Archive for the ‘Derivation’ Category

contractions

June 7, 2018

The One Big Happy from May 11th, in which Ruthie discovers that there are contractions and then there are contractions:

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Dramatic exits

May 31, 2018

A Leigh Rubin cartoon from the 22nd, illustrating an exit and a dramatic exit:

(#1)

First, this is a play on the ambiguity of exit, as a N referring to a concrete object (a door, used for exiting) or an act (of exiting). Then there’s another ambiguity, in the  sense of dramatic in the nominal dramatic exit: it could be taken literally, as ‘pertaining to a play’, but here it’s used with a figurative sense ‘melodramatic, stagey, flamboyant’ (note the man’s gesture). In its second use, dramatic incorporates a figurative sense of the N drama seen also in the (originally US gay) slang compound drama queen.

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bossercize

May 26, 2018

Today’s Dilbert, in which the pointy-haired boss goes portmanteauing:

(#1)

boss + exercise (in a spelling variant with –ize) = bossercize, formed on the model of the name of the dance fitness company Jazzercise.

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The egg patrol: plastic to porcelain

May 20, 2018

It started on cable tv (in a commercial) and ended in England’s industrial Midlands (with birds — wrens and a finch — and a museum). All to cook eggs.

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There oughta be a word

May 16, 2018

Darya Kavitskaya on Facebook yesteday:

This is sour cherry clafoutis. No more food for today.

I commented:

I think French needs a verb clafouter ‘to cook a clafoutis; to devour a clafoutis’.

Come to think of it, I could use an English verb clafoute /kla’fut/ with these senses:

I think I’ll clafoute for tonight’s dessert. Maybe plum.

Terry piggishly clafouted. Seven at a sitting!

To come: a reminder about what clafoutis is; about the forms of the invented French verb clafouter; on “having no word for” some concept; about needing — or at least wanting — a word for it; about the ambiguity of these invented verbs (both ‘to cook’ and ‘to eat’); about the source of such ambiguities in marker-poor combinations of elements (lacking explicit indicators of the semantic relationship between the elements — there’s nothing in French clafouter or English clafoute to indicate the semantic role of the referent of their subjects, as creator or consumer); and about the motivation for marker-poor combinations, in a drive for brevity (vs. clarity). French and English could be clearer, less ambiguous — I’ll illustrate with still more invented French verbs — but only at the cost of greater length and effort.

All this from (delicious) French sour cherry flan.

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Surreal beer

May 16, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration goes to the neighborhood taproom:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

There’s the question of why Toper 3 can’t find his beer. That has a simple answer: the apple obscures his vision.

Then there’s the claim that Toper 3 is a surrealist — but actually he’s a surrealist character, not a surrealist (an exponent of surrealism). That does make the cartoon surreal, bizarre, because it juxtaposes two ordinary topers at a bar with a fictional character (one from surrealist art, to make the scene more delicious).

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Secretive morning name

March 29, 2018

That would be sebum, which led me almost immediately to semen and smegma: /s/-initial disyllables with accent on the first syllable that refer to bodily secretions.

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Off with their heads!

December 3, 2017

Today’s new Page: an inventory of postings on the lexical process of beheading, which derives a noun ultimate ‘ultimate Frisbee’ (as in Sandy earned a varsity letter in ultimate) and a noun graveyard ‘graveyard shift’ (as in Terry has to work graveyard this week).

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Guess I’ll go eat worms

November 26, 2017

A follow-up to my posting on the 23rd, “Two Thanksgiving meals”, in which one of the meals had as its main dish vermicelli Singapore-style, with rice vermicelli as the base. So now I’m all about vermicelli.

Warming up to the pasta topic, let’s consider Zesty Anderson Davis consuming some string pasta made from wheat:

(#1) #2 in a 6/23/13 posting, showing Zesty AD sucking up worms (well, spaghetti) in a panoply of sexual imagery
(#2) Abasement, comfort food, or oral sex?

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Environmentally responsible derivation

November 13, 2017

It starts with an ordinary noun source and an ordinary verb sustain and eventually works its way to the adverb sustainably as a modifier of a verb source, strikingly in the split infinitive construction to sustainably source, which Wilson Gray reported in an ADS-L posting on the 11th, citing a General Mills ad in which to sustainably source oats figures prominently.

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