Archive for the ‘Compounds’ Category

Chic peas and more

October 13, 2018

The fall special at Dan Gordon’s (on Emerson St. in Palo Alto), as it first appeared on the menu, about a month ago:

Summer Stew $16.95
smoked pork / cippolini onions / chic peas / prunes / red rice

(with the very notable spelling chic peas and with the misspelling cippolini for cipollini). But now the ingredients list reads:

smoked pork / cippolini onions / chickpeas / dehydrated plums / red rice

(with the notable dehydrated plums). Actually, all four ingredients have linguistic interest.

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Angerland

September 26, 2018

The One Big Happy from 8/30, in which Ruthie hopes for semantic transparency in morphology:

Ruthie’s reading from a book, so she can see the LAND in IRELAND (in pronunciation, it’s reduced to unaccented /lǝnd/ and might not be so easily identifiable). So she hopes the IRE part will be another word she knows that will make sense in combination with LAND in the way that the first elements in, say, ICELAND and WOODLAND do.

And her dad helpfully explains IRE.

 

The dog therapist is IN

September 25, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration (entitled “Recurring Dream”) is, from the point of view of this blog, quite timely:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

That’s a dog therapist ‘therapist for dogs’ (a Use N + N compound); see discussion in my 9/22 posting “therapist dog, dog therapist”. In this case, for a patient who’s had the canine equivalent of the common nightmare of being naked in public (especially in front of a class or while giving a speech).

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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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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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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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Advances in phobology

August 2, 2018

… the science of fear and fears, to which Gary Larson made a sort of contribution in this 1988 Far Side cartoon:

(#1)

It was, of course, a joke: a term for a preposterous fear. Fear of ducks, sure, but fear that a duck is watching you? That’s a wild paranoid phobia akin to Dinsdale Piranha’s paranoid phobia of Spiny Norman, a gigantic imaginary hedgehog, in Monty Python’s “Piranha Brothers” skit.

For the most part, the joke got passed around as a joke —  but without the context of its occurring in a  cartoon, and in the context of the many lists of remarkable phobias you can find all over the place, the funny word and its astonishing definition have taken on a shadow life of their own.

Then, on the quibbling front, there’s the ill-formedness of anatidaephobia as the name of a phobia, any phobia, even a phobia of ducks.

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Drunk Cartoons

June 14, 2018

(#1)

A new series by cartoonist Bob Eckstein (who’s been around on this blog for three years now; see his Page). From the 6th, on the Weekly Humorist site, “Drunk Cartoon: Pants”:

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