Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Four cartoons on familiar themes

November 10, 2021

… in recent days, covering a wide territory: in chronological order,

—  from 10/31, a Mother Goose and Grimm Psychiatrist cartoon with a Halloween theme and some puns

— from the 11/1 New Yorker, a Desert Crawl cartoon by David Sipress

— from 11/3, a Zippy strip with Zippylicious repetition (onomatomania)

— from 11/9, a Rhymes With Orange with a notable POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau)

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Z: Il dort

November 3, 2021

A Peanuts strip from 6/21/65 (thanks to Jeff Bowles) ends up being a tribute to the letter Z:


(#1) Snoopy the Z: he is sleeping

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The end of the alphabet

October 22, 2021

Well, the Latin alphabet as used for writing English. Its Ω is Z, my letter: [zɛd] most Anglophone places, [zi:] in Anglophone America (meanwhile, it’s [tsɛt] in the language of my grandparents). Suddenly relevant once again when I stumbled on the Z-named  disc jockey Zedd, who led me to other Z-names: the singer / songwriter Zee Ali, the transgressive filmmaker Nick Zedd, and the robotic entertainer David Zed.

There are more; these four share the characteristic that their Z-names are professional names they’ve adopted. Their birth names, in order: Anton Zaslavski, Izyan Alirahman, James Harding, David Kirk Traylor.

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Arabic? Irish? Whatever

October 18, 2021

That’s the personal name /émǝn/, in a fully anglicized rendition of either of two very different names: the (Egyptian) Arabic name of MSNBC commentator Ayman Mohyeldin; or the Irish name of Google software engineer Éamonn McManus (who’s also a friend of mine). Time for a multicultural, multilingual moment.

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Converse all-stars

October 13, 2021

The story starts with an instance of semantically reversed impervious (to) — a converse use of a predicate adjective. From Anat Shenker-Osorio, the founder of ASO Communications, interviewed on 10/11 on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. From the transcript:

… What we find in experiment after experiment is that when people have already cemented a world view, they in essence have a frame around what is occurring, then facts are simply impervious to it. They bounce off of it, right?

… And so it`s precisely as you said. If they have an existing story line about, quote, unquote, what Democrats do and how they behave, then facts are pretty much impervious to it.

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Clash of the titular Peppers

September 1, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, a cartoon that would be totally incomprehensible without several pieces of pop-cultural knowledge:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Trout, the name

August 9, 2021

Another offshoot of my investigations into the playful sexual slang trouser trout ‘ penis’ (in a posting coming soon on this blog; another offshoot, also not really relevant to the sexual slang, appeared in my earlier posting today, “Gail Rubin”). This posting arose from my hope that Trouser Trout was attested somewhere as a man’s name. An actual man would have been too much to hope for; who names their son Trouser? But I’d hoped that someone would have chosen the name for a character in antic-sexy fiction or other artistic creation. Haven’t found that yet, but Trouser Trout has served as the name of various companies and their products, among them: a brewery, an Austin TX punk band, an underwear company (well, obviously), and the artist and musician Romanowski’s record label.

Then there’s Trout as the name of musical works.

And as a family name, for real people and for the enormously prolific but drastically underappreciated science fiction writer Kilgore Trout.

Like I said, offshoots.

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Gail Rubin

August 9, 2021

Another spinoff from a posting in progress on the playful sexual slang trouser trout for penis (on an earlier spinoff, about the gay porn flick Trouser Trout, see my 8/7 posting “Melecio / Biaggi”). This time it’s about  the antic book A Girl’s Pocket Guide to Trouser Trout: Reflections on Dating and Fly-Fishing, by Gail Rubin:

This posting isn’t about the content of the book — that’s to come in the main posting — but about the identity of the author, something that bears not at all on the sexual slang compound.

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Twirly and girly

August 3, 2021

The One Big Happy from 6/5, in which Ruthie struggles, eggcornishly, to rationalize an unfamiliar name with familiar parts:

Mary, Susan, whatever.

Meanwhile, I now have “Honey Bun” from South Pacific in my head:

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A snowfall of diacritics, an avalanche of röck döts

July 12, 2021

Like most publications about science news for a general public, the weekly New Scientist has a notable sense of humor: two cartoons about science in every issue (see below), bits of word play inserted all over the place, and the occasional wryly funny news brief, like this one (“Bleak, very bleak”) in the 29 May 2021 issue, p. 56 (a note in “The back pages / Feedback” section):

We are grateful, for some value of grateful, to Michael Zehse for drawing our attention to the music of Nænøĉÿbbœrğ VbëřřћōlöKäävsŧ. We discover, as the extensive use of röck döts [AZ: and other diacritics] was perhaps inviting us to conclude, that this is “an extremely underground band that plays a dank, bleak, light-void music commonly referred to as either ‘ambient cosmic extreme funeral drone doom metal’ or ‘post-noise’.”

Having begun listening to one track, 10^100 Gs of Artificial Gravity, from their album The Ultimate Fate of the Universe, we can’t confirm the accuracy of the first description, but the second seems pretty fair.

The “windy, staticy” tone was achieved by the two band members, researchers who describe themselves as having met while studying carnivorous Antarctic predators, loading a bass, an amp and a laptop onto a dog sled to sample at the precise geographic South Pole during a long winter. Whatever we think of the outcome, this is true dedication to art. Rëspëkt.

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