Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

Revisiting 9: ¡-ola!

October 22, 2017

A comment on the vulgar noun crapola in yesterday’s posting “A portmantriple”, from David Preston:

[cited by AZ] “-ola, a suffix used humorously to extend standard words.”

Wasn’t the original ‘ola’ the shoe-polish brand Shinola? Then it became humorous with the phrase “know shit from Shinola.”

Actually, playful -ola didn’t start with Shinola, though Shinola appeared fairly early in the history.

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Que Seurat, Seurat

October 22, 2017

(‘Whatever Seurat is, Seurat is’, that is, ‘Seurat is what he is’. That’s with English que /ke/, as in “Que Sera, Sera”.)

A photo by Elizabeth Zwicky on Facebook on the 14th:

(#1) Boston harbor; the orange bit is a reflection of a construction crane

In the photo (of ripples in water, with reflected points of sunlight), Ellen Evans, on Facebook, saw life imitating art, in this case, Seurat’s pointillism, and I agreed, hence the title of this posting. Robert Coren suggested Monet, and that’s not impossible, but a pointillist painter is a better fit.

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A portmantriple

October 21, 2017

Tucked inside Reid Forgrave’s story in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about the Boundary Waters area of northern Minnesota was an admirable brand name, an off-color portmantriple (boldfaced below):

[Becky] Rom and her husband climbed out of the canoe. Back in [the town of Ely], they pointed out thriving enterprises. One family company makes outerwear, which nicely complements the family’s other business, a lodge that runs winter dogsledding trips. An outfit called Crapola makes cranberry-apple granola. An art gallery displayed prints from a nature photographer…

If you live in or near Ely (a town of three or four thousand people), or if you’re a serious granola maven, you’re probably familiar with Crapola, but otherwise the product isn’t widely known.

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Traveling around with Zippy

October 13, 2017

(Fun with names and language play, but mostly Zippyesque popular culture in many manifestations.)

In recent days, Zippy has gone to a psychic shop (offering “crystals, past lives, tarot cards”), to the Tropical Treat in Hanover PA, to Luna Park in Sydney (NSW), to the ghost of a  Mickey Rooney hotel in Downington PA, and to the ghost of the Justin Time diner in Meriden CT.

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The news for musical chameleons

October 5, 2017

Through a Facebook connection, this .NAF. cartoon:

Yet another play on an antic song title.

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One-hit grinders

October 2, 2017

The Zippy from September 30th, featuring Mary’s Coffee Shop, which also offers grinders:

(#1)

Plays on several senses of grind, plus the idiom one-hit wonder (with its phonological play on /wʌn/).

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Tied up in paisley

September 26, 2017

Yesterday, from Steven Levine on Facebook:

(#1)

Not too long ago the Steven Levine necktie museum received a significant donation from the Arnold Zwicky tie archives, which included a goodly percentage of paisley ties spanning a few decades. From what I’ve seen, there have been takes on paisley prints on neckties going back to the 20s and I’m pretty sure you can find them currently. This polyester tie seems seventies to me.

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Stuck in Folsom Prison

September 24, 2017

Scott Hilburn’s Argyle Sweater cartoon from the 20th:

A parody set off by a pun.

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Two from 9/8

September 23, 2017

… in the September 8th issue of the New Yorker. Both presenting the usual challenges to understanding — there’s a lot you have to know to make sense of them — and both playing on language.

(#1) by Jeremy Nguyen

(#2) by John McNamee

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Bear chairs

September 23, 2017

Today’s Zippy lumbers through some plays on bear, in a bear chair:

(#1) The bear figure as both comforting and threatening

Bear chairs, gay bears, flags, and more.

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