Archive for the ‘Morning names’ Category

Ark of Triumph

May 28, 2022

Today’s morning name (from who knows where): the word-playful Ark [vs. the usual Arch] of Triumph. In French, somewhat confusingly Arche [vs. the usual Arc] de Triomphe.

The Ark (that is, Noah’s Ark), Arche de Noé + the Arch of Triumph (that is, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris).

Wherever it came from, Ark of Triumph led me to the wonderfully playful artist Rodney Alan Greenblat, some of whose work it turns out I was familiar with (without knowing he was the artist), but whose 1984 work Ark of Triumph I’m pretty sure I’d never even heard about before, much less seen.

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Bingo!

May 16, 2022

Today’s morning name, which led me back to an onomatomanic Zippy strip from 7/3/21 (yes, I work extremely slowly):


(#1) Zippyesque repetitive phrase disorder, aka onomatomania, fixated on exploding magic bingo bombs

This being a Zippy strip, exploding magic bingo bombs are a real thing; Bill Griffith doesn’t just make up stuff like this.

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The cadenza and the coda

April 29, 2022

Morning names for today (4/29), set off by a cadenza in a Mozart piano concerto that was playing when I got up just after midnight for a brief whizz break. The word cadenza led me immediately to coda, both musical bits coming at the end, also both sounding sort of Italian (which, in fact, they once were), indeed sounding very similar at their beginnings (/kǝd/ vs. /kod/) — but it turns out that though their etymologies both go back to Latin, a cadenza is a falling (or, metaphorically, a death) and a coda is a tail.

(#1) A tv ad: Help me! I’m in a cadenza and I can’t get up!

(#2) A linguistic Tom Swifty: “Coda, my ass! That’s a coati or a koala, I don’t know which”, quoted Cody in Kodiak.

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Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!

April 20, 2022

(References to man-on-man sex, in very plain language, will slide by every now and then, and I swear a whole fucking lot. I realize that the posting is also astoundingly long, complex, peculiar, and deeply passionate. Still, I plead: Gentles, do not reprehend. / If you pardon, we will mend.)

Once again, my plans for a day’s postings have been utterly defeated through an accident of experience — in this case, what happened to be playing on my night-time Apple Music when I arose very briefly for an old man’s piss break just after midnight on Monday (4/18).

Bright and, oh Jesus, joyous. (Joy is a huge thing in my life, right up there with playfulness and sexual pleasure.) Solid Baroque. Oh, in English, and it seems to be about happiness. Must be Henry Purcell; bright joy was one of his musical things, and he did it magnificently, again and again. (A moment’s pause here to express gratitude for a world that has Purcell in it.)

Yes, of course, The Fairy Queen (or as Purcell had it at the time, The Fairy-Queen; just to note that these fairies might be playful, but they’re also creatures of power). Specifically, the ravishing “They shall be as happy as they are fair”. (In fact, the adjective ravishing came unbidden along with the music, so it’s a morning name for Monday. The adjective puckish would certainly have been à propos, but that didn’t come to me until much later in the day.)

Now: there’s the title of this posting, from Gilbert & Sullivan. Then, after dwelling some more on Purcell I’ll go on to Jeremiah Clarke, Mendelssohn, and Shakespeare, wrapping up with the gay musical Were the World Mine as a bonus — plus a whole lot of stuff about my life along the way.

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non-profits

April 4, 2022

Today’s morning name, the C[ount] noun non-profit, as in this real-life example (lifted from this very blog):

Partners of the Common Cents Lab are tech companies, banks, credit unions, non-profits, and government organizations

And in this NOAD entry:

adj. nonprofit [AZ: very frequently non-profit]: [attributive] not making or conducted primarily to make a profit: charities and other nonprofit organizations. noun mainly North American a nonprofit organization: I spent the next six years working for small nonprofits.

(With clearly C noun occurrences boldfaced)

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Joseph R. Applegate

September 26, 2021

Today’s morning name, of a linguist who deserves to be better known, though he received some belated recognition late in his life (he was born in 1925) and after his 2003 death. I’ll tell his story by, first, reproducing a thumbnail photo of him; and then, referencing websites about him, from some of the viewpoints that are significant to the story of his life. And finally, a note about another viewpoint that is, as far as I know, utterly missing from these official records.

The photo:

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Lupine Sapir-Whorf allusions

September 8, 2021

(That’s the adjective /lúpàjn/; the noun referring to a flower in the pea family is /lúpǝn/ — but this is not the Lupine Express.)


Francis Barlow’s illustration of the fable, 1687

Today’s morning name: the phrase the boy who cried Whorf. A paranomasic play — wolf vs. Whorf — on the boy who cried wolf, as in the Aesop fable, alluding to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis on the relationship between language and thought.

Oh, I thought on coming to full consciousness, surely someone has messed Whorfianly with the formulaic phrase.

And so they had; here I’ve just picked the first one that came up in googling: the heading The boy who cried Whorf, in Anthropology for Dummies by Cameron M. Smith, p. 48.

Then I tried some other formulaic expressions (again picking just one occurrence, the first one to come before my eyes):

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lookit, looky

March 15, 2021

My morning names a few days ago: surprising places the verb look has gone.

To come: the story of these items, from the OED. The related stories of some uses of say and like. All having moved from relatively concrete to much more abstract uses, serving discourse functions of various kinds.

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Morning names: cavitation, Gwen Stefani

February 24, 2021

Morning names for yesterday (2/23). In both cases I found the names (one common, one proper) vaguely familiar but couldn’t recall actually having experienced the name in use (though obviously I must have, to have them pop up in my mind on awaking). I then made guesses about the referents of the names — and was well off the mark in both cases.

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Morning name: houndstooth check

February 5, 2021

(No, I have no idea why these things pop up in my mind.)

From Wikipedia:


(#1) The houndstooth pattern

Houndstooth, hounds tooth check or hound’s tooth (and similar spellings), also known as dogstooth, dogtooth, dog’s tooth, or pied-de-poule, is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, often in black and white, although other colours are used.

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