaves (from Wikipedia)

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Wisely seasoned

May 30, 2019

Today’s Rhymes With Orange crosses the Godzilla cartoon meme with the Wise Man cartoon meme, all for a tasty dinner:


(#1) A pun on wise man sage / culinary herb sage

Two Godzillans, with a poultry truck to cook for dinner (most Godzillans eat their vehicles raw, but these two appear to be refined monsters), contemplate using a little wise man — a little sage — as seasoning. (The appropriate sense of little (‘small in size, amount, or degree’) follows from the sense of sage: a wise man small in size, a small amount of the herb.)

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On the dog food watch

May 29, 2019

The 5/27 Wayno-Piraro Bizarro strip, set in the Land of Dogs:


(#1) (If you wonder about the secret symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

A dog food with Quibbles in its name is of course not going to agree with you, in one sense of agree with. So you can understand the cartoon, and see that the pun on agree with in it makes it amusing — and still miss the extra joke that Wayno and Piraro threw in for you.

The cartoon would have been funny if the dog food had been named just Quibbles. But Quibbles and Fits is a lot funnier, because it’s another pun, on the name of the (actual) dog food Kibbles and Bits. But of course you have to know about this particular commercial product to get that joke.

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Semantics of compounds

May 28, 2019

The semantics of English modifier + head nominal composites — but especially of N + N compounds — is a recurrent topic on this blog; the array of semantic relationships exemplified in the data here is enormous, and might give the impression that things are just chaotic, though I’ve tried to pull out frequent patterns that dominate the data. One way to approach the matter in more nuanced fashion is to search for preferences for certain kinds of interpretations according to the semantics of the component elements.

And now, just appeared, we have “Systematicity in the semantics of noun compounds: The role of artifacts vs. natural kinds” by Beth Levin, Lelia Montague Glass, and Dan Jurafsky, in the De Gruyter journal Linguistics. Published online 5/16/19; I’ve found no volume, issue, and page numbers for the print version, but this is the DOI, and Lelia now reports that a pdf is freely available here. The abstract:

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Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin

May 25, 2019

From ace penguin-spotter Martin Mulligan, a link to First Dog on the Moon cartoons by Guardian Australia’s Andrew Marlton (a list of his cartoons is available here): dense but wry text on political issues, often featuring the character Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin, as in this 5/8/19 strip “Throwing eggs is satisfying but is it right? Quite possibly”:

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Annals of fruity goodness: the strawberry file

May 20, 2019

(Warning: It ends with indirect allusion to mansex and with two shirtless actors, arms around each other’s shoulders, showing their stuff in their underwear.)

A recent posting in the My Home is California group on Facebook:

(a) I dreamed of photographing a sliced strawberry …, thinking it was a fruit. It is actually more closely related to a rose.

To which I now respond, first:

(b) I dreamed of photographing a sliced potato, thinking it was a vegetable. It is actually more closely related to a petunia.

And, second:

(c) I dreamed of photographing James Franco, thinking he was a fruit. He is actually more closely related to a piece of meat.

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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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Pooh’s honey pot

May 16, 2019

(Talk of men’s bodies and mansex, not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

From several posters on Facebook, a raunchy fabric composition involving TopPooh, TPooh for short, and BottomPooh, BPooh for short (both of them from Ernest Shepard illustrations for the original Winnie-the-Pooh books), doing a standing doggy:

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Annals of inadvertently cute creatures

May 9, 2019

During the frustrating days of searching for a source of the Japanese-Spanish “Ariperro” cartoon (5/5 report on this blog here), I wrote on Facebook:

Stacy [Holloway] says there’s no clear answer. I say I’m sad about the unclear answer.

And Stacy offered to allay my sadness with something happy, specifically, from the My Modern Met site, “Adorable “Leaf Sheep” Sea Slugs Look like Cartoon Lambs” by Jenny Zhang on 8/22/15:


(#1) A leaf sheep sea slug, Costasiella kuroshimae

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Fill me with chocolate cream

May 3, 2019

… and pour melted chocolate over me, and I’ll be your Penguin: p … p … p … pick me up!

I’m a McVitie’s Penguin biscuit bar, and I’m all yours:

(#1)

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