Archive for the ‘Morphology’ Category

Stormy compounds in English

September 23, 2018

(Extensive references to male genitals, with photos of phallic simulacra, so not to everyone’s taste.)

About a hitherto unstudied class of English N + N compounds that I will call Stormy compounds (in honor of Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Gregory Clifford), or Stormies for short. In a stormy, one N is mushroom and the other is a N referring to the penis (penis, phallus, dick, cock, in particular). For example, the subsective resemblance compounds mushroom penis ‘penis resembling a mushroom’ and penis mushroom ‘mushroom resembling a penis’.

Resemblance is one of a small set of canonical semantic relations between the head N2 and the modifier N1 in an N + N compound — relations that are in some sense always available for interpreting such compounds (within the bounds of  real-world and contextual plausibility). Otherwise, there’s an essentially open-ended universe of interpretations specific to the context and the shared experiences of speaker and addressee. In my writing about semantic relations in compounds, I’ve referred to the first set of relations as O-type (to suggest ordinary-type) and the second as X-type (to suggest extraordinary-type); others have used other terminology.

But even for O-type relations, there’s some room for specificity in how particular compounds are understood, and this fact is signficant for stormies.

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therapist dog, dog therapist

September 22, 2018

Exercises in English N + N compounds (for use in another context), illustrated in cartoons exemplifying the Psychiatrist cartoon meme, with dogs either as patient or therapist (or both): therapist dog ‘dog that is a therapist’ (also ‘dog for therapists (to use, for example as companions)’, a sense I’ll disregard here); dog therapist either ‘therapist that is a dog’ (sense 1) or ‘therapist for dogs (taking dog as patients)’ (sense 2).

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Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy

September 14, 2018

(Not suitable for Facebook, because double entendres and incidental naked men, but not actually X-rated. Mostly about food.)

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy. Plus a little Echeveria plant. These are more birthday presents from the 6th, from Juan Gomez and the aging care company he works for (a big tart — not merely una tarta, but un tartone — plus the little succulent) and from Kim Darnell (a cute fruit cream tartlet with a pansy).

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Molesting and abusing ambiguously

September 2, 2018

The news stories are appalling, but this is about an expression in one of the stories:

(1) More needs to be done to protect children from molesting priests. (Gregory Ward in e-mail on 8/29, reporting on a WBEZ-FM (Chicago) news story)

Which led to the contemplation of the N + N compounds:

(2) child molester

(3) child abuse

All of them ambiguous, though all with a (dire) conventionalized sense.

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Melodramamine

August 28, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collab:


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

Not one, but two portmanteaus: for the ailment,  overemotion sickness = overemotional + motion sickness; and for the treatment, Melodramamine = melodrama + Dramamine. Plus the (melo)dramatic gesture.

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The emotional portmanteau pentagram

August 28, 2018

On the mastodon.social page , a posting by @Aleums of a scheme for generating a whole family of portmanteaus from a base set of five emotion adjectives:

(Ultimate source not identified.)

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volumptuous

August 22, 2018

That’s the portmanteau in yesterday’s Luann strip:

voluminous + voluptuous, probably with a bit of sumptuous mixed in — but certainly ample heft combined with sensuousness. Not a waif, and not any typical fashion model.

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Rainbow. Sharks. Rainbow sharks.

August 16, 2018

First, rainbow: from Andrew Winnard on Facebook, a photo of a rainbow-lit Metro escalator in Stockholm.

Then, sharks: in my posting earlier today “Central Shark”, about Sharknado Week on the SyFy channel (Trailer Park Shark (2017) is just about to begin!).

Which led me to the Italian clothing company Paul & Shark, with its sharky logo — and its line of rainbow shark t-shirts. And to a slew of artworks depicting rainbow sharks. And to a popular aquarium fish, the rainbow shark.

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Why choose when you can have both?

August 12, 2018

In my e-mail, more Pinterest boards combining sexually hot Sterek (Stiles + Derek) slash art and remarkable hot dogs, most of them hybrids as well, as in this contribution from The BakerMama | Maegan Brown website on 9/29/16, “Grilled cheese hot dogs”:

(#1)

A brilliant combination of two classics: grilled cheese and hot dogs! A buttery crisp hot dog bun filled with lots of melted cheese [Monterey jack and cheddar] and a juicy grilled hot dog. Why choose when you can have both [understood: in the same (hybrid) dish]?

In this case, the hybrid food sounds tasty, but sometimes the hybrid is (like the spork) less satisfying than either component on its own, or even (like SNL‘s Shimmer, a floor wax and a dessert topping) an unpleasant union of incompatible elements..

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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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