Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

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Beach bare

January 11, 2020

(On appallingly bad taste in menswear, also about men’s underwear and its contents, but without dwelling on the anatomy and without any mansex at all — so tasteless, but not over-the-line raunchy.)

From the bottomless annals of preposterous men’s underwear: transparent polyester beach shorts. To add to see-through mesh underwear and many much more outrageous garments chronicled in my postings over the years (see my Page on underwear postings).

An illustration:


(#1) MaverickSwim brand “Berlin Transparent Waterproof Shorts” ($26.99) with neon orange trim (also available in neon lime trim), shown here worn over  minibriefs for modesty (but in matching orange, as a fashion statement)

They look hugely uncomfortable, whatever their value as crotch display cases. As Ellen Evans advised on Facebook:

plastic clothes: just say no

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Adapted for Christmas use

December 18, 2019

With a bit of adjustment, or just relabeling, almost anything can be made relevant to the Christmas season. For music, you can just throw in some seasonal reference, or — as in today’s Zits — a refrain of solfege syllables common in traditional English music, famously in the fa la la of the Christmas carol “Deck the Halls”:


(#1) Deck the rats with love of spleen

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Annals of art: statues of the iron prince

November 26, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to Alma AR, where Popeye rules with cans of spinach:

(#1)

This Popeye, who claimed to be the true Popeye and to be carved of wood (all others — especially the one in the cartoons — being mere dissemblers, pretenders, imitators), this grotesque figure, in fact of fibergass over papier-mâché, once stood tall in Alma AR, but has apparently wandered off, to be superseded by a harder, even more massive, Prince Popeye (invigorated by green iron but actually composed of bronze), the new lord of the Ozark Empire of Chenopodia.

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Muscle Milk

November 21, 2019

(Yes, much about sexual meanings of this expression, so there will be much about men’s bodies and bodily fluids and man-man sexual practices, so not advisable for children or the sexually modest.)

Muscle Milk. A creamy sports protein supplement, with an entirely descriptive N + N compound name: ‘milk-like substance [a creamy drink] for (building) muscle(s)’. But as something of an enthusiast of both male genitals and semen, I immediately saw a sexual reading, ‘milk-like substance [semen] from a (metaphorical) muscle [a penis]’. Salacious smiles ensued.

I doubt that a sexual reading occurred to the makers of Muscle Milk, but then they didn’t reckon with people like me. (And in their defense, I should say that though the sexual senses of muscle and milk are both attested, the combination muscle milk seems to have been used only in the name of their product and not to be attested in a sexual semse.)

As a bonus, most of their original flavors are crèmes.

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A regular festival of ambiguity

November 20, 2019

(Later in this posting there are a couple of raunchy men’s underwear ads, and some cautiously worded references to men’s bodies and mansex, so some readers might want to exercise caution.)

Ruthie and Joe in the One Big Happy from 10/9:

(#1)

Three senses of (ir)regular in just four panels. All traceable ultimately to the Latin noun regula ‘rule’, with rule understood as in NOAD:

noun rule: 1 [a] one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere: the rules of the game were understood. [b] a principle that operates within a particular sphere of knowledge, describing or prescribing what is possible or allowable: the rules of grammar. …

The range of senses of regular is impressively large, and illustrates a whole variety of mechanisms of semantic change; the three senses above are a microcosm of this greater world.

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The better body butter, with Whipped Shea Butter

October 15, 2019

Now seen on tv, commercials for Gold Bond creams. In particular, this remarkable item:

(#1)

Radiance Renewal Whipped Shea Butter. Body Cream: 8 oz. Buttery smooth, ultra-rich hydration moisturizes skin for 24 hours.

Have you ever wished you could have all the benefits of a raw Shea Butter, but with a smooth, easy application? Meet GOLD BOND® Radiance Renewal Whipped Shea Butter.

Oh, honey, I have yearned for raw Shea Butter, but always hoped it could somehow be whipped into smoothness, for I am a sensitive fellow. And I’ve long mused about the fabulous Irishman Shea who gave his name to this remarkable ultra-rich hydrating substance.

Imagine my astonishment when I discovered that Shea was not Irish at all but West African, and that he was a nut-bearing tree. Also that Shea Butter, like Coconut Oil, provides not only moisturization, but also nourishment. Shea is, in a word, eminently edible.

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Penguin aerodynamics

October 6, 2019

(Not much linguistics, but there are penguins and mammoths.)

A late birthday present on Friday, wrapped in rainbow tissue paper:


(#1) From the Sock It To Me company in Portland OR: “Penguin Taking Flight” crew socks (artist: Tara Gildow)

The back story from the company:

Blue men’s crew socks featuring a steampunk penguin wearing headgear and a jet pack launching upwards

Tired of being mocked by other flying birds, this flightless penguin is taking matters into her own hands…err wings. Steamed she couldn’t fly, she built herself a marvelous flying contraption and finally took flight. Wear these magnificent penguin socks when you feel a little too earthbound and need to take things to the next level.

Just strap it on and take off.

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Cavemen of higher education

September 3, 2019

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page. The HBD — happy birthday — note is presumably for one of Piraro’s two K-named daughters.)

A twist on the caveman cartoon meme, with a Neanderthal pursuing a higher education. And attempting to get college credit for his life experiences.

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News for penguins: cache and carry

August 24, 2019

From correspondent RJP, a link to a story on the My Modern Met site, “Adorable Egg Holder Transforms Your Produce into a Pack of Penguins” by Sara Barnes on 8/23/19:


(#1) Egguins: portmanteau in name, portmanteau in function

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