Archive for the ‘Language play’ 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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Hung with care

December 24, 2019

Yes, cheap louche wordplay, and for Christmas. Manifested in the playful and deeply carnal CGI artwork of Vadim Temkin, in his alphabet of gay sex, where the letter shapes are formed by men’s bodies and body parts, many engaged in a variety of intense sexual acts.

This material, chock-full of sex talk in street language, is massively unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest, even without the images rife with male genitalia (which are in a posting on AZBlogX, 12/21/19, “Surprise! Vadim’s gay alphabet”).

Then, though the alphabet began merely as a set of 26 images, it came to me as worked into another genre: these images on the faces of surprise cubes, a set of 8 cubes which arrived a few days ago as Vadim’s New Year’s 2020 gift.

But first, the images, especially the one for the letter X, “eXcited Xmas eXhibitionist”, showing a well-hung Santa, with a Christmas wreath hung on his thick, solid erection (fuzzed over for WordPress, but inspectable on AZBlogX), while Santa himself hangs on a St. Andrew’s Cross, welcoming restraint, abuse, and pain. It’s a complex message.

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The images quilt

December 15, 2019

The last in a set of four; the linguistics quilt, from the 19th, is its predecessor. As before, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell (and photos by Kim).  This time, t-shirts with images that have pleased or entertained me:

(#1)

Now the 12 panels individually, by row (R) and column (C).

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Three comic rabbits for December

December 1, 2019

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit on the first of the month. The Mother Goose and Grimm from 12/30, with a textbook attachment ambiguity. The Rhymes With Orange for today, with an updated version of a classic tongue twister. And the Bizarro for today, with a Mr. Potato Head  wielding a terrible slang pun.

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At the onomatomania dinette

November 27, 2019

Today’s Zippy is set in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk VA of a few years back, in a Do-Nut Dinette — whose name throws Zippy into a fit of onomatomania (aka repetitive phrase disorder) compounded with Spooner’s affliction (compulsive exchange of word elements in phrases):

(#1)

(Separately, there’s the use of dinette to refer to a diner, as a type of restaurant.)

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Chart pie

November 14, 2019

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo from the 9th:


(#1) If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page. Meanwhile, the pie segments run through the flavors in the order named, clockwise from the pumpkin segment at the top.

Transpositional wordplay of an especially simple sort, involving a two-word expression, with X Y ~ Y X — in this case taking off from a conventional N + N compound, the metaphorical  pie chart ‘chart resembling a pie’, and reversing the parts to yield the novel, and entertaining, (also metaphorical) compound chart pie ‘pie resembling a chart’.

The model expression pie chart refers to an object familiar in our culture, while the play expression chart pie refers to something novel and surprising: a pie made up of segments drawn from various different pies. Not a combination or mixed pie, like the familiar strawberry rhurbarb pie — a kind of hybrid pie — but instead a composite (‘made up of various parts or elements’ (NOAD) or chimerical pie, with distinct parts taken from different pies. (On chimeras, see my 11/13 posting “The chimera of Faneuil Hall”.)

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Ruthie plays with Joe

November 3, 2019

A recent — 10/7 — One Big Happy has Ruthie willfully misunderstanding a usage, something she does every so often, sometimes as a joke, usually to annoy her brother Joe:


(#1) Joe asks about /plen/ plane vs. plain, and Ruthie mischievously shifts to a pun on /pléɪn/ playin’.

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The Potato Fried

October 27, 2019

A Wayno cartoon from 4/11/16, an exercise in cartoon understanding:


(#1) “My name is Idaho Montoya. You peeled my father. Prepare to fry.”

(See the comments. It turns out that Wayno’s original was wordless, so this caption was added by some wag  — who deserves credit.)

If you don’t get a crucial reference, the cartoon is just silly, two cartoon potatoes having a duel with potato peelers. So you need to recognize that the figures are anthropomorphized potatoes, and that the things they are wielding are potato peelers. Then there are potato references in each sentence of the challenge: Idaho, famously a source of potatoes in the US; peeling, a step in preparing potatoes for many sorts of dishes; and frying, one common method of cooking potatoes (in French fries, for instance).

You will probably also catch the groaner pun in Prepare to fry, based on the stock expression from popular adventure fiction, Prepare to die.

But otherwise, it’s just a bit of fanciful silliness. In fact, it’s rich and complex, if you’re in on the jokes.

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B.Z.P.D.

October 25, 2019

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo:


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

I’m going in disregard everything in this strip except the B.Z.P.D., presumably an initialistic abbreviation for BiZarro Police Department — the police department in Bizarro’s world. Compare N.Y.P.D., L.A.P.D., and S.F.P.D., just to pick three similar initialisms prominently displayed in tv police dramas. However, this is the first time I’ve noticed the B.Z.P.D. in the Bizarro strip.

The police department in Bizarro’s world then led me to Bizarro World, the dark part of DC Comics’ world that is the mirror-image of Superman’s world.

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In an Indian pickle

October 21, 2019

… with a pun

In this bon appétit story by Carey Polis on 10/11/19 (which came to me in e-mail from ba today): “I Put This Condiment on Everything When I Can’t Be Bothered to Make a Sauce: Brooklyn Delhi’s tomato achaar is a little spicy, a lot of awesome”:


(#1) Brooklyn Delhi tomato achaar (photo by Laura Murray, pun on Delhi / deli by the food company)

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