Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

The crystal ball of cartoon understanding

August 17, 2018

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm takes us through the murky realms of cartoon understanding:

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At the surface level, the fortune teller offers a preposterous prediction about how Grimm will be reincarnated, and Grimm says he doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Entirely comprehensible (so long as you know about fortune tellers, and can recognize a stereotype of one —  woman in gypsy costume with crystal ball — and so long as you know what reincarnation is), but not funny, unless you also know about Carnation brand evaporated milk (sweetened powdered milk that comes in cans). It’s a joke, son.

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Central Shark

August 16, 2018

We’re in the middle of the SyFy Channel’s Sharknado Week (the 12th through the 19th), an event that continues to fly the banner of life-threatening sharp-toothed monster-fish even after the Discovery Channel has largely turned over its own SHARK WEEK offerings (July 22nd through 29th this year) to putatively informative feature stories. None of that wimpy speculative journalism for the staff at SyFy, who steadfastly maintain the tradition that has brought us SyFy-original gems like their 2010 Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (which I watched again yesteday).

Each year some new movies (plus, of course, the classics of past years). Fresh meat this year:

Deep Blue Sea 2, Megalodon, Santa Jaws, Frenzy, Nightmare Shark, 6-Headed Shark Attack, with, as an extra attraction on Sunday, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time!

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P-alliterative and tetrametric lines

August 11, 2018

…  front-accented (especially trochaic) tetrametric, in fact. Separately and in concert.  Notably combined in

purple rainbow puppy pen (SW SW SW S)

which is the household name for this object, recently acquired by Kim Darnell at a local vet’s office and now added to my cabinet of curiosities display:

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Two occasions, four cartoons

August 6, 2018

(There will be talk of men’s bodies, among a number of other things, so you might want to exercise some caution.)

Yesterday was National Underwear Day (utilitarian garments elevated to objects of play, desire, and fashion display), today is Hiroshima Day (remembering the horror of an event of mass destruction, death, and suffering). An uncomfortable, even absurd, juxtaposition, but there is a link in the symbolism of the two occasions. In my comics feed for these occasions: four language-related cartoons on familiar language-related themes, none of them having anything to do with either underwear or nuclear holocaust, probably for good reason.

Cartoons first, then the underwear and atomic bombs.
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Toga, togae, togae!

August 5, 2018

Following up on my “Creams” posting yesterday, about names for gay bars, Betsy Herrington wrote to say that when she lived in NYC (in Chesea) in the late 90s, “there was a wonderful gay toga bar down the street called Vidi Vici Veni”. A bookish joke (playing on the slogan Veni Vidi Vici ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ attributed to Julius Caesar, and using the slang sense ‘ejaculate’ of the English verb come) familiar to me, but not as the name of a gay bar. On a t-shirt:

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Amazing grease

August 1, 2018

A Scott Hilburn cartoon from some years back, a smileworthy garage-mechanic burlesque of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” text:

Puns on grace / grease, wretch / wrench, and all(eluia) / oil. Visually, there’s the choirstall that’s a tool box and the sacred oilcan in the stained glass window. And of course the various sorts of wrenches.

[Added on 8/2: as with many other cartoons I’ve analyzed here, this one involves a translation from one (usually everyday) world into a metaphorical world — here, between the world of church services and the world of mechanic’s shops. See my 5/22/18 posting “I (just) can’t stop (it)”.]

Motherhood and stupid PAP

July 29, 2018

Starting around the 9th, making the rounds on Facebook, a Daily Mail (U.K.) story from 2016, with a disturbing video under the heading (H):

This mother took her children’s phones and shot them to teach them a lesson!

 
(#1) You can watch the video here

(H) presents a series of complexities in interpretation, having to do with the reference of the two anaphoric pronouns them, with respect to two potential antecedent NPs: the determiner NP her children (marked as possessive) and the argument NP her children’s phones (here serving as the direct object argument of the verb took).

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The ants are my friends?

July 28, 2018

Through friends on Facebook, a 7/30/12 Captain Scratchy cartoon (by Chuck Ingwersen) “The Wiener Dog Is Annoyed”, in which a dachshund and a pug are transfixed in panel 1 by small black dots on the ground between them, from which these sounds are emanating:

🎶Just like me, they long to be … close to you. 🎶

🎶Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. 🎶

🎶We’ve only just begun. 🎶

— upon which, in panel 2, the dachshund growls:

CRAP, WE’VE GOT CARPENTER ANTS.

(To get this, you need to know that carpenter ants are a real thing — not a stretch — and you really need to know about Karen and Richard Carpenter and their songs from 1970-71.)

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Hi-g pun for Xmas in July

July 26, 2018

(Friendly warning: this posting will end up with some ads for gay porn, with some mildly raunchy text.)

… in today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

I’ve been inundated with hi-g (high groan-producing) puns this week, but this one plugs into other e-mail I’ve been getting this week, for Christmas in July events of various kinds — though not, in my experience, marathon re-playings of the melancholy-saccharine holiday song “White Christmas” made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn:

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Swiss Navy

July 22, 2018

(Swiss Navy lubricants for sex, so not to everyone’s taste. But there will be Swiss Army knives.)

Accidentally encountered in one of my forays into things Swiss: Swiss Navy products:

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The company offers both water-based and silicone-based lubes and a number of specialities, including masturbation cream and (clove-scented) anal lubricant.

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