Archive for the ‘Morphology’ Category

homeworks

May 21, 2019

A facebook exchange back on the 6th, between Andrew Carnie (professor of linguistics and dean of the Graduate College at the Univ. of Arizona) and Karen Chung (associate professor at National Taiwan University, teaching courses on linguistics and English).

Andrew: [Student], who only came to class less than 50% of the time, and turned in a bunch of assignments (really) late: These homeworks are way. too. hard. It’s unfair.

Karen: “Homework” as a countable noun? Is he/she a native speaker of English?

Academics will recognize Andrew’s note as the plangent lament of a professor facing the grading tasks at the end of a term, confronted with a self-entitled student who believes they are really smart, so preparation outside of class shouldn’t take much work (and they should be able to ace the final without much studying).

But what Karen picks up on is the use the noun homework as a C(ount) noun, clearly so because it occurs in the plural form homeworks here; for the M(ass) noun homework, the usage would be: This homework is way. too. hard. Or else: These homework assignments are way. too. hard.

Much as I sympathize deeply with Andrew’s lament — having had nearly 50 years of similar experiences (fortunately far outweighed by students who were a delight to teach) — what this posting is about is the C/M thing. There’s a fair amount to get clear about first, and then I’ll have some analysis, some data, and some reflections on larger matters (language use in particular communities of practice, the tension between brevity and clarity as factors in language use).

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Stravinsky’s 1970 Firebird and the Ghoulliard Quartet

May 20, 2019

Music, cartoons, and language play, plus Slavic folklore, Seiji Ozawa and his expressive hair, pony cars, symphony trumpeters, NPR, and Frankenstein’s monster. It starts with this wonderful cartoon by Jeffrey Curnow from the NPR site (hat tip to Virginia Transue):

(#1)

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News for Fenis

May 15, 2019

(Reference to penises, plus some penis art and garments for penises, so not to everyone’s taste.)

From Kyle Wohlmut on Facebook today, items from the gift shop at Castello di Fénis, in the Italian Alps:


(#1) Models of the castle, the castle in snowglobes, but featuring a bag with Fenis (easily read as Penis) in a red heart, conveying ‘I love Fenis’

First: on the castle, the town, and its location (so close to Switzerland — on this blog, many roads lead to Switzerland; or Homoland; or both). Then the red meat: on readings of Fenis; on penis bags (bags with penises on them); on penis bags (bags with penis on them); and on the intimate men’s garment the penis bag (aka penis pouch or cock sock).

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Annals of inadvertently cute creatures

May 9, 2019

During the frustrating days of searching for a source of the Japanese-Spanish “Ariperro” cartoon (5/5 report on this blog here), I wrote on Facebook:

Stacy [Holloway] says there’s no clear answer. I say I’m sad about the unclear answer.

And Stacy offered to allay my sadness with something happy, specifically, from the My Modern Met site, “Adorable “Leaf Sheep” Sea Slugs Look like Cartoon Lambs” by Jenny Zhang on 8/22/15:


(#1) A leaf sheep sea slug, Costasiella kuroshimae

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A coincidence of days

May 6, 2019

(Several shirtless people, in case that annoys or distresses you, but otherwise mostly about music.)

According to my calendar, today is both World Naked Gardening Day and World Accordion Day, which naturally led me to imagine a naked gardener playing the accordion. But my calendar turns out to be half wrong: World Accordion Day is fixed on May 6th; World Naked Gardening Day, on the other hand, is a movable feast, the first Saturday in May, which this year was the 4th.

However, the two occasions did coincide exactly in 2017, and at least one accordion-playing gardener squeezed nude for that occasion.

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The hand that cradles the tree

May 3, 2019

… and the monster that guides the elderly. Both pieces of outdoor art in Switzerland, the first in the town of Glarus (in my ancestral canton of Glarus), the second in the city of Zürich.


(#1) The Caring Hand in Glarus

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Where are you going with that?

April 30, 2019

The One Big Happy from 4/3, recently in my comics feed: the tough neighborhood kid James and his sledgehammer:

(#1)

What I hear in the first panel is an echo of a quotation with an ax, not a sledgehammer:

‘Where’s Papa going with that axe?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

One of the great first lines in English literature, just grips you right off, does E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

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A standout in his shorts

April 27, 2019

(Mesh Man in his underwear, leading us in many directions, but with plenty of sexual content — not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

From the 12th: Mesh Man returns to the Daily Jocks underverse, flogging their fabulous Varsity Mesh Shorts, flaunting his famous receptive organ — he’s all man and a foot deep — kneeling with feeling in #1 and flashing a finger gun to his fans in #2:


(#1) Party shorts! (see the ad below) — I go down on one knee to go down on my guy

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The self-published book

April 25, 2019

In the recently published The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons —

(#1)

edited by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein (a regular visitor on this blog), this Ed Koren (who’s also on this blog):

(#2)

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The taXXXman will come for you

April 14, 2019

(The TitanMen TaXXX Day special offer ad for this year is heavy with massive erections from the 2017 gay porn flick Taxxx, so that’s off on AZBlogX. What’s here is packed with crude language about men’s bodies and mansex, definitely not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The DVD cover, just barely penis-free, for Taxxx:

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