Archive for the ‘Language and sports’ Category

You can get anything in rainbow

June 22, 2017

… including the logos for all the Major League Baseball teams, available through the MLB clothing site in caps and shirts. Apparently the line of clothing came out in 2015, but I missed it — and then Aric Olnes posted the SF Giants Pride logo on Facebook today:

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and I checked the (registered) logo out.

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Hang On Sloopy

May 21, 2017

On Friday, while Kim Darnell and I worked on moving plants and cleaning closets (not just routine spring cleaning, but a counter-offensive against a severe moth infestation — more on this in a later posting), for background I called up an iTunes playlist of dance music from the 50s through the 90s, which included “Hang On Sloopy”.

Now, Kim and I both have serious Ohio State connections, so we recognized the song as an OSU anthem, as played by TBDBITL, The Best Damn Band In The Land, aka the OSU Marching Band, which, like OSU football in general, is surrounded by a kind of frenzied irrational devotion. (When I lived in Columbus, I found this truly scary, since it led to crowds torching vehicles, smashing storefronts, and generally behaving like crazed hooligans,)

So Kim asked the obvious question: Who the hell is Sloopy?

We get that it’s a name, here used as an address term. But who is the Sloopy of the song, what do we know about them? And was there an actual Sloopy in the history of the song, or was the name just pulled out of a hat? And what kind of onomastic hat has Sloopy in it? (Related puzzle re: “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” — though in this case, Rikki and Ricky are both reasonably frequent names.).

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Conferring

May 9, 2017

A Harry Bliss cartoon in the May 15th New Yorker:

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“Well, there’s your problem right there—you need to sauté the onions in white wine before adding the ginger.”

First, the usual note about what you have to know to understand this cartoon. You have to recognize that the cartoon is set in a baseball stadium during a game (this is fairly easy, though it involves very culture-specific knowledge), and that we’re looking at the catcher and the pitcher conferring on the pitcher’s mound about pitching strategy, a conference in which privacy is often assured by having the two men cover their mouths with their mitts (this is definitely inside-baseball esoterica).

But wait, there’s more.

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Meathead

February 22, 2017

First brought to my attention by Ken Rudolph on Facebook, this reproduction of a political meathead collage, which has recently been widely disseminated on-line (without attribution):

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Baloney face, banana hair

I put out a request for attribution on Facebook, and after some churning there, archarchivist Michael Palmer nailed it as the work of the very playful Spanish artist Asier Sanz (who uses the name Asier for his artwork):

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Monday language comics

May 16, 2016

Two Monday comics on linguistic topics: a Calvin and Hobbes with an unfortunate ambiguity (pitch the tent), and a Zits with a portmanteau for a combo sport (dodgebowl):

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Morning name: javelina

March 17, 2016

The morning name from 2/10/16: javelina, the animal. Which then led to javelin, the weapon and equipment in a track and field event. No, they have absolutely nothing to do with one another, etymologically, phonologically, or semantically.

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The Super Bowl looms

February 6, 2016

(There’s linguistic content here, but also considerable discussion of men’s bodies and man-man sexual acts, so this is not for kids or the sexually modest. For the rest of you, the man-man stuff includes some pretty extreme practices — not illustrated, but nevertheless described, and some will find this material distressing, though there’s not a whole lot of it. Just a warning.)

On Super Bowl 50, a gay gangbang, language play in porn, and the careening career of gay pornstar Dayton O’Connor, all of this inspired by an ad today under the header “C1R Locker Room Super Bowl Pass”, with two stills from the Channel 1 Releasing gay porn flick Gridiron Gang Bang: a locker room scene and a rear shot of Dylan O’Connor in football gear. The logo for the game:

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And DO on display:

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The Ascent of Bruce

January 21, 2016

In the February issue of Funny Times, this cartoon by political cartoonist Taylor Jones:

The third figure in the progression is Bruce Jenner, the fourth Caitlin Jenner.

Some words about Caitlin Jenner, and then a few on the Ascent of Man cartoon meme.

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big game

November 22, 2015

Yesterday was the Big Game, between Stanford and Cal (the University of California at Berkeley), the Stanford Cardinal and the Cal Bears, in football:

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(Stanford over Cal 28-16, at Stanford Stadium; much celebration)

Linguistic point 1: the usage of the expression The Big Game.

Linguistic point 2: the expression big game used to refer to animals.

Bonus: the movie Big Game.

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Words of One Syllable Dept.

October 22, 2015

For some time now, the New York Times has been reporting, in almost daily stories, on the Canadian elections, culminating in Liberal Justin Trudeau succeeding Conservative Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. Some of these stories, by Ian Austen, refer to an episode in Trudeau’s past that some have interpreted as showing that Trudeau was not mature enough to serve as his nation’s political leader. A version from yesterday, in Austen’s “Justin Trudeau, Son of a Canadian Leader, Follows His Own Path to Power”, about Trudeau’s history:

Mr. Trudeau showed a penchant for unscripted remarks that could be refreshing or embarrassing. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canadian fighter jets would join the American-led campaign against the Islamic State militant group, Mr. Trudeau responded with a vulgar metaphor that many called juvenile.

Now, I’ve been following Canadian politics (at some distance, the way I follow American politics; it’s often a crazy, dirty business), and I recall Trudeau strongly opposing Harper’s fighter-jet proposal, but I don’t recall any “vulgar metaphor” or any outcry about one, and I can’t find any evidence of it on the net. Of course, the proudly fastidious Times wouldn’t actually cite offensive language, but Austen doesn’t even cite or link to any story in which the episode was reported in the clear, with context. So there’s no way for me to judge whether Trudeau “broke the unwritten law” (cue the Piranha Brothers) and merited opprobrium. Words of one syllable.

[Added a bit later: Ben Zimmer has now tracked down the actual quote, which is much less exciting than Austen made it out to be. More below to fold.]

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