Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Sein Dopelgänger

April 19, 2018

Not a typo. The man in question is the elusive David Dennison, a pseudonym of the notorious American sociopath Helmet Grabpussy (who is generally referred to on this blog as [REDACTED]). And his Dopelgänger is the distinguished David Denison, Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics at the University of Manchester (on the other side of the Atlantic).

There’s the 2-n DD and the 1-n DD, and they are laughably, horribly, distinct. The 2-n DD is a creature, the 1-n DD is a teacher. (Apologies to Ogden Nash, llamas, and lamas.)


Faucet handles

April 19, 2018

From Joe Transue on Facebook this morning, this piece of hardware from the Pfister company:

(#1) Joe: WTV?

In three languages, a head noun meaning ‘handle’ with the modifier Verve (prenominal in English, postnominal in French and Spanish): Verve handle, poignée Verve, manija Verve.

One reader took Verve to be the noun verve: ‘vigor and spirit or enthusiasm’ (NOAD) and played with that:

Rarely do you see such lively, talented, energetic & animated handles. You are lucky to have found one. Makes lavatory stops much more enjoyable!

But Joe took Verve to be an error, and appealed to me as an authority on errors in speech and writing:

Old post… But Arnold Zwicky do you have any idea what is up with this? I think this is a seriously strange error. At first I thought it might be some sort of trade name for the part, but I’m about 99% sure they mean VALVE.

But no. As you might have expected from the form Verve in three different languages, not an error — but the name of a type of faucet handle. From the wonderful world of hardware terminology.


Tomato mayonnaise

April 13, 2018

The idea of creating a sauce or dressing by blending mayonnaise with a smooth tomato preparation (tomato paste, tomato purée, or tomato ketchup) has occurred to cooks again and again over the years. To this tomato mayo base they have added any number of other ingredients: horseradish, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice (or lime juice or orange juice), cream, sour cream, pim(i)entos, chopped sweet peppers, red pepper flakes, tomato pieces, chopped pickles, chopped green olives, chopped ripe olives, chopped nuts (walnuts or others), chopped hard-boiled egg, chives, chopped onion, garlic, Worchestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce), barbecue sauce, herbs (for instance, parsley, dill, oregano, tarragon, or cilantro), and spices (for instance, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin, or turmeric).

The Heinz company has now entered this culinary arena with a proposal for yet another basic tomato mayo sauce. From the WaPo today “Heinz promotes its new ‘mayochup’ and sparks an international controversy” by Samantha Schmidt, beginning:


Research Risks and Name Dominoes

April 3, 2018

xkcd #1904 Research Risks (10/18/17):


Linguistics fares pretty well, both on being used by supervillains for world domination and on the possibility of research subjects breaking free and threatening the environment. I note the absence of Artificial Intelligence in this graph.


The pisco sour

March 28, 2018

What to drink with your picadillo (whether a Mexican-style taco filling or a Cuban-style stew)? A spicy red wine, like grenache, perhaps. Or a dark beer. Or maybe some brandy. Juan Gomez suggested pisco to me, and I realized I’d never had any. And that took me to the pisco sour.



March 26, 2018

In my posting queue from long ago, a note about a bon appétit magazine piece on picadillo; the function of the note was mostly to remind me of the version of picadillo that Ann Daingerfield (Zwicky) and I used to make in Columbus OH: a kind of do-it-yourself Mexican meal. The picadillo mixture keeping warm in a big bowl; a platter of browned tortillas to make into tacos and fill with the picadillo; and a large assortment of small bowls with things to add to the tacos.

The result was something along these lines:



The Caesar cocktail

March 26, 2018

The northern answer to the Bloody Mary. It started in Calgary about 50 years ago.

Clam broth /juice is the secret ingredient

From the girlheartfood site from 6/8/17:

This Ultimate Caesar Cocktail is a total Canadian classic. It’s Clamato juice based with a hit of vodka and the whole thing gets flavour and spice from ingredients like horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.


Two (more) Sunday cartoons

March 25, 2018

A Rhymes With Orange, with an outrageous pun; and a Zits, with a fatherly fabrication of names:

(#1) Airbnb / DnD

(#2) If Orion’s Belt, why not Orion’s Fanny Pack?


Adam Hillman: rainbows and food

March 18, 2018

… among other things in the work of this assemblage artist. Both in one work:

(#1) rainbow lollipops

Hillman’s rainbow works are typically multi-color displays not necessarily organized into the conventional rainbow hues or arranged as in the Pride flag.


Irish loco moco with eggs

March 18, 2018

For St. Patrick’s Day, yesterday’s breakfast special at the Palo Alto Creamery. The name loco moco was new to me; the dish turns out to be 20th-century Hawaiian comfort food. Presented here with three conventionally Irish-American twists: corned beef , potatoes (in this case, hash browns), and green food (in this case, asparagus pieces).