Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

PUMP!ing it up

October 17, 2018

(Homowear: male models in underwear, displaying their bodies homoerotically, with archly queer ad copy. Not X-rated, but not to everyone’s taste.)

The Daily Jocks ad for PUMP! underwear from the 15th:

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Underwear model as sculptural form. Mahogany Man.

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Nomenclature as destiny

October 9, 2018

A Scott Hilburn cartoon from 4/24/18:

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As they are called, so shall they serve. So says the law.

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Inch by inch

September 25, 2018

… every week or two, the succulents grow. A report on the turquoise planter on my patio, from a week ago (9/19). A synoptic view (thanks to Kim Darnell):

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Four conspicuous plants: the central Echeveria ‘Blue Curls’, with its tall flower stalk (up to the height of the doorknob last week, now 2 inches above it, with a base wider by an inch as well); the little silver rosette Echeveria, with its 2-foot+ flower stalk; the two sturdy Senecio (blue chalksticks) stems, with thin flower stems at their tips; and (in the upper right corner) a crassula stem still working up to budding (but now with several offsets, not visible in this photo, at its base).

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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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Neighborhood flora: phormiums

September 20, 2018

Continuing my project of reporting on plants that are very widely grown in my neighborhood — recently, from 8/16, “Lantana on the trail”, on trailing lantana; from 9/14, “Neighborhood flora: the cranesbills”; and from 9/15, “Neighborhood flora: Chinese elms” — I turn today to a striking foliage plant growing all over the place around me, especially widely on city ground, but also in private gardens. Big straplike leaves, striped in several colors (mostly green, yellow, and white), with tall flower stalks  (looking much like the giant alien-planet flower stems of agave plants), currently bearing long seed pods that are green when fresh but then turn to black as they ripen. Of the genus Phormium, highly recommended by the City of Palo Alto for filling space in xeriscapes.

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Neighborhood flora: the cranesbills

September 14, 2018

In a fancy planter outside a neighborhood business just up Ramona St. from my house: stunning blue cranesbills — the hybrid Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, here in an image from the web:

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And with this, sweet memories of my first time in Palo Alto, 37 years ago, arriving here just after my birthday (9/6), to start a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences — on the foothills above Stanford, amidst untamed meadows in which a wild cranesbill, rosy-red Geranium dissectum, flourishes once the rainy season gets going.

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Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy

September 14, 2018

(Not suitable for Facebook, because double entendres and incidental naked men, but not actually X-rated. Mostly about food.)

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy. Plus a little Echeveria plant. These are more birthday presents from the 6th, from Juan Gomez and the aging care company he works for (a big tart — not merely una tarta, but un tartone — plus the little succulent) and from Kim Darnell (a cute fruit cream tartlet with a pansy).

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Rainforest houseplants

September 11, 2018

A birthday present to me from Riitta Välimaa-Blum, this gorgeous display of plants:

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Not just plants, but particularly luxuriant houseplants — mostly gorgeous enormous Dieffenbachia plants. Apparently in a rainforest setting, either in the wild or in a conservatory (or as Riitta would say, un jardin des plantes). Riitta tells me it’s in a real rainforest, on the island of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. Remarkably, Réunion is a department (state in US terms) of France, which just happens to be about 5700 mi (9200 km) from the department of France where she lives (in Nice, in the department of Alpes Maritimes). (Compare the US state of Hawaii, about 2500 mi (4000 km) from California, where I live.)

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Three bulletins

September 6, 2018

From the annals of naming, a probably inevitable name for a wine blend. From the cartoon files, a recent SMBC with a classic grammar peeve that is newly relevant. And from the news for penises, the image of a bicycle turned into a penis.

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Swiss art supplies in the morning

August 31, 2018

Today’s morning name: Caran d’Ache. A Swiss art supplies company specializing in pencils. With a complex linguistic and social history behind its name. There will be cartoons as well. (No food, sex, music, or plants, but you can’t have everything. On the other hand, there will be clowns and some chemistry / materials science.)


(#1) The box for a 40-color selection of pencils, proudly flying the Swiss flag

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