Archive for the ‘Compounds’ Category

1 Bizarro, 2 Bizarro

May 25, 2017

Yesterday’s and today’s Bizarro strips:

(#1)

(#2)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoons — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in both strips — see this Page.)

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From the FoxFiles

May 3, 2017

… of demented p.r. releases sent to Margalit Fox. On Facebook today:

Most, ah, arresting lede on any press release I’ve ever received: “I am a former incarcerated acid chemist. …”

Putting aside the question of the intended parsing of former incarcerated acid chemist (conveying, I assume, something like ‘acid chemist formerly incarcerated’), I focus on acid chemist, which has a straight sense — as in nucleic acid chemist ‘chemist who studies nucleic acids (like DNA and RNA) — and a high sense, as in this book title:

  (#1)

where the acid in question is the psychedelic drug LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as simply as acid.

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rest stop

April 21, 2017

(A posting on the compound rest stop is inevitably going to take us into the world of mansex, so this posting will, eventually, be way out of bounds for kids and the sexually modest.)

The morning name on the 19th, which led me immediately to other rest compounds: rest area and restroom.

(#1)

(#2)

(#3)

There are the signs. What do we expect at the places the signs direct us to?

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Chub and chums in the morning

April 17, 2017

Yesterday’s morning name was chub (the name of a fish), which led me to the rest of the bilabial-final family: chum, chump, and chup. (And that led to the velar-final family chug, Chung, chunk, chuck, but I won’t pursue that one here.) As it is, the bilabials will lead us into many surprising places, including the Hardy Boys books, eyewear retainers, Australian dog food, gay slurs, and hunky underwear models.

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The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force

April 6, 2017

The U.S. has such a thing, and its name is a compound with three possibly relevant parsings into constituents (for in the glosses conveys something like ‘to investigate’):

(1)  [ Congressional ]  [ [ Brain Injury ] [ Task Force ] ]

‘ a task force, associated with Congress, for brain injury

(2)  [ [ Congressional Brain ]  [ Injury ] ] [ Task Force ]

‘a task force for injury to the Congressional brain

(3)  [ [ Congressional ] [ Brain Injury ] ] [Task Force ]

‘a task force for Congressional brain injury

(1) is the intended reading. (2) has an entertaining sense involving a Congressional brain, a brain that Congress has (or is otherwise associated with). (3) involves (a) brain injury that is associated in some way with Congress. I’m much taken with readings (2) and (3), especially (2), which reminded me of the October 1980 Doonesbury sequence “The Mysterious World of Reagan’s Brain”.

The intended reading is entirely clear, but sportive readers will play with the alternatives

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Bizarro compounds

March 28, 2017

The Bizarro from the 22nd:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

Interpreting N + N compounds can be the very devil, as I point out on this blog every so often, sometimes in connection with cartoons (where the possibilities for ambiguity are easily exploited). What to make of Girl Scout cookies (Girl Scout + cookies)?

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News for penises: a friend request

March 11, 2017

(Well, yes, men’s bodies, sex talk, and man-man sex. Not for kids or the sexually modest.)

A friend request on Facebook, from someone using the name Nick Petersucker (some time ago, FB obviously ceased to care a great deal about its policy of insisting that posters use their real names; now, all sorts of remarkable names come past me on FB). His profile picture, a selfie of someone, first posted in 2012:

(#1)

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Spring bulbs

March 9, 2017

… and other flowers. The plants come into bloom on a schedule that’s some complex of day length and temperature. Locally we’ve been having stretches of late cold weather (“patchy morning frost in low-lying areas”, the weather forecasts will say), so some plants are on the late side. Out my front door: the calla lilies are just now opening up, and the Victorian box — Pittosporum — hasn’t yet come into fragrant bloom. (For enthusiasts of resembloid composites: calla lilies aren’t lilies (Lilium), and Victorial box isn’t any kind of box (Buxus); see my 3/17/12 St. Patrick’s Day posting.) But the first narcissus bloomed in January, and a visit with Juan Gomez to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden on Tuesday confronted us with great swaths of blooming narcissus, of many cultivars, as well as tulips, grape hyacinths, and snowdrops.

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On the N + N compound watch

March 6, 2017

Passed on by Ken Callicott, presumably from his browsing in supermarkets:

As I note from time to time, N + N compounds (like infant water) are always subject to multiple interpretations, even if we stick to interpretations that involve only the relatively small set of canonical semantic relations between the parts. Usually knowledge about the world and about the context in which a compound is used is sufficient to make one interpretation by far the most likely one. But that doesn’t stop  mischievous people from seeking out possible but unlikely interpretations and making antic hay out of them. (And cartoons often show henighted people fixing on possible but unlikely interpretations.)

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Ya gotta know the matryoshkas

March 6, 2017

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange:

Another note on what it takes to understand the cartoon and to see what’s funny about it.

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